Yesterday, I headed down to the RCA’s Battersea campus, to catch the second part of this year’s graduate Degree Show. A huge show spread over 4 buildings, I started in the sculpture hall. Unlike the exhibition in Kensington, the departments are loosely combined in the hanging, with Print, Photography, Painting and Sculpture, all shown together. An interesting game to play is guessing what work has come from which department. With a quest for experimentation and pushing the boundaries of their practice, there are photographers creating 3d pieces involving terra-cotta bricks and print students experimenting with vinyl, mirrors, steel and the moving image. The boundaries between these disciplines are fluid, and this results in a playful and fascinating show.
Obviously with my background, I have gravitated towards the print and photography, with a fair splattering of painting. The subjects inspiring students are as varied as the work produced, ranging from the Myth of Narcissus and an examination of the historical relationship between the UK and South Africa, to Cephalopods and the ancient art of Peat cutting in the Highlands of Scotland.
‘Ceramics & Glass and Jewellery & Metal are exhibiting in Battersea, showcasing the results of experiments with materials and investigations into the layered relationships we have with and through material objects.’
I have to confess that by the time I got to the ceramics, glass and jewellery, I was suffering from degree show fatigue. There were some stunning pieces, but I do believe that there is only a certain amount of work that the brain can take in. So if you can, head down to the show and see half of it one day and half the other. Or plan a lunch break to allow you to truly take in the wonderful work on display. You can find out more on the RCA and School of Fine Arts twitter accounts. The show closes on Sunday and it is really worth a visit over the weekend if you can.
All text and images © Jonathan Dredge, all work © the Artists.