VISUAL ARTS SCOTLAND | GRADUATE SHOWCASE 2020

Visual Arts Scotland visit degree shows around Scotland every summer. We look for emerging artists and designers whose work best exemplifies the fresh and dynamic approach to contemporary applied and fine arts which Visual Arts Scotland seeks to support.

From the vast range of talent on offer we select aspiring artists who will form our annual Graduate Showcase. This year, sadly, degree shows across Scotland have not gone ahead due to the COVID 19, with some available online only. We felt strongly as a society that this should not mean our upcoming and emerging talent is denied a chance to show digitally. 

We have whittled 142 amazing Graduate applicants down to just a handful of what we consider to be the rising stars in Scottish art.

With a focus on making and craftsmanship, we have selected twenty shortlisted artists working across all fine art and design disciplines to be part of this year's showcase.

The shortlisted Graduates are:

Shilei Fan

Robert McCormack

Kinga Eliott

Nicola Stead

Catherine Eckersall

Lauren Patchett

Hayley Irving

Holly Evelyn Smith

Sarah Vallance

Benjamin Hall

Danielle Macleod

Sarah Murdoch

Mischa Currie

 

From original shortlisted twenty, we have gone on to select seven finalists:

Roisin Gallagher 

Jamie Watt 

Daphne Jiyeon Jang

Sam Harley 

Molly kent 

Ellen Martin 

Yitong Zhang 

 

CONGRATS to all of our shortlisted artists and to 2020's finalists!

JOIN US! Read more about VAS opportunities and associate membership here: https://www.visualartsscotland.org/membership

Roisin Gallagher - Finalist

Roisin Gallagher 

Contemporary Art Practice MFA

Edinburgh College of Art

The University of Edinburgh

 

"It is ma aim ae git fowk mair comfortable an acquainted wi Scots an through ma airt practice ah address the toat self-hatred weh huv taewards the wiy thit weh talk. Ma work explores n supports the recognition eh Scots is a leid an hopes tae address damage done beh scuile systums thit broat up the generations afore ma ain.

Ma work is an airtist seeks tae chiynge the wiy thit weh hink aboot Scots n gee it deserverd recognition is a leid n suhin much mare thin a dialect or slang."

https://roisingallagher.wordpress.com/

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Jamie Watt - Finalist

Jamie Watt

Contemporary Art Practice MFA

Edinburgh College of Art

The University of Edinburgh

 

Drawing on a darkly comedic and democratic ethos my multidisciplinary practice is an investigation into the distortion of historic truth through myth and legend. My research hinges on a dialogue with the past as I recontextualise historical symbols and narratives, using the visual language of the past as a vehicle to explore contemporary notions surrounding class and nationality - with a particular focus on the more problematic facets of identity. Combining the iconography of disparate epochs, drawing heavily from my native Scotland, recent work has articulated personal anxieties surrounding Now whilst exploring our collective memory of the past.

https://jamiedwattart.wordpress.com/about/

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Daphne Jiyeon Jang - Finalist

Daphne Jiyeon Jang

Contemporary Art Practice MFA

Edinburgh College of Art

The University of Edinburgh

 

In her large-scale video installations, new media artist Daphne Jiyeon Jang uses 3D animation, video projection and spatial mapping, to bring new meaning to classical sculptures. Using self-generated 3D models Jang hopes to ‘unfreeze’ the fixed identity and meaning of historical works, by reanimating these classical artefacts in the present. Constructing a virtual space within which classical sculptures are able to move and gesture, Jang’s ‘moving sculptures’, are designed to unravel the frozen time of antiquity and hint at hidden narrative meanings in the past, that still reverberates in the present.  Jang’s hope is that the works will possess an emotional power that will engage the viewer, inviting them to reconsider the nature of the past and the relevance and importance of classical, mythic stories and tales in contemporary culture.

https://daphnejiyeonjang.com/

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Sam Harley - Finalist

Sam Harley

Drawing and Painting

Glasgow School of Art

 

Sam M Harley lives and works in Glasgow. She will return to The Glasgow School of Art to study for a MLitt in Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art).

