Edinburgh College of Art Diploma Show Review 2022

At the Edinburgh College of Art Exhibition 2022, there is a palpable sense of joy that its magnificent building has been brought back to life and is once again filled with ambitious and energetic work. There are few direct references to COVID in the art on display, although there is a recurring interest in living and belonging spaces. On the other hand, there are also representations of inhospitable places, betraying the impact of successive confinements and periods of isolation on this group of students.

Rachel Glen returns to her childhood bedroom with an installation that evokes cozy nostalgia. A wispy purple curtain and purple tufted rug frame a painted garden scene, where a child’s birthday party is being held; for Glen, art offers an escape to simpler times. A sense of dreamlike nostalgia runs through Mia Takemotobeautiful painted panels. Dynamic shapes and patterns weave between fragmented family scenes, evoking the Roots and Routes the title of the work and the memories brought along along the way. Takemoto’s technique and use of materials – tempera painted on wood veneer – bring out the work’s themes of cultural hybridity, blending influences from the artist’s Eastern and Western heritage.

Olivia-Anna BodenThe mixed media work of invites the viewer into a youthful space of fantasy and fairy tale, inspired by the story of Princess Swan. Combining embroidery, painting and found objects, Boden creates a surrealist-inspired mythology dedicated to youth and its potential for transformation. Her use of textiles reflects a broader interest in materiality and fabrication found in many of the work of student exhibitors. Isabelle InskipThe ethereal, silky sculptures of are the product of 3D printing. By transforming natural flowers into delicate technologically produced objects, Inskip raises questions about the boundaries between the natural and the artificial, the artist and the designer. Working between painting and textiles, Jessica Austin opens liminal spaces and gothic portals to other worlds. In his textile works filled with polyester, tender imprints of the foreground of the body touch and expand the space of the canvas outwards.

In the textile department, Chloe Grieveit is Shape game uses Bauhaus-inspired modernist forms to explore how design shapes our experiences of mental health and healthcare spaces; bright colors and lush textiles provide a less sterile and cold environment that makes hospitals and healthcare environments more welcoming and welcoming.

Many students find less comfort at home. Rebecca RyanThe sculptural installation of Neighbors features two adjoining metal frame houses, connected by a patch of artificial grass. Seizing the notions of access and exclusion, only one house is open to the garden space; Neighbors plays on the false equivalence created in city neighborhoods, where the extremes of deprivation and luxury often coexist. Ryan’s use of plain fabrics for the structures of homes further emphasizes a sense of instability and impermanence that defines many people’s relationship with the home in modern society. Nearby, Lian RyanThe green gauze labyrinth reinforces the feeling of unreality of the borders and structures that surround us.

Hannah Grist transforms familiar household objects into strange and uninviting sculptural forms. Rusting metal radiators are bent into scarred new skeletal shapes or stacked to build towering towers. A tired, dirty bathtub (with a tired bar of soap) attached to four large bicycle wheels suggests an obscure instrument of torture. The title of his installation – Self-neglect in the comfort zone – is a grim allusion to the self-care trend perpetuated by sanitized Instagram images, as well as the disconnect between idealized notions of home and, for many, the reality of poorly maintained and uncomfortable living spaces .

Phoebe LoganThe large vivid canvases of also place the bathroom at the center of the demands of self-care and self-improvement, from a feminist perspective. Her chaotic graffiti-style paintings show the overwhelming demands of femininity and the conflicting pressures to display and minimize the body that many women face. Naked silhouettes are swept away in a whirlwind of confessions and declarations and sucked up through the drain. Others vomit and bare their bodies shamelessly, refusing to be contained or, in Logan’s words, “pressed on.”

Lucy Mulhollandis wooden Cat tree offers a playful escape up and out of the studio, while encouraging us to reflect on the non-human experiences of everyday spaces. In the same way, Monument to Hope and Futility celebrates flies fleeing an open window, a playful symbol of the artist’s savagery and freedom. Like many of his peers, Mulholland’s works are on a level of scale, experimentation and ambition only offered by the studio – the fact that artists and visitors have finally been welcomed inside is a celebration. for everyone.


Course completed, learn more about this year’s graduates and view their work at graduateshow.eca.ed.ac.uk

Kayleen C. Rice