Use of space.....

Submitted by Jeeraik009 on Sat, 06/09/2012 - 15:07

Increasing student numbers, pressure on space and the fact that each School of Visual Arts student must present a self-contained final exhibition means that some will draw shorter straws than others and end up in unlikely parts of their building. In this year's graduate exhibition, what students have done with these normally drab nooks and crannies has been innovative and sometimes miraculous. The Visual Communications department has been transformed into a mini mall with the tiniest of studio spaces selling student-designed fictitious products; dub - a strictly roots vintage store; Lacey's Playhouse - a 'sweet' boutique, or Krusha's digital processing centre, all signal their creative use of space. The competition has forced young designers to think critically and multi-dimensionally about their limited resources. One student (Leo Rhule) has transformed an unwanted staircase into a trompe l'oeil  stack of suitcases for his mind mapping travel service while another Nicholas Anglin, has turned a corridor into a pop-up shop crammed with hand printed T Shirts, rucksacks and BE:You posters  (shown here). By contrast, in the so called 'fine arts' Painting, Fibre Arts, Ceramics and Sculpture departments with lower enrollment and more pristine white walls, the comparative use of space is telling and even disappointing. One or two displays such as Ottoa Wilson's collages that resemble paper money, or Esther Chin's sensitively rendered sheets of bougainvillea petals and plastic, establish their presence with ease, creating large, seemingly edgeless imagery that commands the viewer's attention. Others struggle to fill the space with the same sense of purpose or energy. If this final assignment is a metaphor for life in the rough and tumble real art-market then it suggests that those who have to fight for visibility, stand to gain more than who take their talents and resources for granted. View the Gallery.