Talent spotters: Camberwell Degree Show 2013

Camberwell College of Arts’s degree show is open to the public this week and includes work from photography, illustration, design, painting and sculpture graduates.

The Camberwell College of Arts degree show is open to the public this week and includes work from photography, illustration, design, drawing, painting and sculpture graduates.

There are hundreds of projects to see – from graphic novels to pyrotechnic type experiments. Here are some of the highlights:

Illustration

This year’s BA Illustration exhibition showcases work from 51 graduates across a range of mediums.

Carim Nahaboo’s pencil and charcoal drawings of insects on blotting paper (above) are beautifully drawn and incredibly detailed. An avid insect collector, he also experiments with taxidermy and specimens in jars, and has been commissioned by the BBC, the Discovery Channel and entomologists at the Natural History Museum.

Lucy Swan’s illustrations of church sermons and religious symbols (above) explore Christian faith and ideals and are inspired by her visits to London churches including the Nigerian Celestial Church of Christ. “Faith fascinated me and it was refreshing to observe absolute conviction, devoid of irony or doubt,” she says.

The bible also features in Samuel Marot’s work but this time, it’s placed between the jaws of a lion: each of Marot’s blue, black and white screenprints reference an object or person from the British Empire, from Winston Churchill to Scottish missionary David Livingstone.

There were some excellent graphic novels and comic art on display, including Michael Maris’s 50-page comic Bitter, which follows a lonely publican through a post-apocalpytic England, and Emma Jane Semmen’s giclee prints of key scenes from the graphic novel I Didn’t Realise I’d Have to Be Naked. Jasmine Greenhill’s comic, Festival, has been published by Avery Hill and her degree show display includes near life size drawings of featured characters.

Above, from top: Michael Maris’s Bitter; Emma Semmens’s prints depicting scenes from I Didn’t Realise I’d Have to Be Naked and Jaz Greenhill’s Festival.

A range of prints and ceramics by Freya Faulkner explore science and the big bang theory using bold type, psychedelic swirls and ominous warnings of impending annihilation, while Rich de Courcy’s prints re-imagine London skate parks in multi-colour. Amber Anderson has also created some lovely illustrations including a pig dressed as a butcher for homeware brand Kitty Greenway.

From top: Illustrations by Freya Faulkner; Rich de Courcy & Amber Anderson

Graphic design

Camberwell’s graphic design class of 2013 has also produced some engaging and thought-provoking projects – two of which are soon to become window displays at the Wellcome Trust headquarters on Euston Road.

Phoebe Argent’s two-year display exploring paper folds and space (above) will be installed this summer and Peter Hudson’s will be installed in 2014. Argent’s was the winning entry in a competition open to students at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon entitled ‘Changing Perception of Images’.

Hudson’s (below), reflects the digital landscape and the changing way we view images through screens, and will feature pairs of eyes which appear clear from a distance but are pixellated up close.

Lucie Mauger explored materialism and image-obsessed culture with a distorted glossy magazine, Obsession and Kenny Foot examined consumerism in a collection of essays, photographs and videos, which look at the history of brands and our relationship with them (both below).

Experiments with visual perceptions produced some interesting results: Joanna O’Riordan’s project, Ways of Seeing (above), explores visual impairment, and Phoebe Phillips’s book examines the relationship between space, sound and colour (below).

I also liked Courtney Oneka’s hybrid type, influenced by classic typefaces such as Baskerville; Amie Cornwall’s Temporary Type using matches which are photographed and then burned and Patrick Beardmore’s risograph prints and instruction booklet detailing how to build a vice and sharpen a saw (below, from top).

Photography

The photography exhibition included stunning landscape, portrait and experimental work including Charlotte Epstein’s series, The Pursuit of Beauty – part of her exploration of traditional ideas of beauty and features partially blurred close-up shots (below).

Emily Rawley’s digital prints (below) are inspired by Jacques Lacan’s Mirror Stage theory and reference the notion of mirrors being a stage from which to perform.

Callum Hughes’s installation explores a life captured through Facebook photos, and Rosie Gill’s wall of photographs takes viewers on a journey along South Africa’s longest road – the 1,401 mile N2 (below).

These projects are just a few of the hundreds on display by Camberwell’s talented soon-to-be graduates. To view the full line-up from this year’s photography students, click here, for illustration, visit wellsaid2013.com and to view more work by Camberwell’s graphic design class visit mostlikely.co.uk

For degree show visitor information, visit the college’s website.

Pink Floyd fans may recognise the cover of our June issue. It’s the original marked-up artwork for Dark Side of the Moon: one of a number of treasures from the archive of design studio Hipgnosis featured in the issue, along with an interview with Aubrey Powell, co-founder of Hipgnosis with the late, great Storm Thorgerson. Elsewhere in the issue we take a first look at The Purple Book: Symbolism and Sensuality in Contemporary Illustration, hear from the curators of a fascinating new V&A show conceived as a ‘walk-in book’ plus we have all the regular debate and analysis on the world of visual communications.

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