Monday, 17 June 2013

My five favourite works at the Cambridge School of Art Degree Show 2013

In my Pick of June a few days ago, I listed the Cambridge School of Art Degree Show (at Anglia Ruskin University).  I've since been to have a look and here are my

Five Favourites:

(one nude man, one ball in the sky, one ligature, one Cambridge street, one unicorn)

Tom Hiscocks, My Space II, perspex
(winner of the Suparee Gazeley Award)

First off, there was this amazing life-size perspex man.  I entered the alcove and that is what I saw:  a shimmering nude figure.  Then I went up close and the 3-D contours dissolved into a jumble of planes and sharp edges:


The light plays on and in and through the ghostly outline.  Here I am gazing into the rib cage, genitals and the tops of the legs...


Next, I saw this lovely unassuming little work in a downstairs corridor:

Susie JohnsonAppropriation, framed paper sculpture

This reminds me a bit of Joseph Cornell, and a tiny bit of Joan Miró.  I like the way the objects cling to the frame, the music-like bounce of the paper roll, and the jaunty position of the red ball.

Next, this typography booklet caught my eye:

Daniel Silva, Hybrid Type and New Ligatures

The scribbles and the careful typeface were strangely compelling.


I loved this page about designing a ligature for the word of.  It made me think about fonts and serifs, about the work typographers do, about the strange magic of script and text.


Now for some Cambridge-themed art:

Crista Wright, ink-based illustration
Round Church)

I quite liked the clean sharp lines and the blocks of primary colours.  Also the way Cambridge seems oddly empty and formal.

Half Hergé and his ligne claire,  half Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.


But where is this scene?  Do you recognise it?  If so, do let me know in comments!!

And finally, the pièce de résistance:

Yes, it's a unicorn!

Madeleine TaylorThe Sky is Blue (the wall label contains this quote by Leonard Cohen:
"Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows.")

(winner of the Frontroom Graduate Award)

I couldn't believe my eyes when I rounded a corner and there it was, matt black, shoulder-height, with a long flowing man and tail, and big blue eyes.  It just stood there.  

And it has little feathers on its fetlocks!


Its horn juts into my space, like a delicate narwhal's tusk.  Extraordinary to find such a thing at an art exhibition.  (Eat your heart out, Jeff Koons.)


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