In 2018 she studied at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada. Harley has exhibited in group shows in Canada, New York and Edinburgh. Once lockdown is lifted, Harley will show work at the CCA in Glasgow and in a charity shop in Edinburgh.

Harley’s practice explores ideas of everyday aesthetics with a focus on mundane throwaway objects. She up-cycles objects to create a tension between high art and the disused.

https://www.visualartsscotland.org/artist-biography/sam-harley

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Molly Kent - Finalist

Molly Kent 

MA Fine Art

Edinburgh College of Art

The University of Edinburgh

 

My practice engages fibre and installation art. Through ‘rug tufting’, my work represents doubt in the digital age. Utilising glitch art’s visual aesthetic, I portray contemporary existence regarding social-media and internet living. Pieces intend to overwhelm the senses, mirroring the feeling of doubt, through the juxtaposition of colour, phrases and form. Taking the domestic form of the rug and shifting it in presentation, the objects I make climb walls, morphing before us resembling viral/bacterial forms. This plays on the idea that doubt can be perceived as a disease that, over time, shifts and morphs to continue its hold over us.

https://mollyhkent.co.uk/work

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Yitong Zhang - Finalist

Yitong Zhang

Silversmithing and Jewellery Design

Glasgow School of Art

 

These works investigate people’s relationships with everyday objects, stimulated by people’s subconscious way of using them, and questions from functional behaviours. How objects “talk” is a question, responding to theories surrounding how objects might be ‘read’ as text. For this collection, Roland Barthes’ and Jean Baudrillard’s work is acknowledged by reference to symbolic meanings reflected in the values placed on materials, skill, and effort of objects; with Baudrillard stating: ‘We live by object time’ (1970). These works ask the viewers and users to connect with their time and space, in a dialogue that invites discussion of agency in human-object relations.

https://www.instagram.com/yitong_zhangyt/

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Ellen Martin - Finalist

Ellen Martin

Textiles

Glasgow School of Art

 

Ellen Martin is a designer specialising in printed and dyed textiles. With a focus on hand-drawn design and repeat pattern, her work has been greatly influenced by a term spent living and studying in Kyoto, Japan. During her stay, she gathered research for her graduate collection at The Glasgow School of Art, while learning traditional Japanese resist-dyeing methods. Ellen’s collection includes digitally printed silk and bamboo with subtle pleat and fold illusions, and screen-printed cotton, manipulated for a three-dimensional effect. These are complimented with samples of Katazome, a Japanese resist-dyeing technique, which has been used to create simplified patterns.

https://www.ellenmartintextiles.com/

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Robert McCormack - Shortlisted Graduate

Robert McCormack

Drawing and Painting

Glasgow School of Art 

 

EAT YOUR TOP MARKS

Drawings mark a point in an entropic looping process. Drawing tools are made from dog paws

cast in charcoal. Erasers are made from cast rubber tongues. The tools draw themselves, dog

treats, play swings, crufts apparatus, appreciation stickers and various studio detritus. Artist Paul

Pfeiffer investigates - ‘is the image making us or do we make images ?’ As the drawings progress

the rubber tongues and charcoal paws are worn down. Drawings generate new ideas for sculpture

and the sculpture makes new drawings. Over accumulation pushes the linear towards a mass,

the drawings mark a point in an entropic looping process.

https://robertmccormack.co.uk/

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Kinga Elliott- Shortlisted Graduate

Kinga Elliott

Drawing and Paining

Gray's School of Art

Robert Gordon University

 

The paintings of RSA John Kinross scholar Kinga Elliott explore manifestations of light, colour, dynamism, balance and interconnectedness. The focal point of her art practice is LIGHT, be it optics, theoretical physics, or from a theological aspect. Elliott found a very apt process in the making of cyanotypes, where light plays an active part in the creation of the image.

