Floor 5 – Crawford Building
21 – 29 May 2022
The DJCAD Degree Show is a highlight of the creative calendar. The exhibited work is varied, however amid the diversity there are common motifs unifying the Textile and Fine Art departments of 2022’s highly anticipated show: ‘Sun and Moon’.
Located in the Crawford building, the Textiles corridor warmly welcomes visitors. In front of large open windows, Alexa Gibson’s immersive sculpture Mellow in Yellow invites visitors to stand amongst her brightly designed, hanging textiles. The eight-foot-high pieces of fabric have been mono-printed in various intensities of yellow hues. Natural light cascades into the room and lands on the sheer fabric, activating the electric yellow, radiating a warmth that Van Gogh himself would be envious of. Visitors joyfully walk between the fabric as through trees outside; a moment of contentment usually found outdoors has been brought to life inside.
Next door, Cameron Fraser presents Sunset Cigar Club. Comprised of three collections, Fraser’s digitally printed textile designs are fashioned into scarves and button-down shirts. Displayed simply on poles and hangers, it’s difficult for viewers not to imagine themselves wearing Fraser’s designs. They are contemporary, featuring bold abstract shapes inspired by architecture in a multitude of soft, vibrant tones. The designs simultaneously belong in 2022 and succeed in their ‘summer nostalgia’ timelessness. Like Gibson, Fraser wants to encapsulate the serenity of sunlight for all and has labelled his designs as unisex.
In Fine Art, Aimee MacIntosh creates work in collaboration with the sun. Unveiling seven large cyanotypes, viewers are at the centre of a carefully curated gallery. Four photographic images line the side walls on light fabric. On the back wall, three framed plant and poem impressions hang. The blue and white colour palette is akin to porcelain china, evoking a sense of fragility and delicacy around the work. With strong woodland imagery, reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s 2020 lockdown-released album Folklore, MacIntosh’s In the forest, That’s where you’ll find me may just be the tranquil outcome of completing art school during a pandemic.
A closed door confronts those on the fifth-floor. A handwritten note taunts ‘exhibition continues inside’ and visitors warily wonder what they will face next. A self-proclaimed sufferer of various sleep disorders, Kirsten Farquhar’s Oblivion explores our nightly subconscious. Guests of this alternative reality are greeted by a bed. A far cry from Tracey Emin’s, this structure is a solid steel frame, the backboard a hollow circle in which a giant web has been woven, creating a large dreamcatcher. There is a duvet, pillow, and instructions to ‘let the bed embrace you’. The video and sound piece casts purple hues, and a montage of branches, flowers and sky projects through the dreamcatcher, effectively captivating all.
Tilda Watson creates an immersive experience assembled from the archiving of dream landscapes. Fragmented speech echoes around the room from speakers, declaring “I haven’t remembered too many dreams…I picture them dancing together on my doorstep”. This exhibition is that doorstep. A giant, spinning mobile hangs above. Enchantingly swinging round are vivid black cut-outs, illustrations of the descriptive sound piece. One shape, a pair of scissors, references a dream of playing the childhood game ‘Rock-Paper-Scissors’. Plastered on the wall are pages of writings and drawings crawling along the door frames as though the dream-memories are extending out and taking hold of those in the space.
Finally, Skye Sutherland’s e-textile work Light Emanating from Darkness is a feat. Installed as though a Fine Art piece, and coded impressively enough to be in Digital Interaction Design, Sutherland’s interactive work parallels the separation they felt when moving to university, with severed tree roots in nature. Movement via sensors controls the patterns and speed of projected circles dancing across the draping navy fabric. The installation cleverly asks users to collaborate and converse, creating a symbiosis between designer and consumer.
There are many more links to be drawn between the Textile Design and Fine Art departments and I invite readers to do so when visiting the DJCAD Degree Show in person or online.