I absolutely adore this time of year. Summer is fast approaching, the warmer weather is just beginning to rear its head and generally everyone seems more relaxed and at peace with the world. One of my favourite things to do during the transition between Spring and Summer is to check out the work of some of Scotland's most talented individuals through the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Degree Show. I make a habit each year of attending at least some of the degree shows in this fine country of mine, taking in the talent and skill expressed by talented illustrators, fine artists, textile producers and cartoonists but none get me quite so excited as the ECA!
On Saturday I decided to pop along and explore the exhibitions for myself, hoping to pick up some creative inspiration along the way. Needless to say, the event did not disappoint! Below I've included some examples of my favourite pieces of work, alongside the artist's contact information should you feel inclined to share your admiration of their work or commission something of your own.
The ECA Degree show is open to the public from 28th May until 5th June and you can find all relevant details at this link.
1) The first artist I fell in love with at the ECA degree show was none other than Beti Scott Brown. Beti's work is described as "fibre arts practice as embodied political activism and a route to radical healing" and upon first sight this work really spoke to me. Strongly routed in feminist principals, Beti's creations explore themes of anti-capitalism, intersectionality and female oppression in a truly captivating manner. The use of friendly and engaging materials such as pop-pops, embroidery thread and patchwork is a stark contrast to the bold messages conveyed on each individual piece, creating a striking display overall.
2) Secondly, I headed over to one of my favourite areas of any art graduate show - Illustration. It was there that I came across the work of Saskia Cameron who's drawings of naked ladies and sweet creatures completely captivated me. Her rough sketchy style stood out to me amongst many of her sleek contemporaries and the combination of childlike innocence in her figures opposed to the dark background of her work had me instantly engaged as a viewer and keen to see more of her work.
3) Next up is a phenomenally talented textiles graduate, Jennifer Marie Snoddon. Jennifer's collection "Thermal Dystopia" focuses on fashion prints that aim to change perceptions of beauty, aka my favourite kind of fashion! She tackles three of the most common beauty myths through the medium of print: "Your complexion must be fair", "You must be skinny" & lastly, "Your skin must be blemish free". The resulting collection Jennifer has created is nothing short of awe-inspiring - brightly coloured bodysuits, eye-catching colour choices, stunning dresses and most importantly - body positivity all feature, making her one of my favourite exhibitors of the entire degree show!
4) Since I am a self-proclaimed fashion addict, it would naturally make sense that the lion's share of my time spent at the degree show would involve fashion, textiles and costume. One of the performance costumes that I simply cannot get out of my head is this masterpiece - unfortunately I didn't catch the name of the artist behind this nostalgic fantasy so if you do know the creator, please let me know so I can a) give proper credit where it is due and b) lust after their creations some more! I simply adore the bright whimsical style of the carousel dress and the use of mixed media conveyed images of childhood arts and crafts in such a delightful way it was impossible not to be completely transfixed. This work of art was even more engaging up close, so if you have the opportunity to attend the ECA degree show this is one piece not to be missed!
5) Last, but certainly not least by any means is the incredible work of Matthew Barber, textiles artist. For his graduate collection, Matthew took inspiration from elements of extreme sports making exemplary use of print, embroidery and pattern. I was incredibly struck by Matthew's bold designs and eye catching choice of colour and I would happily implore anyone and everyone to check out his website for a host of fashion inspiration (link above).
Once more for the people in the back!
And that completes my little round-up of my personal highlights of the ECA degree show 2016. Art in its many forms has always been a real passion of mine and I hope that you enjoyed my musings around some of the wonderful creations explored here. If it's at all possible for you to get along to the show in person I would fully recommend it; it makes for a wonderful day out and it's virtually impossible not to fall in love with at least one work of art.
What do you think of the artists and work shown here? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time my sweets,