a-n’s Degree Shows Guide 2014

Read our Class Of 2014: The North-West’s Top Emerging Artists Unveiled? Now plan your tour around the rest of the UK…

The a-n Degree Shows Guide 2014 is packed with all you need to know when visiting degree shows around the UK – what’s on adverts and listings for over 60 shows, tips from artists, curators and academics on what to look out for, plus the views of graduating students as they head towards this key time

Many of those interviewed for the guide pick up on the theme of change, both from a technological perspective and in terms of how cultural shifts inform practice. In his introductory essay, Justin McKeown, head of fine art and computer science at York St John University, discusses the challenges and opportunities the digital age presents artists, asking if art education is keeping pace with our changed world.

“What will the emerging paradigm of 21st century art be and will it involve using code to enhance the already interactive aspects of artworks?” he writes. “Maybe this year’s degree shows will offer some clues.”

“If this is what they’re doing at this point in their career, what will they do in the next two, three, five years?”

There’s plenty more thoughtful consideration of degree shows in the guide. For Liverpool-based artist and curator Kevin Hunt, degree shows are where it all begins.

“The thing that I love is when you see something that is great and you think, if this is what they’re doing at this point in their career, what will they do in the next two, three, five years?”

And curator Kirsty Ogg says she’ll be looking at this year’s shows through slightly different eyes since joining New Contemporaries as director.

“Degree shows are a kind of barometer for what new artists are thinking about and how they are approaching the making of work. That’s important because it’s something that changes on a generational basis – people grow up in a different socio-economic, political context, surrounded by a specific cultural framework, and that absolutely informs their practice.”

Alongside the views of artists and arts professionals, a-n hears from four graduating students – all regular a-n bloggers – who give some insight into the student mindset at this always frantic and exciting time of year. Catherine Wynne-Paton, a BA Fine Art student at Hereford College of Arts, sums up what many are feeling: “I am very nervous, but I’m also excited because this exhibition is the beginning of my future as a fine artist.”

This is an edited version of a-n’s article published 30 April 2014 — with thanks to a-n

a-n’s Degree Shows Guide 2014 is available to view online via issuu  or as a downloadable pdf

Read Class Of 2014: The North-West’s Top Emerging Artists Unveiled

Tweet us your #DegreeShow pictures and we’ll share the best!

Posted on 23/05/2014 by thedoublenegative