She makes large scale cyanotypes which then become starting points for painterly developments using oil and acrylic paint, ink and dry mediums and more recently resin.

The titles of her work bear reference to coding systems of online platforms.

https://www.kingaelliott.com/

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Nicola Stead - Shortlisted Graduate

Nicola Stead 

Photography

City of Glasgow College

 

The struggles and achievements of Glasgow women are highlighted within this project, offering a celebration of their lives. Forging links between Glasgow women’s history and women in the city today, the work explores the legacy of Isabella Elder, one of Glasgow’s greatest philanthropists. Elder took a particular interest in women’s education as well as the welfare of the women of Govan; an area of multiple deprivation within the city. By examining diverse communities involved in women's groups and societies in these areas now, my project aims to discover if Elder’s legacy of female empowerment is still apparent 135 years later

 
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Catherine Eckersall - Shortlisted Graduate

Catherine Eckersall

Drawing and Painting

Gray's School of Art

Robert Gordon University

 

Through the lens of Celtic folklore, I seek to depict the unseen landscape: human interpretations of natural surroundings comprised of folklore, superstition, and history.

Folktales and literature are combined with my personal experiences of rural environments in Scotland and Ireland, reflecting immersion in nature, whilst representing the wider cultural experience of landscape.

My practice follows a process of distillation, selecting significant natural symbols from a body of imagery and stories. In isolation, these aspects of the landscape become reminiscent of half-forgotten memories. Soundwaves, generated from audio recordings of natural environments, trace time and movement within these constructed settings.

https://www.catherineeckersall.com/

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Shilei Fan - Shortlisted Graduate

Shilei Fan 

MFA

Contemporary Art Practice

Glasgow School of Art

 

Within a wide range of the exploration of art, Shilie's artworks include installation art, video, oil painting and more. His distinctive personal style emanates nostalgic emotions and oppressions, while expressing the cultural dilemma under globalization. This stems from a rapidly developing Chinese cultural background and the loss of autonomy of Chinese culture under globalization. His work focuses on the cultural dilemma of globalization, which of course includes strong nostalgia and cultural control and political issues.

https://www.fanshilei.com/

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Lauren Patchett - Shortlisted Graduate

Lauren Patchett

Textile Design, specialising in knit

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD)

University of Dundee

 

“Whatever you say, say nothing" (Seamus Heaney).

Men’s mental health is a growing issue in today’s society. Being from Northern Ireland, I have seen this problem manifest prominently there. This is particularly notable within the male population and is discussed by Karen Nickel. She says that women were concerned about their “menfolk” who were, “hiding their emotions behind an angry silence”.  As a textile designer I wanted to communicate some of the emotion and energy that surrounds things that have gone unsaid.  Fashion can be used as a mirror for society; a reflection of what has been happening in Northern Ireland and a commentary on it. 

https://lptextiles.wordpress.com/

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Hayley Irving - Shortlisted Graduate

Hayley Irving 

Jewellery and metal design

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD)

University of Dundee

 

My work is inspired by growing up in Possilpark, one of Scotland’s most deprived areas, along with living in a tenement flat with three generations of women, who always made the best out of any situation.

Due to this I see beauty in materials others may deem as rubbish, including resin, jesmonite, wood and gems recycled from old costume jewellery.

These rings represent the fragile exterior of Posso, but the tough interior of people from this area, you need to be strong willed to make it regardless of your size.

“Just remember yer fae Posso, be proud of that”.

https://hdesigns95.wordpress.com/author/hdesigns95/

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Holly Evelyn Smith - Shortlisted Graduate

Holly Evelyn Smith

Sculpture/ Environmental Art

Glasgow School of Art

 

"Holly Evelyn Smith is an environmental artist creating work for outside spaces. The projects she makes confront the public with information, rather than labelling it as art. Her work employs imagery, symbolism and conventional materials to disguise the unsanctioned work she installs.

