Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Masters and Students

It's been a great few weeks for art across the country, with it being degree show season. Not only are there graduate shows popping up around all the university cities, there are also some fantastic national exhibitions running as well.

Seb and I managed to make it to Oxford last weekend as a little birthday treat, and as such were able to do two of my favourite ever things: shopping and gazing at art! Although the shopping took more of a window form (despite trying things on... sizing is such a nightmare), we made it to the Ashmolean before we left, and we weren't disappointed.

One of my favourite galleries, the Oxford Ashmolean is a magnificent building in the heart of the city (near our favourite hotel, the Malmaison) brimming with paintings and artefacts from a wide range of historical periods. This month the gallery has been showing Master Drawings, a collection of works from the true masters of drawing including Michelangelo and da Vinci.

Image courtesy of Oxford Ashmolean
Image courtesy of Oxford Ashmolean

Photographs would not do the works justice (not to mention the fact that photography is strictly prohibited), so I would really recommend getting yourself over there if, like me, you have a real passion for drawing. Personally, I think it's such a shame that the skill behind the old masters' work is not looked upon so favourably in modern times - I find it so captivating to look at something that has clearly taken large amounts of time, effort and precision to realise.

Seeing the progression from the 16th Century pieces to the impressionist era drawings of Degas and Pissarro was fascinating, especially comparing them to our contemporary artists such as David Hockney and Anthony Gormley.

All in all, a great show that is well worth a visit.

Back to the degree shows, then. Today I hot-footed it down to Bristol to see the UWE creative industries degree show and was lucky enough to have a guided tour from the delightful Jen Gardner.

We started off at Jen's course, Graphic Design, which was a nice collection of the students' work separated into categories - areas of posters, books, newspapers, film work etc. We then moved on to Illustration, Drawing & Applied Arts, MA Printmaking and MA Fine Art. I took some images of some favourites which you can see below (each artist is linked to in the caption).

BA Graphic Design

Jack Bailey
Amy Mattingly
Ellie Coutts
Emma Bathsheba White

I was a bit disappointed not to see the BA Fine Art work (it's being shown over at Spike Island), but glad I got to see all the other work - and there was a lot of it! If you're in the South West over the next few days (it closes on Thursday) I'd recommend popping in to see the show, there's definitely something for everyone there.

I'm feeling really inspired after having seen these two exhibitions and am hoping to get to some more over the next few weeks in order to get the creative juices flowing (in the least creepy way possible). I'd be really grateful for any suggestions of shows worth seeing in the near future. Happy Tuesday!

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