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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Camberwell College of Arts: Well Said Illustration Degree Show 2013 Review

This year Camberwell illustration graduates held their Well Said show in The Rag Factory, just off East London's Brick Lane. Here's what I found.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Well Said illustration show brochures
Nigh on a month ago the latest batch of talented graduates from the Camberwell College of Arts illustration degree course put on their standalone show at The Rag Factory, a big white warehouse space that offers the perfect blank canvas. It also happens to be fantastically close to my home, making it a super easy destination for me. I was sad to have missed the Brighton University illustration degree show this year due to a family break in Pembrokeshire, but since the Car Park Show was held in deepest darkest Fulham it’s doubtful I would have made it anyway. There’s a reason why so many shows are held in East London: a huge amount of creatives live and work around here, and there are an awful lot of graduate shows to see.

Camberwell illustration Well Said show 2013 invite
The students from Well Said show ensured I knew the dates of their exhibition by sending me this delightful illustration package: there’s nothing like a tangible invite to build excitement. And as ever, they had produced a wonderful promotional book, seen above attractively piled on the floor. Predictably, this was a very strong showing from one of the best illustration courses in the country. Here’s what I found.

Sophia Parvinmehr camberwell
This exploration of the nervous system is by Sophia Parvinmehr.

Yiran Huang Camberwell
Yiran Huang Camberwell close up
Yiran Huang Camberwell business cards
Yiran Huang made this huge mandala type pattern that looks equally good in close up. She had also made possibly the best business cards ever: hand drawn cats, each in different poses. Love them. May have taken three.

Camberwell installation
Ruta Daubure
This brilliantly oddball installation is by Ruta Daubure, whose optical set designs for opera act like a strange human camouflage.

Carim Nahaboo bumble bee
This beautifully drawn bumble bee is by Carim Nahaboo. Bees are everywhere this year, which means they are obviously on people’s minds. Given the number of dead bees I’ve seen recently, this is definitely a good thing.

Siwei Tao- Schiz Camberwell
Siwei Tao Camberwell
Schiz by Siwei Tao is wonderfully odd, as is this strange image of detached arms in pots…

Lauren Doughty, Man from the South by Roald Dahl
Lauren Doughty
I love this narrative painted illustration by Lauren Doughty, based on Man from the South by Roald Dahl. Her work is just so fabulously sploshy, and I so dig that 80s influence on the colour palette.

Susan Calvert installation
Susie Calvert
Susan Calvert made this installation of wonderful painted wooden landscapes, which she showed alongside this gigantic oil pastel abstract.

Sam Marot 'British Empire' prints
lion poster image by Sam Marot
Sam Marot‘s ‘British Empire‘ prints tackled a thorny subject to produce some interesting work, including this striking lion poster.

Footballer by jack_sachs
Hello sexy lady! Jack Sachs
The jovial abstracted footballer is by Jack Sachs, as is this ‘sexy lady’ which mimics the typical pose of a page three lass. When I posted this image on instagram it caused a bit of a stir; but I don’t find Jack’s depiction offensive or irritating, rather it appears to question a fixation with everyday sexualisation in a knowing and humorous way.

Wedges and Ledges by Rich de Courcy south bank
Wedges and Ledges by Rich de Courcy
I absolutely adored this brilliant screen printed book by Rich de Courcy. Wedges and Ledges was inspired by a love of skateboarding in London, paying homage to much loved places such as the threatened skatepark under the brutalist South Bank arches, now immortalised in bright colours (sign the petition to save it here). I so wanted to take one of these little beauties home.

Cosmic Omelette mobile by Saara Karppinen
This Cosmic Omelette mobile by Saara Karppinen was inspired by a Finnish creation myth.

crafty display by Kim smith happy
Kim Smith of Art Equals Happy had put together a beautiful crafty display that ably showcased her beautiful handspun wares. I especially love her hand-written watercolour typography. See more on her website here.

embroidery with frogs by Titi Lee. London Underground
Upstairs I encountered an astonishing and large embroidered appliqué covered with jocular frogs by Titi Lee (this is a close up). This surreal vignette is based on her experience of using the London Underground.

Jessica Weijia Zhang - based on Edward Lear
Jessica Weijia Zhang had produced this slightly crackers illustration based on poems by Edward Lear.

Lucy Swan religious inspired illustrations
Lucy Swan‘s intricate line illustrations tackled the uncomfortable relationship between religion and money.

Magical eye print by Freya Faulkner
Pottery by Freya Faulkner
And finally, this magical eye print was one of an awe inspiring display put together by Freya Faulkner, titled Annihilation is Nigh: Cult of the Big Bang. Her rhythmical artwork and fabulous illustrated ceramics reflect the warring factions of matter and antimatter in brilliant narrative style.

My last graduate review will feature the artwork of University Arts Bournemouth Illustration students; coming soon! Remember, most of my creative finds can be viewed first if you follow my instagram feed.

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4 Responses to “Camberwell College of Arts: Well Said Illustration Degree Show 2013 Review”

  1. Roderick Mills says:

    In an age of ever growing digital platforms for graduates, I think that students need to be questioning all the time what a degree show is actually for? Especially as these secondary exhibitions are often student led & are financed outside of university tuition fees. Perhaps more appropriate spaces for exposure are the likes of It’s Nice That?
    The majority of students are already being exposed across the internet anyway – The consequences in regards to how we value such images already having an impact on the psyche of students/graduates.
    The physical nature of exhibitions will probably change as we see a much broader interpretation of what illustration is? Beyond simply 2D picture making? This year the graduates of the University of the Brighton Graphic Design & Illustration course made a conscious effort to reject spaces in Shoreditch in favour of an ‘event space’ – This year they discovered a former car sales room in Fulham that provided a variety of spaces for alternative activities, such as a panel discussion event hosted by Crowd Talks, an extensive shop selling titles from the students alongside those of Nobrow & Ditto Press, a stage for a performance on the closing evening… The students were very interested in group activities/public & social engagement – Some lived within the space during the show build & duration of the exhibition. They didn’t necessarily want work/commissions from the exhibition or see it as a means of selling themselves – Perhaps a rejection of the economic template within the creative industry?
    Whilst I live & work in Shoreditch I think that simply showing in the area, out of some notion of making it easy for local businesses to view the work, should not necessarily be the priority or rationale?
    Anyway for those unable to make the exhibition work from the show can be viewed at:
    http://www.carparkshow.com

  2. Amelia says:

    Hi Roderick, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s really interesting to hear your thoughts on my blog, and from what I have seen online it looks like Brighton students addressed some very interesting and current issues at their graduate show. Sadly the reality of the situation is that it’s just not that easy for someone like me to get over to Fulham for an exhibition (and I know of at least one potential employer who did not make it there either). I do believe that at the end of the day the purpose of putting on a show is to gain industry recognition, and thereafter hopefully a job. However, I am sure that many others who are not as tied down as myself were able to make it! I wish your students all the best (and hope they return to East London next year…)

  3. Adrrrn says:

    Its a 44 minute tube journey from shoreditch to fulham, which is pretty standard for getting anywhere in the capital isnt it?

    Its great to see people doing something different, because last time I went to an event at the Rag Factory, it was pretty dank and mouldy in there.

  4. Amelia says:

    Thanks for your comment Adrian: I’m guessing you don’t have a toddler? Not so fun on a tube for that long, but point taken.

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