These works remain active, hidden in plain sight, occupying public and civic space. Consequently, we can only understand them here through the medium of photography, documenting her unsanctioned interventions, installations and political actions. The themes contained in her work develop organically from an individual response to society’s problems, developing a practise reflecting an irascible confrontation with contemporary life in Britain."

https://hollyevelynsmith.cargo.site/

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Sarah Vallance - Shortlisted Graduate

Sarah Vallance 

Sculpture and Environmental Art

Glasgow School of Art
 

My practice follows personal encounters with natural landscapes, and addresses the archiving of found terrestrial form. I frequently make work connected to the seaside town I grew up in, hoping to address personal enquiries related to place and orientation, as well as addressing wider curiosities of physical and imagines landscapes.


 Slip-casting in the medium of ceramics, I engage with the visceral handling of art medium as well as that of the terrestrial. My work is driven by field-based research, supported by anthropological and ecological theory - addressing a continued analysis of the relationship between body and landscape.

https://svallance27.wixsite.com/mysite

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Benjamin Hall - Shortlisted Graduate

Benjamin Hall

Painting and Printmaking

Glasgow School of Art

 

I am a Glasgow-based artist, filmmaker, animator, creative computer and write. I frame my practice as contra-content creation, falling on a spectrum between passive complicity and subversive resistance. I work with the language of commercial computational images, making immersive time-based experiences, usually buttressed by full-CG or AR digital film. These films incorporate 3D and 2D animation, motion capture, physics simulation and compositing to create and modulate layered works. I disperse these works among multiple and diverse surfaces of information; combining CGI with live footage, OLED monitors with ePaper. Multiple channels and sculptural interceptions combine with lighting, projection and holography techniques.  

http://benvillagehall.com/

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Danielle Macleod - Shortlisted Graduate

Danielle Macleod

Photography

Glasgow School of Art

 

Danielle Macleod is a photographer from the Outer Hebrides. Her work depicts the oral traditions of the Gaidhealteachd where stories are passed down generationally, growing a new magical detail every time they change hands. She gathers these stories through interviews and records them as collections of poetic photographs, re-telling the stories once more and leaving space for their regenesis.

Having been based in Glasgow for a number of years, Danielle’s photographs reconnect her with her island home in a new dimension, where landscapes become mystical and people become the keepers of mythology. She seeks to deepen our spiritual connections to the places we call home by re-imagining her own through the lens of living legends.

https://www.instagram.com/danielle_mac_leod/

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Sarah Murdoch - Shortlisted Graduate

Sarah Murdoch

Silversmithing and Jewellery Design

Glasgow School of Art

 

Objectification can be defined as seeing and/or treating a person, usually a woman, as an object. Exploration of the female form was the starting point of this research, studying the evolution of beauty standards throughout the ages. Initially, the life drawing tradition marked the beginning of this investigation, that allowed for an exploration of the shapes and movement of the body; extracting form, colour, and pattern directly from drawings and incorporating them into these designs. Each pose has its own fleeting image that has to be captured there and then, and can be interpreted in different ways by the viewer.

https://www.instagram.com/smurdo.ch/

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Mischa Currie - Shortlisted Graduate

Mischa Currie

Silversmithing and Jewellery Design

Glasgow School of Art

 

Ever captivated by the unseen forces that govern and shape our universe, this collection is determined by an exploration and celebration of the interconnected realms of science and art, focusing in particular on the laws of physics and their intrinsic influence on our physical experience and reality. 

Using ferromagnetic materials such as NASA invented Ferrofluid and iron sand collected form Scottish beaches, Mischa captures the reactions of iron nanoparticles within resin to unveil the invisible influence of magnetic field lines on physical matter, creating curious, wearable objects that exist in response to seemingly unrelated yet intrinsically interwoven cross-disciplinary conversations.

https://www.mischawolfdesign.com/

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