Dundee’s Brightest 20/05/2012
It's been a few years since I've made it to the opening night of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, so I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to go this year. Accompanied by my trusty accomplice from my own student days at art school in Dundee we set off up the Perth Road to the art school, a well trodden path. A few steps in the door and we were met with a large yellow neon sign which read 'ART NOW' and the smell of popcorn.
Armed with my newly purchased brochure for the 2012 show whereby students are referred to as Dundee’s Brightest. Each page features a student, their statement and an image of their work. I'm thinking that things have gotten pretty slick since my day and I’m impressed. First stop is jewellery of course. There are 18 students this year so there was a lot to see. 'Wow' is my first impression as I wander around. We are stopping a lot and saying 'ooh' and 'aw, look at that', it all looks so professional!
I am struck by how polished (not literally) it all looks and how ready they all look to take on the world with their neat business cards and look books. It's pretty packed, so I'm guessing I'm not alone in thinking how good it all looks. Each individuals work is supported by an artist’s statement and a mac rotating images. There's a real broad mix of themes here. From Palestinian refugees, skin conditions, literature and the tooth fairy. So I’m only going to mention a few. Jennifer Ho's beautiful intricate jewellery is presented against a backdrop of equally beautiful drawings which narrate the story of her work based on family, culture and memories.
A quick chat with Natali Mazur and she explains that her series of cleverly designed bracelets are made from prescription drugs and silver, which she says is a response to todays view of the preciousness of materials and the misuse of prescription medication in today’s society.
From here I managed a quick look at textiles which was also very impressive. A great feature throughout some of the departments was separate portfolio rooms. This helped create a clean gallery style without the clutter of the portfolios.
My only disappointment was that I managed to miss the singing Elvis reported to be belting out some tunes on a golden toilet. I could have stayed longer, however the steward/security teams were super efficient at getting everyone out by 9pm on the dot. They made up for it by seeing everyone off the premises with a Taiko drumming session by The Dojo Performance Team. Well worth a visit.
On from 19th - 27th May 2012 at DJCAD, University of Dundee, 13 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4HT.
Aubin Stewart is our first guest blogger and Exhibitions Coordinator for NEOS 2012