This summer we visited the four main Schools of Art 2015 degree shows to look for the emerging artists and designers whose work best exemplified 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 have whittled the selection down to six aspiring artists who will form our 2016 Graduate Showcase.

This will be the second time we have included this curated element in our Annual Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy. 

The six invited graduates for 2016 are:

  • Natalie Jane Adams, Jewellery, ECA. Natalie’s collection refers to a therapeutic journey of accuracy and perfection  combining bold colours with geometric patterns. Acrylic plastic is dyed with colours that fade into one another and is enhanced by wrapping with metallic wire. The two materials create a unique relationship where the transparency of the pieces is significant and light is essential. The detail in this collection reflects the soothing transition from drawing to making and the pursuit of accuracy becomes apparent in the patterns created through the expression of colour.
  • Euphrosyne Andrews, Print, GSA. Ornament’s uncertain position within contemporary fine art is a theme which underpins Euphrosyne’s work, questioning the division between the decorative and fine arts. The origins of ornament, stemming from a ban of representation in many religions, can be traced through abstract art into contemporary art today. She is interested in the role of the multiple concerning the circulation and globalisation of ornamental motifs, exploiting the traditional relationship with the multiple alongside the use of unique motifs. Working primarily with forms of making that are associated with decoration, craft, domesticity and function, she draws upon ideas of the total aesthetic, bringing connotations of a domestic interior into the curation and relationship of works with one another.
  • Greig Cockburn, Environmental Design, DOJCAD. Inspired by Scottish bothies Greig designs ‘urban bothies’ located in the centre of cities. These provide a temporary office space for the nomadic worker, offering the user the chance to disconnect themselves by having the choice to turn communications on or off. The workspace is a modern twist on the bothy network in Scotland. The workspaces are well designed and highly functional to accustom both comfort and form.

    ‘The opportunity to disconnect within a busy and constant environment you face within a city is invaluable for some people. I want the workspace to create the experience of being transported to a tranquil environment’
  • Eva Melnika, Silversmithing, ECA. Eva’s collection challenges the importance of the obvious by directing the user to handle familiar objects in a playful way. Utensils made from snowcrete, silver and hair lead us back to ourselves the way we touch, eat, sense and observe.  Each object refines and creates a ritualistic dialogue between the user and the object that is charged with curiosity when activated in the act of drinking or eating. These passionately cool controlled forms straddle the disciplines of silversmithing and ceramics; a sensory map of action slowed down.

    ‘the world is polluted with blank and meaningless objects and therefore my aim was to create work that would somehow change that’
  • James Ritchie, Sculpture, DOJCAD. The expression, motivation and concept of James’ artwork is based on the terrible end consequences of armed conflict. The artwork reflects ideas of pain – both physical and emotional. It visualizes in a graphic context the loss and grief that’s inflicted on all peoples and nations, no matter their religious, political or ideological beliefs. The artwork also represents vulnerability, hopelessness, imprisonment, transition and the idea of death and the end of life in a violent and destructive situation.

    ‘We all turn to dust…’
  • Gosia Walton, Fine Art, ECA. explores capabilities and boundaries of machinery and technology in relation to the concept of “hand-made.” Through experimentation she tries to give language to the empty or occupied space where digital representations and human intimacy meet. She challenges the perception of the ‘real’ and the ‘artificial’ and the ways in which these constructs are utilized in the making of art. Walton has made a series of large-scale drawings, created by a process of etching and cutting onto, and into, fluorescent acrylic sheets using a laser cutter. Through the act of using and misusing machines she hopes to achieve an impression characterised by a contradictory psychological experience; the inherent human traces in the work alongside the inhuman marks caused by the machine, resulting in a sense of tension.