‘Everything Starts from Something’ Manchester School of Art Degree Show 2019
We thought, ‘OK, we will pop in, have a quick look round and head home’. My days, how wrong we were.
OK, so I have to admit something here and please don’t go mad – I actually haven’t been to a MSOA Degree Show before. I know, I know. Like how can that actually be? I can only apologise, because my god, I now know how much I have missed out! I can’t waffle on too much because there is so much I want to say and so many pieces of work I want to mention. So let’s get to it!
Photography, Filmmaking and Animation: Stand out pieces were: Zoë Barry photography. Lovely colour pallete, loved the natural body in the natural setting, the wet fabric reflecting the sea. Zoe is also the winner of the Castlefield Gallery Graduate Award!
Jade Hannah Smallshaw – fashion editorial type work, we reckon most likely to get a photography job after Uni.
Hannah Foster – whimsical, dreamy. We loved the use of the curtain to tie in with the photography, that was very nice!
‘The Insect Witch’ animated film was so moving and totally mind blowing! It was Tim Burton-esque, creepy and weird yet you felt for the characters. Also loved how the puppets of the piece were on display too.
Interactive Arts: For one, I didn’t even realise this was a degree! It sounds incredible. I thought Liam Senior-Watson’s work was pretty funky. Very colourful and loved the sculpture element to it. And when I found out it was about hidden messages relating to mental health, I totally got it.
Sophie Wardle’s ‘Grief on Facebook’ was also very moving. I loved the hanging profile pics. ‘What happens to your Facebook profile when you die?’ – that simple question carries so much weight. Very good.
Amber Queally ‘There is no place like home’ was a lovely delicate sculpture that came to life with the use of light. Very Instagramable!
Fine Art and Fine Art History: Emily Carrington, her photographs of high rise buildings have been morphed and shaped into waves, making something that is usually so rigid, structured and heavy, into something free and curvy.
Ruari Paxman and ‘The Sunken Cathedral’ literally blew my mind! You approach this curtain hearing water trickling, you peek inside the little peep hole and the work is like Narnia under water! It was so magical, like an aquarium full of diamonds. Waterfalls, beads, mermaids (jokes) but it was all in there! I have never seen anything like it before and have no idea how anyone, let alone an art student, could create that! Wowsers.
Stanley Walters sculptures were so small and powerful! He created little mouse holes in the wall, and using taxidermy mice, he created a warped world where the mice were killing the humans. There was a tiny film hidden in the wall. You literally had to crawl on the floor to see it. Very clever!
‘Gradient Decline’ by Jay Ottewell was lovely to look at, so satisfying to the eye. Those crumpled pieces of paper in a muted rainbow looked so good. I loved the shadows and lines, and how linear and neat it all looked together.
Jason Gylen’s scupture pieces are amazing. We’ve been following him on Instagram for a while now so it was great to see the work in real life.
Corinne Hutton’s prints literally messed with my mind. I was adamant they were 3D. It was like one of those magic eye tricks. I think because the colours were so striking next to each other, and the reds against the blue, I honestly thought they were 3D! I couldn’t un-see it, I couldn’t force my eye to make it 2D. Very cool.
Need to mention the work of Candice Dehnavi’s – it was really weird and made my face all scrunch up. It was a wall of noses, but one of them was moving! It was moving in and out but like it was breathing really fast. It was just too weird.
Lara Balcerzak’s work was the perfect example of how to do both 2D and 3D art. The space-like, science-y, abstract prints were then created into these spacey abstract sculptures. We loved the line-work, the geometric shapes and the neon colours.
Another example of great 2D/3D work was from Hope Barraclough, ‘Head Space’. The photography element was very cool, she created these huge plant sculptures that engulfed the head and face. Then all around our feet were leaves and a centre-piece plant, tying it altogether.
Also want to mention Sophie Owens. Big fans of her collage work, using cotton to create line work. We like!
There were so many awesome pieces and loads of people we didn’t get to mention or even see! This exhibition is huge and probably they best I have seen in Manchester in a long, long time. I was truly amazed by some of the incredible work I saw here. Soppy moment, but I feel so proud to come from Manchester, and to see such talent come from our Uni, it’s amazing!
‘Everything Starts from Something‘ MSOA Degree Show is on across Grosvenor Building, Chatham Building, and Benzie Building, from 7th June – 19th June.
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