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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Free Range Art & Design Show 2013: Middlesex University Fine Art, Fashion, FDSP & Photography Review

My favourite graduate picks from the Middlesex University show at the Truman Brewery.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Strange and wonderful prints by Tomas Soltonas. Futuroid
Futuroid by Tomas Soltonas.

Middlesex University took over the upper floors of the Truman Brewery a few weeks ago to display the work of all their graduating creative arts students in one fell swoop, and I went along to discover the best of the crop. Here’s what caught my eye from fine art, fashion and photography.

Esther Evans Middlesex
This Memphis-tastic sculpture is by Esther Evans in Fine Art – I think it’s a commentary on gender stereotypes, but I like it purely from an aesthetic point of view. Call me shallow, but hey, I respond to curvy pink shapes (whoops, there I go following my gender’s supposed predispositions)

Spooky skull teddy installation by Danielle Crawford-Lugay
Spooky skull-faced teddy was part of an installation by Danielle Crawford-Lugay - again, not sure what it meant, but it was certainly eye-catching.

Faces from Haggerston Estate by Rosie Fowler
These backlit faces from a Haggerston Estate were made into an intriguing installation by Rosie Fowler.

Joshua Pageb
There’s always someone being clever with china in a Chapman-stylee at the Free Range Shows – this year fine artist Joshua Page took on the mantle with this traditional icon being afforded a large penis.

Colourful intarsia knitwear by abbie ridler
Knitwear by Abbie Ridler.

I sadly missed the fashion show (wrong time, again) and instead perused a gallery of wooden stands adorned with look book photos of the graduating designer’s collections, some accompanied by samples of fabrics. The photographs were all beautiful and promoted the clothes in an exciting and contemporary way, but there were no clues as to who had created which garments, and no look books on display. What a shame, since for many visitors this would have been the only place they would have seen the student’s work. Here are snapshots of two students’ collections which I know well because I converse with them on instagram – both are knitwear students who are destined for great things.

kirsty anderton
Kirsty Anderton‘s amazing oversized skull jumper will be familiar to those who have read my coverage of the internal Middlesex fashion show, and I was excited to see that she had been inspired by the floral headdress I made a couple of weeks ago (and posted on instagram), adorning some of her catwalk models with similar flowers. (I am not imagining this by the way, she left a comment saying as much!) Her close friend Abbie Ridler (see above) is equally talented, this time creating colourful intarsia knitwear for men who like lairy clothing (an increasingly common sight, I think you’ll agree).

Middlesex Fashion Promotion
Last year FDSP had a great website, but this year I cannot find anything similar to showcase the students’ work – Fashion, Design, Styling and Promotion is a constantly changing discipline, which was reflected in the variety of work that was on display in the Truman Brewery. I was drawn to a few very different projects, including the interesting installation above.

Jessica Easting Middlesex
This #hashtag artwork by Jessica Easting would be ideal for a cool brand of some kind: product, clothing, anything really!

Eleanor Vait
Eleanor Vait has a thing for glasses: displaying this intriguing sculpture alongside photographs of girls, in glasses. No idea what it means but I like it.

Brunswick Centre by Jack Lee
Free Range shows 2013-jack lee
Middlesex photography degree produces some excellent work – these portraits of residents of London’s Brunswick Centre shot by Jack Lee are all posed against the backdrop of the building’s instantly recognisable brutalist windows. Shooting all your portraits in the same position is an idea that never gets old, and in this case serves to highlight the huge differences between each resident’s abode.

Part robot part human with a serious 80s bent. By Tomas Soltonas at #middlesex
Clipboard head, by Tomas Soltonas
My favourite artworks by far were this Futuroid series of strange and wonderful prints by Tomas Soltonas. These collages successfully merge portrait photography with slabs of technology to disturbing effect. One Robert Palmer-esque lady appears part robot part human, and this Clipboard head, looks a bit like a Dr Who baddie in the making, no?

Check out my review of Middlesex University illustration and graphic design graduates here and my review of Middlesex University jewellery BA here. If you are graduating this year don’t forget to check out Amelia’s Award, in collaboration with the Secret Emporium. Enter your details and you could be in with a chance to kick start your creative career by receiving a scholarship worth £495 to sell your wares at Wilderness Festival this summer. Deadline: 2nd July 2013.

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