Saturday 23 June 2018

Saturday 23rd June: Central St Martins degree show TWO / NOVA Awards = BA Performance Design & Practice

Montague Von Richthofen’s immersive moving image invites you to lay down to view to focus your attention away from scrolling and strolling.  His filmwork is a revolving loop from one sentence being tattooed from start to finish and round again as a mediative piece set within this masseur table.  He's aware that time-based media in galleries often gets over-looked as people don't take time to stop to take in the work.  Therefore this device captures your imagination as you lie down to view and listen with headphones.
Monty has been selected for his innovation in the Mullenlowe Group NOVA Awards.  See them all in the Central St. Martins degree show TWO this weekend at 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA on now til tomorrow Sunday 24th.    

Saturday 23rd June: Central St Martins degree show TWO / NOVA Awards = MA Material Futures

As mentioned in the previous post, the students of the MA "Material Futures" at Central St.Martins are equal part scientists and engineers as they are artists.  All of those disciplines require creativity to solve problems so they go hand in hand instinctively.  Here are two separate projects both challenging the sustainability of fabrication.  

The top two photos "This is Grown" are work by Jen Keane who has invented a textile hybrid membrane from growing bacteria.  The finer details are waiting for a Patent so she doesn't have the whole process on show but here you can see petri dishes and a final sneaker made from the fabric.  She has invented a loom to lay down the warp for the bacteria to then follow and weave in the weft.  This cellulose composit can not only be used for product design but also in bio-medical practise for surgery in the body.  Jen's background is from working at Adidas so its incredible that she has come up with this idea and found further applications for its use.

The bottom two images "Foreign Garbage" are a project by Katie-May Boyd as a commentary on the current ecology issue of how the UK and USA deal with waste polystyrene.  Apparently we have historically sold it to China for recycling but this has just come to an end so we have a massive land-fill time-bomb ticking.  Katie told me that Polystyrene is mostly air so even treating the substance to remove this breaks it down considerably.  She has experimented with acetone and come up with a way to totally recycle the substance to make a new plastic material for manufacture.  Just for this concept she has moulded it into Chinese good luck cats as a statement on the trade plans taking place.  

I've only summed up the surface key points of these two extensive research projects to break it down for the blog.  Its so impressive that these students are coming up with real solutions to the world's ecology.  For anyone under the impression that art school is about naval-gazing, they need to look beyond their own preconceived misconceptions and give credit to this honourable work.  

So with that in mind, its brilliant that the Mullen Lowe Group NOVA awards are set up to credit these exceptional students for their ingenuity.  The title "NOVA" coming from INNOVATION.  Both Jen and Katie have been nominated and made it onto the final shortlist of 14 students from the 1,300 graduating students!  Check back here over the next few days for more work and how you can vote for your favourite to win in the NOVA awards

See Show TWO at 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA on now til Sunday 24th.     

Friday 22 June 2018

Friday 22nd June: Central St Martins degree show TWO

The Central St Martins degree shows have been split across two instalments with the second wave now in place and open to the public for the rest of the weekend.  Here are my personal top picks including mostly textiles which is the department I also spotted Grayson Perry in when I visited on the private view!
The top sculpture is by Charlotte Kidger from the fascinating MA called Material Futures which is exactly how is sounds - inventing technical developments in fabrication.  Here Charlotte's project "Industrial Craft" is made from polyurethane from dust from CNC fabrication waste.  Amongst this course is so much work on sustainability and ecology, I'm so impressed and reassured that the future of design is in good hands!
The cosmic acrylic coloured furniture by Chloe Duran Stone is from the MA Design course. Her creative use of transitory forms, light and colour is bringing fun and playfulness into interior architecture.  She incorporates unexpected and unconventional elements that change the ambiance of a room to effect your experience within it.   Just like me she believes that light and colours impact our well-being, which she has used in combination with the personality of her designs to influence our moods from tranquillity to joy.   She's not only one of my favourite names but also a nominee for the Mullenlowe Group NOVA awards which I'll be following up on in further posts.
Following on from Chloe's circle theme, here are stunningly beautiful silk-screen wallpaper lengths by Diane Bresson exploring colour combinations and shapes from Tangram.  Below this is a cycling attire concept by Jessie Rose McGuire who has screen-printed onto stretch fabrics to make skinsuits with mesh panelling and laser-cut jersey.  Both of these are from the BA Textile Design course exploring print whilst the final image here is knitwear from the fashion course.  The rainbow wire gradient is a composition from many different yarns in just one sample for Yueqi Qi's spectrum collection.
Check back here over the next few days for more from the fashion course and the students selected for the the NOVA awards.  See Show TWO at 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA to see the exhibitions on now til Sunday 24th.

