Friday 15th of June saw the opening night of the UCB Art & Design Graduate Showcase, so aptly named 31 Degrees. I got the chance to go down to The Civic for the opening night and take photographs and interview a few of the artists who are exhibiting their work in the gallery. The gallery was packed with people coming to celebrate the students on their opening night and the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement. All of the students who had work on display have been studying Interdisciplinary Art & Design for the past three years and each have developed and perfected their own practice and unique styles during this time, which definitely shows when looking at the pieces in the exhibition. The course has given students the opportunity to work in many different disciplines and mediums and there is something for everyone to see in the Gallery because of this, everything from Illustration to Printmaking, Jewellery to Sculpture and Ceramics to Photography.
31 Degrees is showing in The Gallery and The Panorama at The Civic, Barnsley and will be running
from Saturday 16th June to Friday 12th July.
Admission is free so make sure you don’t miss out on viewing some one-of-a-kind artworks that are on display.
View the first part of alternativebarnsley.com’s look at 31 Degrees, which features seven more artists here.
Brendon’s discipline is hugely Graphic based and he has several pieces up in the exhibition. Working with clean lines and colour, and specializing in typography and Graphic Design, Brendon’s work stands out as soon as you enter the main gallery space. Whilst studying for his degree, Brendon developed a passion for graphic design and created his final year pieces using a blend of editorial, promotion and marketing graphics.
Brendon told me that his passion for design began early as he started to research into a whole range of different artists such as Neville Brody and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and throughout his research he began to appreciate different design movements and areas such as the rise of the Bauhaus School of Art and 1920s Art Deco. All of these inspirations that he has applied to his own work shows his understanding of the constantly changing face of design. Brendon uses a lot of typography in his work and looks at how type can say more that just words. Brendon says that discovering typography and how integral it is to the graphic design industry has given him a huge understanding of how design is not just a case of image creating and placement, but how a few words or sentences can be the backbone of a successful design.
More of Brendon’s work can be viewed on the following websites:
Quentin describes himself as an artist, a designer, an illustrator and a printmaker and says that he combines all these disciplines to give himself enough scope to express himself. Quentin’s work stands out as a flood of bright colour and eye-catching design created by limiting himself to only working with process colours (CMYK) and to a printable page format. Quentin says that he gains a kind of freedom and creative strength from these restrictions being placed upon himself.
Quentin says that he likes his work to tell a story and his use of strong colour, bold shapes and simple typography are to create an immediate, childlike appeal to his work. His working method is not always obvious and he says that the graphic designer in him wants things to be logical, clear and organized but the artist in him wants freedom, naivety and happenstance. Due to these conflicts in discipline, Quentin says he has found a way of working that involves both, which also crosses back and forth between digital and hand-made.
Annie has a few pieces on display in the exhibition and she has such a unique and intricate style that it is instantly obvious which pieces are of her making. As well as a few photography pieces, her main displays are very much textiles based in discipline but the fabric takes on a life of it’s own in the way her pieces are made. Annie says that she does not set out to produce art of a certain form or structure; that there has to be a chance for an idea to grow, respond to its surroundings and constantly recycle itself. The underlying themes of her work usually relate to current happenings. The sense of touch that she uses in her work provides a significant stimulus and she believes that her use of fabrics allows the automatic response to handle, interact with or wear her pieces.
Annie says that the human body has a huge influence on her and that she pays close attention to physical traits such as the changes of a woman’s body during pregnancy or to mental aspects such as chemical reactions inside the brain. These elements relate to similar organic figures and patterns amongst nature, which means she can connect multiple amoebic features together as a basis for each of her pieces. Every model that she produces is grounded upon the ideas of ‘protecting’ or ‘fixing’ as she imagines the soft sculptures to be solutions to problems.
More of Annie’s work can be viewed on the following websites:
As you first enter the Gallery Beau’s work is impossible to miss, as one of her pieces is an intricately decorated car bonnet that instantly catches your attention. Beau’s collection is focused very much around themes of travel and features a number of pieces. The car bonnet was chosen for her work as it is part of a means of transport and is something that gets you from one place to another, which is a key focus in her work. In addition to this, Beau says that the four pair of shoes represent the four steps of growing up, the baby pair represent entry into the world, the toddler pair represent her finding her feet, the teenage pair represent her exploring the world around her and the adult pair represent standing on her own two feet and having the freedom to make her own choices in life. On the front of the car bonnet Beau has stitched a map of the world, showing places that she intends to visit in the future.
The other aspect of her work stands in these 6 small frames, these pieces are based on special moments from her past travels and from holidays with her grandparents. This very personal piece is based on time spent in various places from Cleethorpes and Mablethorpes, London and New York and her time spent working in Bulgaria.
Beau hopes to travel more in the future and has set up a facebook page to document her travels.
More of Beau’s work can be viewed on the following websites:
Rachel’s collection were in my opinion some of the most striking on display. Rachel has worked in several different mediums to create her pieces, of which she had two sculptural and two photography based prints exhibited. Rachel says that her work this year has focused on the themes of pain, struggle, confinement and the destruction of dreams. She has worked in many different disciplines to explore these themes such as textiles, print, collage, sculpture, installation, video and photography.
Rachel says that her work aims to address the myth that art should always be comfortable to look at. Some of her pieces are confrontational, making them difficult to view of ignore, like pain. The spiked installation as pictured above is an example of how pain can envelope and restrict a person, stabbing at their dreams and ripping their aspirations to shreads. This piece Rachel says, is in juxtaposition to the folk art of the Latin Americans from whom she draws inspiration from for their embodiment of passion, endurance and freedom. If you get to this exhibition make sure you check out Rachel’s work, especially the photographic pieces she also has on display.
Rachel can be contacted at:
Bronwyn is a jewellery maker and as soon as you set eyes on the intricate pieces she has in the exhibition you will be filled with awe and wonder and the big question of how has she made that? Bronwyn started university with a passion for jewellery. During her time on the course she has experimented with other disciplines such as printmaking, painting and graphics but has always found herself going back to creating jewellery. Bronwyn says that she gets her inspiration from nature’s patterns, specifically the spiral form.
Bronwyn uses a range of materials in her jewellery and aims to incorporate a comforting and tactile feel to her pieces by using materials such as metal wire felt and polymer clay. Bronwyn says that she lets the material lead the way to a final piece, as she finds shapes, colours and textures appear that she may have not have thought possible. The above piece was created using metal wire and it is very delicate and intricate and an absolute joy to look at.
More of Bronwyn’s work can be viewed on the following websites:
So there we have it, a brief look into just a small amount of work that the 31 Degrees exhibition has to offer. There really are some amazing pieces of art on display with some amazing stories and people behind them. The exhibition is free admission at the Civic Gallery in Barnsley and is on from Saturday 15th June to Friday 12th July so you have plenty of time to get down there and check everything out. I wish the best of luck to all the Interdisciplinary Art & Design graduates of this year, both with this exhibition and their futures.
For more photos from the exhibition you will find them on my facebook page: