Three whole years to explore and learn is what you get with a Bachelor degree – the freedom to focus on the process of discovery. After having spent some years in the working world it sounds amazingly luxurious, and a few hours of walking around the graduate exhibition at Goldsmiths University of London shows that the students have taken advantage of this to the fullest. Experimentation and exploration of concepts seem to have been at the core for a lot of students’ practice.
The graduates of BA Fine Art & History of Art and BA Art Practice have produced a very broad range of work, from painting, photography, sculpture, video, all the way to over-sized hairdriers and lots of rooms hidden behind curtains, enveloping the viewer in sound and light.
With ‘A taste for perfection’, Abigail Jones presents a series of drawings that make for an intriguing read. ‘London you are looking really fine today’, one of them reads, dated 11 March; the label says it’s an autobiographical project. For 7 January, Jones writes underneath a set of lipstick marks: “‘The great thing about lipstick’, said the sales assistant, ‘is how it really lets us girls play with our identity.’ This made me hate her a bit. Then I bought the one called Toffee Waffle. I think it really says ‘Damn, Girl’.”
Robert James’ piece, ‘The Fragment Project’ is made from large slabs of broken glass and steel wires. It’s lovely to look at and must have taken ages to assemble, but without any more information available it’s hard to know what else to make of it. Only when I leave do I discover there’s a catalogue available with more information about each artist, so this is my own fault, really. But still I can’t help but think it would have been easy enough to add a paragraph about the work underneath the nametags, especially as the vast majority of the work is on the conceptual side.
Elena Colman is one of several students whose work was presented behind a curtain, inviting the viewer to step inside and immerse themselves in the experience. With ‘Cave’, she prompts her audience to walk through a dark red tunnel, leading to an almost entirely black room at the end. Fumbling your way inside, your heart leaps into your throat as a flash goes off, causing the artwork on the walls to brighten up and then fade back into darkness.
The development of the work is part of the presentation for a few of the students, including Rebecca Lancaster-Gaye’s 2D and 3D figures, and Anastasia Shin’s paintings and film. Next to the projector stands Shin’s painting of its insides, showing the individual frames of the film as they whirr through to create a moving image. Lacking the catalogue I don’t know what it means, but it seems to say something, and I guess that’s what matters.
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The BA Fine Art & History of Art and BA Art Practice degree exhibition is open Sunday 26th June between 10am and 4pm, and on Monday 27th between 10 am and 7pm – Goldsmiths University, New Cross, London SE14 6NW.
The postgraduate art degree shows run between 14th and 18th July. See here for more about the Goldsmiths graduate shows, or click here for more details about the Goldsmiths University arts department.
Abigail Jones, Anastasia Shin, art, Art Practice, BA, Ciarán Wood, Elena Colman, Evelina Bochenska, Fine Art & History of Art, Freya Clark, Goldsmiths University, Graduate Show, Hannah Davis, Jessica Meredith, london, multi-media, New Cross, photography, Rebecca Lancaster-Gaye, Robert James, Sasha Campbell, sculpture
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