Saturday, 18 May 2013

DJCAD Degree Show 2013:

On Friday night I made a trip back to my old haunt and university town, Dundee.  As well as seeing both great friends and excellent bands, I also managed to fit in a brief trip to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design's annual Degree Show.  The Degree Show showcases the work of the college's fourth year students, giving them a chance to display their art for family, friends and even potential clients or employers to see.  Last year, a few of my close friends were graduating from DJCAD, and I was extremely proud and impressed at the quality of their hard work (and I'm not just saying that!).  It was nice to visit the show this time (without half as much bias) and still be wowed by a lot of the art that I saw.

John Kelly's simple yet intricate pen and ink drawings immediately caught my eye almost as soon as we got to the Degree Show.  He creates painting and sculptures too, and his most recent work concentrates on landscapes and architecture.  Outside of the Degree Show, you can see more of John and his work at the Pittenweem Arts Festival (Saturday 3rd to Sunday 11th August 2013).  Find him online at: (my own photo)

Becca Frances won me over with her frame collage of epic proportions (you know I'm a sucker for a good frame collage), but I also very much enjoyed her chair leg prints.  I'm pleased to discover that her website/blog is up to date and obviously personal, chronicling a labour of love.  You can follow Becca's Degree Show progress at:

All of Mary Beth Quigley's animal sculptures are wonders to behold (especially Geoff the giraffe, who stands at an amazing 4 metres tall!) but Flo the flamingo was my personal favourite.  If you visit, don't forget to check out Mary Beth's masterpiece: Mr and Mrs Panda Head's Living Room.  The space is exquisitely decorated, down to the very last detail.  I was astounded at how well thought out the whole thing was, it even smelled like a real living room.  Honestly, I sat down on Mr and Mrs Panda Head's sofa and didn't really want to leave.  Check out Mary Beth's huge and impressive body of work here: (my own photo)

I liked every single one of Jonny Lyons' Degree Show photographs, and could have spent hours looking at them.  There wasn't a huge amount of explanation alongside his work, but as far as I can tell the artist made his own beautiful and progressively more dangerous tools (a saw, an air rifle, a bazooka) and then photographed himself using them.  The phrase 'staying foolish' is repeated a few times on his blog, and I like the honesty suggested in those words.  The actions depicted in the photos might be dangerous, but they were intended as exercises of love and trust between Jonny and his friends, not just as reckless pastimes.  His website and more of his excellent photography can be found here:

If you're still hungry for art, I would strongly advise checking out my old friend and flatmate, Daniel Tyminski, as well as Fiona Skinner, Matt Wilson and Bryndis Blackadder.

The DJCAD Degree Show is free to the public and open from now until Sunday 26th May.  If you live nearby, or have the chance to visit then I highly recommend it.  Make sure to give Dundee my love!

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