Thursday 21 June 2018

Thursday 21st June: Central St Martins degree show ONE - Cybi Williams

My favourite work from SHOW One was Cybi Williams (BA Fine Art) whose series of untitled paintings document his own journey as an artist.  There is something undeniably gratifying about painting, especially this kind of pure mark-making.  It was so nice to find his mix of materiality used as a tool to be joyful, positive, playful and optimistic. I especially love the integrated frames within the canvas.  
To me, it has a textile-design quality about it with the techniques of tufting and applique which might have been natural for him to employ as the campus houses all courses.  Even though I never studied at CSM myself I still reminisce about the separate schools on Long Acre, Charing Cross Road, Southampton Road for their unique feel and atmostphere.  However, the move to a combined college has undoubtedly paid off with evidence such as this to see that students have full access and exposure to all the realms under one roof.  
Cybi was nominated in this year’s MullenLowe NOVA Awards and has now made it into the 14 nominated students for Show ONE. There will be an online voting system for you to help your chosen student be one of the five final winners announced on July 5th. See more here.

Thursday 21st June: Central St Martins degree show ONE

It's the time of year for the graduate shows and I'll be covering all courses across the different disciplines of Central St. Martins at the exhibitions in it's united campus at Granary Square, Kings Cross.  Here are highlights from "Show ONE" featuring BA Fine Art, MA Fine Art, MA Photography, MA Art and Science.  Its always a great challenge to walk into an environment like this and navigate your way around the installations side by side to determine what exactly is going on.  I find it's a cross between being Ms. Marple and Sister Wendy.  For example, at this particular show there was a vending machine near the coffee stand which was actually an artwork, but then the photocopy machine covered in posters adjacent to that was just a photocopier.  With no detriment dealt to fine artists, I'm only being light-hearted and I do genuinely get a kick out of experiencing the ingenuity of approaches to art each year.  The theme of innovation will take over in the next few posts as I focus on the nominations of students for the "NOVA" awards........

(Work above by Eleanor Hall, Vanessa Loera, Alexandra Budarina, Reggy Liu, Ainne Burke, Susana Uvidia)     

Thursday 21st June: "Duets" by Bruce Ingram at Bell House

From Open Garden Squares in the previous post to a site-specific solo show based on the seasons of a garden in Dulwich.  Bruce Ingram has visited Bell House throughout the year collecting discarded clippings pruned from the plants and trees of the grounds and gardens.  He has incorporated them into his sculptural work which has an ongoing interest in Ikebana which is the Japanese art of flower arranging for its play between nature and object, composition and form.  Therefore here you can see concrete, plaster and salvaged materials in the mixed media pieces with pinecones and spiky succulent leaves.  The title "Duets" sums up these pairings, partnerships and contrasts between the natural and man-made for the qualities of permanent vs. ephemeral.  
See more of Bruce Ingram's work here and see his beautiful book "Arrangements" here.

Wednesday 20th June: Open Gardens Squares Weekend

I always enjoyed open garden weekends growing up in the countryside so now I'm a London dweller I've discovered the city's own alternative of the private communal spaces sharing their hidden secret gardens.  Most of these community gardens gated off to unpermitted footfall go unnoticed behind the bushes and fences along pavements of each borough.  However on one weekend each Summer you can stroll in and imaging life on the other side - literally!  
We ventured to Chelsea hedging a bet for there to be an optimum calibre of design in the neighbourhood!  We got to experience live jazz with tea and biscuits on one lawn and then wild-flower potting at The Natural History Museum's own garden.  This initiative grows flowers to attract and promote our native pollinators in addition to also providing them refuge with these bamboo reed bee hotels! 

See more over on Open Garden Squares Weekend.