DJCAD Art, Design & Architecture Degree Show 2022
21 – 29 May 2022
The Duncan of Jordanstone Art, Design and Architecture Degree Show returned amidst much excitement this weekend following a two-year pandemic hiatus. Now accompanied by an online version, this showcase of graduating student talent is staged within DJCAD’s studio and exhibition space, organised into three colour coded sections covering twelve disciplines and a range of creative output in varying media, genres and themes. Visitors self-navigate around the conjoined Matthew and Crawford building complex.
The Yellow section of the Crawford Building is a series of immersive displays from Art & Philosophy and Fine Art set over four levels. Here, India Bruckner challenges the capitalist nature of pharmaceutical monopolies by invoking the cone snail, a commander of insulin in the natural world, using clay, wax and light, while Mary Merle invites visitors up a staircase to inhabit a different reality by donning the oversized wearable sculpture of Nub Land, immediately challenging the sense of scale in the room.
Another section is on Level 5 of the Matthew Building in the Green section, and it would be a shame for visitors miss that area if specifically interested in Fine Art. There, Eilidh Guthrie’s bronze and wood sculpture installation is quite beautiful in its serene presentation, with many detailed pieces each exploring death. Stacey Hilton’s depiction of Gypsy/Traveller heritage evokes the familial strength within the community.
Still within the Crawford Building, the Blue section guides visitors across four disciplines on four floors. Illustration work is presented as posters, books (Like Slurp! By Shauna McKay) and a room-length scroll (Kerry McAlpine’s I’ve Got A Bite!), ranging in style from colourful risograph prints (such as Giorgos Asvestas’s Fruit Bowl prints) to delicate graphite on paper (like Lauren Henderson’s Skull Studies).
Nature continues to influence jewellery designers but perhaps none more so than Chloe Fitzpatrick whose biodesign collaboration with University scientists involved growing coloured bacterial colonies from plants and her body to be cased in resin and used to dye threads in her work.
Textile design was set across three rooms; a tactile experience with rows of portfolios that invited touch. Sandra Junele’s work echoes a theme of sustainability observed across different disciplines, using waste material and organic processes to create wall panels. Kirsty Bruce’s PlayBales offers an interactive textile display that appears vibrant, playful and ready for market.
Graphic design boasts 39 graduates, occupying a large space partitioned to guide attention through visually stimulating work. Hazel Duncan’s neon love sign instantly communicates her crossover between language and dating. Further on, Alejandra Lopez Trombetta’s presentation of the Chivas whiskey bottle evokes the Scottish Goddess of Winter in a gothically feminine way.
Finally, the Green section is fully housed in the Matthew Building, predominantly on Level 5 but with Architecture and Urban Planning in the gallery landings above on Level 6. Animation work in the main atrium uses posters and Macs, with two animators showcased per machine, along with an animation auditorium constantly cycling longer clips.
Digital Interaction Design and Product Design share a large, windowed room where products and prototypes pique curiosity and invite investigation. Aiysha Panchbhaya’s perfectly named Imperfec project uses beautifully illustrated cards as a prompt to learn more about Body Focussed Repetitive Behaviours online. Supporting wellbeing and healthy behaviours was an evident concern amongst product designers, including Ellen Muir’s Good Vibrations jewellery which encourages feeling present during anxiety attacks.
Catherine Bellamy’s spatial interventions for the Scottish landscape show the potential for structural form that enhances natural environs and Lorna Scanlon shows similarly Scottish sensibilities in her delicate exposition for bringing together migrant agricultural workers with local towns.
This review can give only a flavour of the multitudes of talent and creativity on display. Time spent exploring this exhibition will bring its own rewards, and reassurance that the pandemic has not dented the ingenuity or presence of emerging artists and designers.