2017 marks my fifth year of reviewing the Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show. How time flies! I’ve been attending the show since I studied art at school nearby and would make the annual pilgrimage, while my reviews on Everything Looks Rosie have become something of a permanent, early Summer fixture in my blogging calendar (you can read them all here). This year I swithered about posting this as I was only able to go on the last Saturday and the Degree Show is sadly now over – but it was honestly the highest standard that I’ve seen any year, and I left so full of inspiration that I couldn’t help but share these shots. I urge you to check out each of these artists (credited below each image) and you can find out more information on the ECA’s Degree Show website.
Diana Kristin Bechmann
India Cawley Gelling
My favourite thing about the show is its sheer variety – with everything from performance costume to sculpture, product design to illustration – a celebration of so many different art forms across the campus. Not only are the studios of the ECA worth a visit in themselves (the huge windows boasting stunning natural light and unrivalled views of the Old Town) but for nine days they form the most epic gallery, and the opportunity to spot up-and-coming talent. In fact, the ECA Degree Show is where I spotted the talented Sophie Powell-Hall, who illustrated my blog header. The central space was filled with the work of the costume design graduates, showcasing beautiful story-telling and attention-to-detail. The Austen-esque period costumes by Katrina Kowalczuk particularly caught my eye, while in Fine Art, Edith Pritchett’s witty and contemporary twist on traditional artistic tropes had me giggling.
I also adored Kirstin Johnston’s intricate literary paper cuts – they were cleverly lit to conceal or reveal secret silhouetted stories. A unique twist on a popular art form; I would happily adorn my classroom (and front room at that!) with her designs. Clara Rider’s sculptures, ‘Light and Space’ were reminiscent of ’60s Mondrian and cleverly cast coloured shadows around the room. Illustration is always a highlight for me and we saved best ’til last. Anna Dixon and Hannah Sneddon’s botanical-inspired illustrations were my absolute favourite; I purchased a set of Hannah’s seasonal prints, which I look forward to sharing with you soon. All in all, this year’s graduates succeeded in filling me with inspiration with creations that were beautiful and thought-provoking in equal measure. I took hundreds of photographs as usual, so I hope you enjoyed this wee selection – I’ll leave them to do the talking now.
Hannah Hawkesley and Lucy Martin