SLADE graduate show highlights

While DigiDegree shows were contested by art students all over the country, there is no way around it. COVID wiped out the usual format of the Degree Show and went to the URL. Which sucks. With limited or non-existing studio space, restricted use of materials, and curtailed guidance it’s super impressive what art students have been able to pull off. where’s the frame is going to highlight artists you should be looking out for at Slade, RCA, and CSM, respectively. So without further ado, here are our Slade favs.

Dylan Mize

Although American born artist Dylan Mize was trained in the figure, since attending Slade, his work has become more densely layered, abstracted and centered on the materiality of oil paint. Through subtle colour combinations, Dylan uses painterly figurative abstraction to confront the miracle and absurdity of human consciousness. Game playing and probability are among his chief interests. He explains where this is coming from: “The same impulse that governs my natural philosophic curiosity is the one that drives me to create. I'm interested in the idealistic utility versus the limitations of logic and rationality, game playing, and the constructs of morality, language, probability, and perception.” On the canvas, figures emerge and dissolve from cloudy and amorphous scenes which might depict some kind of cerebral activity or consciousness in a broad sense. You just don’t know what the heck is going on. “In my work, slowness and uncertainty are virtues as well as the haptic pleasure of painting in oil. Painting helps me confront, or distract from my limitations as a fallible rational agent. It's a great way to talk about nothing (as precisely as possible), which we should all do more often.”

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/shows/2020/ma_mfa/mize

where's_the_frame?_leading_art_schools
Dylan Mize, Domain,  2020, oil on canvas, ~ 180 x 210cm.

Eleanor Newis/ (AKA) Maven

Maven is a multimedia artist, writer and musician. She explains how the show was an opportunity “to pick work that lives happily in online space rather than push work into that space that’s meant to be seen in person.” Part autobiography, part dreamscape, her aesthetic is drawn from the diy bedrooms of youtube, tumblr and reddit, as well as irl art. Working with mixing prints, with thread, sequins, felt, beads and even flowers, alluding to teenage dream bedrooms straight out of the Noughties but she also creates videos, installations, songs and poetically embroidered clothes. They all evoke the all-too-familiar feelings of a distant or recent past. It’s about exploring ‘intimacy, nostalgia, female experiences and world building in a contemporary, accessible way.’ 

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/shows/2020/ma_mfa/newis

where's_the_frame?_leading_art_schools
Eleanor Newis, Silver, 2020, digital scan of inkjet print, thread, sequins, felt. 10.8 x 14.3cm.

Ella Turner-Bridger

Working across narrative film, experimental documentary, and video, Ella Turner-Bridger has created eccentric moving images for the show. In one of them, the camera slowly pans through a garden, fixating on a sunbathing woman from different angles, fixating on the sun, fixating on an airplane flying by in the sky. The title, Fishing In The Devil’s Punch Bowl, ofc, only makes it more enigmatic. 

“I’m drawn to the ordinary, the strange, and the sublime:

Intergalactic light beams,

Sun-burnt Brits,

Rolling deserts,

The red hot sun of a Spaghetti Western,

Meteors,

Rocky mountain ranges,

Clouds,

Lands shrouded in mist,

Planets,

Portals,

The moon,

Folk horror,

Sci-Fi dystopian,

Aliens.”

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/shows/2020/ba_bfa/turner-bridger

Ella Turner-Bridger, still from Fishing In The Devil's Punchbowl, 2020, HD video, 15 mins.


Yage Guo

Because of her interest in the idea of “moment”, Yage Guo’s approach to painting is to capture a sense of time.  She poetically illustrates this practice as “A slice of time that holds the transition from one state to its counterpart. From here to there, from connected to disconnected, from stillness to movement, from presence to void…” A summer bouquet, a reflection in Balenciaga-like fashion goggles. She explains how this undefined state enthrals her as she perceives “sentimental moments from specific subject matters: the melancholic adolescents concerned about the future; cars; the life of flowers; forest; Screenshots of films… They carry a sense of fragility and imperfectness.” She makes clear that it is not about the object or the creature itself, “but a representational image of it evocated my feelings at a specific time/scenario. I perceive these fading moments with a consciousness of distance and a non-interactive intention. The distant way of seeing is similar to the observation in the action of painting.”

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/shows/2020/ba_bfa/guo

Yage Guo, City of desire of love, 2020, oil on canvas, 210 x 170cm.


Francisca Sosa López

torre del silencio, Francisca Sosa López, 2020, acrylic, graphite, pastels, markers, charcoal, pen and gouache on discarded paper and cardboard 56 x 61 x 5cm.


In a wide range of media, Francisca’s practice is based on the complicated relationship she has with her home country Venezuela. She explains how “Reflecting on issues concerning Venezuela, I produce work based on my personal feelings, reactions, disappointments and affections to my country. I think about a memory or play a certain song that gives way to a particular feeling and I try to catch it through gestures and color. I use mark making to portray my instincts while writing letters gives me the space to organize my thoughts and share specific ideas.” Ranging from expressive forms on burlap to canvas and from tick textures on cardboard to written letters about change, she expresses how this use of different surfaces allow her to use materiality as another form of expression. “I shift from paper, to fabrics from home, to more recently, creating surfaces from discarded material as an attempt to have a more sustainable practice whilst exploring the idea of reconstruction. The concept of making something beautiful from accumulated trash is a repeated action that I use as practice for when we can pick up the debris, and re-build Venezuela.”

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/shows/2020/ma_mfa/sosa-lopez

where's_the_frame?_leading_art_schools
Francisca Sosa López, tonada de luna llena (con Simón Díaz o tío Simón), 2019, acrylic, graphite, pastels, markers, charcoal and gouache on paper 220 x 150cm.


 

Annice Fell

For Annice, direction, presence and silence are all integral ideas for her paintings. However, these ideas can become manipulated to be the opposite when articulated onto the surface of the canvas. The shapes within her paintings to form a network, quilted together to form these abstract landscapes. Sometimes their flatness can create a claustrophobic sense to the work, and sometimes they are used to barricade a direct viewing point into the paintings; forcing the eye to explore the painting to become a visual trail. The idea of presence is integral; whether that be through absence or use of bodily forms. She stated about the Degree show going URL: “The online showcase was so far from how us finalists at Slade had imagined we would display our work. Being in final year, you get so caught up in your own practice that the online platform served to be an exciting preliminary view of everyone’s work that will be displayed at the Slade during the physical celebratory show in summer 2021. There was also a sense of achievement seeing how my own work looked displayed together. So, I am grateful for the Slade organising this platform for us as an alternative celebration during the pandemic.” 

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/shows/2020/ba_bfa/fell

where's_the_frame?_leading_art_schools
Annice Fell, Window Pane, 2020, oil on canvas, ~170 x 210cm

Check out our RCA highlights here and our CSM ones here.

All photos courtesy of the artist.