Learning from the Masters

After visiting the 2017 DJCAD Master’s show I thought I’d write a little bit about what I enjoyed from the MFA Art and Humanities exhibition, seeing as I am going to be starting the course next week.

The whole show was really strong this year and I especially enjoyed getting to look around an exhibition as opposed to sitting beside my work in degree show – even though that was fun too! It’s just exciting to be able to emerge yourself in an exhibition and spend a whole day getting lost amongst the art.

One of the artists that really caught my attention was Gordon MacKenzie. He explored concepts of identity as self through photography. I really loved the minimalistic display and the starkness of the black and white photographs against the white walls. The large scale of the photography made the images substantially arresting and provided stunning detail. I loved the mixture of landscape and figurative work. The mystery behind each person portrayed in the images was really fascinating and it was definitely an incredibly well executed show.

Another artist that caught my attention was Ruaridh Lever-Hogg. I reviewed his work in the 2016 degree show and so it was great to see the progress and direction his work has taken since then. He has focused on colour and paint in his work, creating incredibly realistic paintings of paint covered faces. It was great to see the detail up close and they had a really profound impact displayed all together. It was such a simple idea and yet it was incredibly complex at the same time.

Miriam Mallalieu’s work was on first glance visually arresting. Hundreds of images from the 1948 Encyclopedia Brittanica line shelves on a black background. Her work focuses on organisation and archiving. The clever display of these images project a prediction of what the future was predicted to be like, as well as a snapshot of what the world was like at that time – almost simulating an incredibly detailed film reel. I spent a good amount of time becoming lost in the images on the walls, wondering about the people in the images and the lives they led.

So that was the work of just a few artists that impressed me at the Master’s Show. I didn’t take too many photos as sometimes it’s a nice change just to experience artwork first hand instead of looking through a lens all the time. You can find all the artist’s work on display at the show here if you wish to have a browse.

It’s always refreshing walking around an exhibition and picking up tips and inspiration here and there for your own artistic practice. It definitely made me incredibly excited to start the course and I cannot wait to make work again.


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