My review of Edinburgh College of Art’s annual Degree Show is a bit of an annual fixture on Everything Looks Rosie these days. It’s such a highlight of Edinburgh’s artistic goings-on and I love the sheer variety it represents – with everything from performance costume to sculpture, product design to illustration. Each day, for nine days only, the ECA is opened up to the public to become an epic gallery. The incredible studios of the ECA make for a stunning setting in itself – with beautiful natural light and unrivalled views of Edinburgh Castle from the colossal windows, you couldn’t fail to be inspired by this space. The central area was filled with the work of textiles and fashion costume graduates: the sheer craftsmanship and attention-to-detail was just breathtaking. The natural palette and intricate textures of Paula Nerlich’s work particularly caught my eye.
As I’ve said before, the annual Degree show was a regular feature in my calendar, long before I even had the idea for Everything Looks Rosie. Once upon a time I was very into my art and even dreamed I might go to art school myself. I visited as a school girl, wide-eyed with wonder at the inspirational creations on show, sketching and making plans when I got back to class. Those days now seem a distant dream now, but I still not-so-secretly harbour ambitions to go one day. I suppose this blog developed as my creative space, and my photography and styling took over as my medium of choice, but I’d love to get back into the craftier side of things. Perhaps I could do a short Summer course in illustration to get back into my drawing once more.
Speaking of which, the illustration exhibition is always a star of the show for me. This year we made a start here, where I fell head over heels for Rosanna Corfe’s stunning watercolours and woodland-inspired illustrations and collages. I loved her use of jewel colours. Those embroidery pieces would look at home in my room! I also love the way the graduates’ work morphs into an entire display that tells the stories of their work, capturing theme, mood and character (I can’t quieten the English graduate in me!).
Likewise, the graphic design grads’ work told some fascinating stories, through many different forms, from social media illustrations to giant, moveable typography forms. I loved Katy Simpson’s collection of plates; she had worked with local companies on conveying ‘taste journeys’ with the aesthetic, texture and flavour of different experiences.
This year’s graduating students similarly succeeded in filling me with inspiration through their innovative, creative and thought-provoking contributions. I could easily get lost in the maze of corridors, with exhibitions hidden in studios, and not emerge for some time. I took hundreds of photos but I hope you’ve enjoyed my very wee selection of personal highlights to whet your appetite. I’m almost certainly biased as a longterm attendee of the ECA Degree Shows (you can see past reviews here, here, here and here!) but I can’t recommend a visit strongly enough. The show is on until this Sunday – go, go, go!
Have you been to the ECA Degree Show before? Have any of these artists caught your eye?