It is a wonderful time of year for new emerging talent with shows all over the country celebrating the student’s who have recently finished there degrees, couple that with the fact its Open Studio season for local artists and you have a road trip opportunity on your hands. I was so happy to be invited down to Falmouth University to get to explore there Woodlane Campus: getting to dip in to their high ranking School of Art but also their architecture, design & communication courses.
It feels like a long 3 years since I myself was in their place graduating from my own humble communications course at Huddersfield University. If you are tempted to look at some creative degree shows yourself but wouldn’t know which university to visit: the perfect curated show must be D&AD New Blood Festival, 6 & 7 July in OldSpitalfields Market. It brings together the best of the UK’s university creatives and put them all in one space; these are the best and the brightest giving you a glimpse in to the future of design.
So back to Falmouth and a more Fine Art & Drawing topic, as that was what I was there to see, my lovely friend Scarlet was exhibiting with the rest of her select course of 15 BA Drawing students. Last Friday was the opening night and the buzz in the studios was lively with all the family and friends coming to express their pride in the artists achievements.
Frida Drawing 200x90cm Lino Cut £500
In her second year of uni Scarlet gave birth to her daughter, Frida and since then her work has gradually shifted to be influence by her. It has been a struggle to balance her life and as a result the lines between art student & mother blurred. Frida is not only the subject behind the drawings but had influence on Scarlet’s method and approach. Drawing alongside each other the Standen women discovered the practice together, observations going both ways I am sure.
“Drawing for me is an appreciation of the directness and honesty of the hand” – Scarlet
Now what I though was going to be a more traditional course in the sense of outcomes actually proved to be quite unique. With lino printing a medium of choice as well as only a scattering of self portraits. It shows you never to go in with a certain expectation because art can always surprise and develop before we are ready for it. My other favourite (apart from Scarlet of course!) was…
Fellow drawing student Jonathan’s degree show exhibition is titles: People, Perception and the suggestion of Narrative a collection of observation drawings of people found on Falmouth Moor. The lack of environmental elements allow the viewer to focus on the figure’s details: posture, behaviour, clothing etc. A traditional offering and one that can be appreciated individually but also as a group. Jonathan also edited and introduced the courses show guide, so a man with lots of talent.
Returning the next day after a night of celebration with the Drawing students I returned for a closer look at some of the other exhibitions. Exploring the campus proved much easier with the help of a current student otherwise I fear I would have found myself lost in the greenery that incases the town centre campus.
From: interactive mix media installations to abstract wall murals there was a little of everything inside the Fine Art Show, spread amongst the campus in made for purpose buildings as well as some gloriously old original houses taken over by students with splendid views of the sea. I was surprised yet again that the inspirational surroundings wasn’t more of an influence on the content of the work but then these were only the final pieces you got to see from an entire 3 years of discovery & experimentation. So lets take a closer look at a couple of honourable mentions.
Hyperion (Fermenting) 96in x 72in, Emulsions, oils, copper, potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate on canvas
There are so many influences and elements to to Aarron’s multidisciplinary work including literature, history, alchemical process; building up layers to his work that I just find so pleasing. Look deeper in to the piece above: underneath the crystallising pigments of colour at the forefront and find poetry and German scribbles at its heart. Floral elements soften his work and make it more accessible but darker undertones you only need to look at his sculpture work.
Three Now Four 50″x50″ / Abstain-Perplex 57.5″x57.5″ / Negotiating Orbits 50″x50″
I didn’t find out much behind Daisy’s work but they gave me an instantly good first impression. I am not usually drawn to abstract pieces but the bold colours and composition seemed to just make me happy. The hints of orange helps draw the eye in and out of focus, I’d like to see more of her work.
They were like sweets 150x120cm / Guided without sight 120x150cm Both on Canvas
Situated in the petite Garden Studio Nicholas’ work was the one of the groups favourites so I felt he deserved the people’s vote inclusion. His dream like apparitions have characters appearing and disappearing from frame alongside disparate source material that seems to work in combination with the artists use of colour.
Grace is a new friend from Falmouth whose work I made a special effort to go and find. Her paintings are often a response to the term ‘mother’ both the beauty & anxiety that it accompanies as well as organic growth obvious in her use of plant forms. Coming in a variety of sizes and colour ways her paintings present the structure of nature both constrained and set free in bold strokes.
I had to have a cheeky look at something a little closer to home in the illustration show, it’s actually my favourite course to look for influences and inspiration design wise. They tell great stories and their work can become everything from book covers to signage.
1st & 2nd Years – Undergraduate Show
3rd Years – Graduate Show
Lots to choose from, it is actually really worth buying their show catalogue (in fact its the only one I bought, £10) a great theme this year and chooked full of names to keep an eye out for in the future.
There was so much more, I returned several times during the week to peruse the different studio buildings in peace and quiet. Also in flats as many are like little mazes of white boarded walls just to loose yourself in. Check out the Falmouth University’s summer show links for more information.