Edinburgh School of Art
"I am ready to drop out of art school and start a family with Harry Styles" says the wall-sized art piece by Kirsty Roxburgh from Intermedia Art. She also uses thick brush strokes on giant sheets of paper to portray a comic strip of the Kardashian family finding out that Kris Jenner made a sex tape. In another piece, she reassures young pop fans that Justin Bieber has both a hand for Selena to hold, but also his Beliebers.
Such treasures can be found at the 2014 Edinburgh College of Art degree show, from expanding foam squirted into fishnet tights, rotating melons and an animation about the small people that may live in our domestic appliances.
It took me three visits to get a full idea of the amount of work displayed and also the amazing variety between the different disciplines. Sculpture student Dylan McCaughtry has created a piece called ‘Hello Is It Me You’re Looking For’, a collection of clay heads of Lionel Richie he made while blindfolded, listening to the classic ‘80s track. In contrast, film student Mario Cruzado, has authored a tense, engaging film ‘Ceremony’, commenting on how we deal with death.
The recent conjunction of the University of Edinburgh and the Art College has made a positive impact on projects such as product design student Waël Seaiby’s work. He was awarded the Innovation Initiative Grant for his Masters project ‘PLAG’ from the University. Waël has created an ingenious way to use the HDPE plastic found in the plastic bags that are so freely wasted and uses the material through a unique ‘up-cycling’ process. ‘PLAG’ is the creation of multi-coloured, hand-worked vessels that almost resemble fragile ceramics, but hold a rigid, textured feel. Although his pieces are finalised, I found it more interesting to look at his plastic samples and his experimentation with toastie makers, irons and heat presses to get his desired outcome.
A cartoon-like granny costume with hand-sewn Kit Kats, Tunnocks Tea Cakes and embroidered digestives was definitely a stand out piece by performance Costume student Kat Murray (or Pigeon Enthusiast). Her project represents members of the public through dance, and involving the Edinburgh University Dance Society in her designs. She was lead to explore the ideas of community, power of youth and of course pigeons, interviewing Edinburgh locals on their views on the birds. I don’t think anyone expected a tap-dancing pigeon at the ECA Fashion show in April. While she demonstrates great skill in her work, it’s very clear that she has also had fun and explored her personal flights of fancy.
It’s encouraging to see art students work together, inspire each other and collaborate on projects. May the bizarre, wonderful and talented work that comes out of ECA never dull down.