DMU fine art degree show 2015. First thoughts. HORRID ! got home having gone alone as OtherHalfOfTheSky couldnt face any thought of stairs, and just threw the little catalogue down as I couldnt bear to look at it. Went to bed.
Second thoughts; Hmm……..after working the taxi decided to re look at the catalogue and any images I reproduce here are from that tome not from the actual show. Signs all around the show indicated that students should be asked first if photographs were to be taken. Unfortunately I dont think I saw students alongside their relevant works, but that could have been my mistake.
hannah thornton. knitted wool, plaster, and plastic grass. this is the image in the book, but actually there is a whole decapitated torso which has also been sliced open to reveal innards……..all knitted, complete with purple willy !!! this was the first thing that made me think, on the night, that it might not be all bad, but it took some searching to find more.
as you can probably tell, I might be a bit of a traditionalist. I like an image to be comprehensible and made with care. I dont go down the route of this being academia and so its more about the ideas and the history than the actual execution of ideas……..in the big real world its about the execution. If the imagery doesnt hold your eyes, if it doesnt make your eyes feel nice, then all the academic attachments in the world wont improve it. Nobody will want it because nobody will love it, and, despite me not wanting to illustrate this, mainly because there is so much in this show that I really dont like, I feel I should show what I think is the worst example of what Im talking about, and apologies to tony walker for singling him out. It really isnt his fault. I blame the tutors. Transpires, from talking to him at the show, that he has been offered a place on the MA , which sort of proves what im talking about.
tony walker. plaster over chicken wire with bin bag and old clothes. three years to think up this and i dont recall seeing this at the show . I did see his other works, the same thing, chicken wire covered in plaster………..purlease!
there were a couple more of examples of what I think of as good art, but sadly there is so much more bad stuff, Unlike Loughborough where the good far outweighed the poor. The catalogues reflected the shows too, The Loughborough catalogue had a lot of words alongside the images and, although much of the text by the artists were that art bollocksy stuff that really means very little, at least one got a feeling of what the artist is about. I know they all have statements alongside their actual works in the show it still nice to be able to read something concrete by and of the artist within the catalogue, which will be around for years unlike the show which lasts only a week.
example of Loughborough catalogue;
example of DMU catalogue;
spot the diference? nothing to say for themselves. little time spent on catalogue and right at the end , in the thanks only technicians involved in the making of this catalogue are recognised, and not the technicians who contributed to their three years of education. So the catalogue starts and ends with problems.
and maybe I should point out something that says either research wasnt or , indeed, was done, and sadly its on a work that i like, although i dont recall seeing the image in the actual show its a painting of , as it clearly states on the building, the oldest inn in england, yet the catalogue states its the oldest inn in the UK………..not the same thing. but then again, maybe andreas papafrangou did do some research and discovered it IS the oldest pub in the UK……..or perhaps andreas isnt of this country, doesnt know the diference and there is a language barrier……..but then, why didnt the editor notice and offer to put it right?
ok. I know im nitpicking, but at least i found some things worth mentioning. On second thoughts it wasnt a completely poor show, there were some good points too. I must mention here the videos………..never seen so much video art…………..and i have to admit i really really really dont like or understand what they call video art. I find it mostly boring, incomprehensible, and Im the first to admit that its probably my problem, but i dont see how its art. However…………….yep , you probably guessed that was coming as I try to be positive…………the work of Amy Gilbert…………understandable……a story, but more of a documentary, which made it stand out from the other video based works and…………here comes the really positive………..she is already using the skills she learned making her video works in the real world as she makes promotional videos for her showbiz friends. This proves that its not just about fine art but the transferable skills being put to good use in the real world outside of university.
so , i do hope that ive managed to bring a little positivity into what i first thought of as being wholly negative. I have to admit that at the time I felt so disappointed and even considered never going to another degree show, but happily, Ive reconsidered this.
On the night I met up with so many people from my past…………Tim and his wife , Deb and Rick (all from KLA), Diane Spencer ( a new mate who was attracted by my kilt at Open26 and is a pastel artist) and of course the lovely Jane McFadden, who was on my course at DMU so many years ago and not to mention the screen print technician…………who Im not naming as first off I said not to mention him, and secondly because the DMU catalogue doesnt recognise his existance, so maybe I was hallucinating talking to him and Jane, which would also mean she was having the same hallucination. And of course Sue Graham and Christine Hughes who I worked for at Leicester College, both of whom have accepted redundantcy as the college seems to stagger into a world of art education that doesnt involve drawing………now thats another blog, maybe !!!!
But of all the things that gave me pleasure, it was the chance to don my new kilt !
and on that bombshell……………
love all, hurt none and walk in soft shoes