With Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Ascot and The Championships at Wimbledon, we know that summer has officially landed in the UK. Making this time of year even more special are the degree shows happening at art schools across the country. This week we visited the UCL Slade School of Fine Art in London and we’d like to share with you some of our favourite artists and ones to watch.
Boon & Baum
Boon & Baum is the collaborative duo of Joe Boon and Anna Baumgart. They investigate the relationship between clothing and architecture and they dress architectural structures to explore our interactions in social spaces. These double-sided sculptures tower high in the studio space and each side shows a detail of a familiar garment. The scale and attention to detail is so striking.
Polly Jane Wilson
Polly Jane Wilson creates sculptural pieces from metal and straw. Polly grew up on a commercial farm and her work explores how the rural landscape serves as an ecological system as well as an industrialised space for mass food production. The fields are considered an in-between space where practical knowledge and modern farming methods merge with traditions. We loved her two dimensional work using straw marquetry with straw inlaid on blades of metal. Machinery and produce merge together.
Jil Mandeng exhibits three portraits which each layer different cultural traditions into one portrait. They are very impactful and communicate a powerful message.
Emily Mannion has painted imagined spaces which are vague and elusive. They each offer impressions of beauty, wonder and loneliness. The interiors that Emily paints are often filled with objects but by painting them with only a single object or a hint of an object, it leaves the viewer wanting to know more. The paintings hint to a human having just been there, but the absence of the human figure now makes these inanimate objects the main focus of our attention.
Sophie Knight is a multidisciplinary artist from California. She is fascinated with the notion of success and failure and the idea of failure as success. Each painting is constructed with loose characters and objects inhabiting barren interiors and exteriors. We particularly loved this painting of rosettes on a horse’s neck. The pink and red work so well together and really make the details pop.
Kainoa Gruspe created an immersive exhibition with paintings and sculptures all around the space. Some paintings were even double sided. Kainoa’s ambition is to create work that interacts with its surroundings. The labour in each piece is kept evident by her use of found materials. A boat made with string and found branches is a great example of that. You can imagine stumbling across this on a deserted island and it being the only sign of human life.
Benedikte Klüver explores colour and composition in both paintings and photography. We love the way she has put these colours together. The painting has real depth and draws your eye across the canvas.
These degree shows are a fantastic opportunity to meet the artists and learn about their works. We hope we’ve encouraged you to get ‘Out and About’ to discover new and emerging creative talent.