Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Graduate Show at the Slade

This past week an artist friend invited wonder | wander | women to the MFA degree show at the Slade School of Fine Art.

We were greeted by a bulging serpent-like installation that crept under and around the building.

art by Rutie Borthwick

The artwork was a combination of synthetic parts and organic objects. A credit card chip swallowed by an oyster, a fish spine cradled in a crumpled sheet of lead, circuit boards attached to limestone or buried in resin like the fossil mosquitoes in Jurassic Park.

art by Natalia Janula

We especially liked this lonely, weeping cybernetic eye.

An oyster shell casts the opposite of a shadow: a rainbow reflection, created by the surface of a CD.

An Oyster card, an everyday functional travel card that we take for granted, loses its function and transforms into a beautiful, mystifying object when treated with another household substance: nail polish remover.

We also enjoyed the other graduates' experiments with space and materials. This artist made a wooden table that cupped the parabola of a swinging pendulum in an empty room.

This artist used silicone and a material called Jesmonite to make abstract waveforms and non-functional copies of industrial objects.

art by Katja Larsson

There were artists who used traditional techniques but played with scale to surprise us.

art by Rutie Borthwick

art by Ngan Leong Anna Cheung (apologies for the strange camera effects)
We were invited to look closer at everyday objects and see the art in these objects.

art by Matt Morris

We were presented with visual mysteries, scenes with no real explanation, and left to decide on our own.

art by Eunhee Nina Hong
But the real star of the show was the venue itself. Rooms divided into sub-levels, stairs zigzagged down or spiralled up into new spaces. The classic architecture of the old Georgian building split and melded into modern lines and stark walls, creating a crooked real-life version of a mind palace.

It was exciting to wander these spaces and engage with the installations, like having a mental conversation with people who have already left the room. Bravo to the graduates for a stimulating and intellectually challenging show.

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