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Highlights from Glasgow School of Art's Degree Show 2016

Work by Emily Stopford at Glasgow School of Art Degree Show

Emily Stopford, Glasgow School of Art

We love helping students make newspapers and many customers (and Newspaper Club employees!) come to us from the Glasgow School of Art. We look forward to checking out their work at the GSA Degree Show every year. Our Customer Assistant (and GSA alum) Hannah visited the exhibition earlier this week and rounds up highlights from the soon-to-be graduates:

It's that time of year again! Summer's here and the talented students of GSA have produced another standout show. The Degree Show 2016 opened on 18 June and continues until 26 June, with work from graduating students across the schools of Design, Fine Art and Architecture.

Glasgow School of Art Degree Show 2016

Like last year, the shows are split up due to the fire that devastated the Mackintosh Building in 2014. Fine Art students are set up in the Tontine Building in the Merchant City, while Design students have taken over the Reid Building in Garnethill (a building I've always thought resembles a marooned spaceship). Despite the distance between shows, there's a unique spirit tying the students together through the impressive work on display.

Work by Rowan Flint at Glasgow School of Art Degree Show

Rowan Flint, Glasgow School of Art

I was excited to see how the Fine Art students adapted to the Tontine Building, an odd and somewhat confusing maze of studios. My first impression was that the students are confidently making use of the space, with bold installations and larger works. Striking prints by Rowan Flint were the first works to catch my eye. A mix of acetone and collage, her prints are bold but sensitive – a Timorous Beasties vibe with a bit of Hieronymus Bosch thrown in. Because, why not?

Work by Ash Kitchen at Glasgow School of Art Degree Show

Ash Kitchen, Glasgow School of Art

There was a high standard of painting throughout the show, but ethereal oil paintings by Ash Kitchen and graphic works from Laura Gaiger were my favourites. Kitchen’s oil painting are so subtle and sensitively handled they almost look like watercolours, with portraits of eminent women juxtaposed with delicate sculptures of bra cups and fur. Gaiger, on the other hand, is bolder with the paintbrush, producing abstract images of domestic objects that leap out with joyfulness and confidence – something I appreciate when trying to wrap my head around complex concepts.

Work by Akash Sharma at Glasgow School of Art Degree Show

Akash Sharma, Glasgow School of Art

Moving on to the Design show at Reid Building, the famous Textiles department – which has produced such talents as Jonathan Saunders and Pam Hogg – didn’t disappoint. I was particularly drawn to the work of Akash Sharma, who layers colours to produce kaleidoscopic patterns printed on a range of fabrics including jersey, sweatshirt, poplin and cotton drill. Other standout print designs came from Emily Stopford, whose playful, childlike fabrics evoke fond memories. If she ever decides to turn these samples into lil' oversized sweatshirts – I’m there!

Work by Sean Bell at Glasgow School of Art Degree Show

Sean Bell, Glasgow School of Art

Communication Design is always a highlight for me (I’m biased –I studied it!) But the work on show here was genuinely fantastic. Walking into the room, you're instantly hit by a wall of photographs by Sean Bell. Bell documents Glasgow nightlife and clubbing subcultures, capturing the eclecticism of youth in bold portraits of worse-for-wear partiers. A brave piece of work that summons the singular nature of Glasgow’s nightlife and its revelers.

Work by Peter McKenna at Glasgow School of Art Degree Show

Peter McKenna, Glasgow School of Art

Other highlights include character studies by Peter McKenna, reminiscent of John Kricfalusi's dynamic cartoons. Mckenna’s draughtsmanship is effortless and stands out for its simplicity and boldness – a real treat! I also enjoyed the work of Mari Campistron, who produced possibly the largest screenprinted book I've ever seen. It was huge! I didn’t trust myself to flip through the book, but happily observed from behind a friend's shoulder with my glass of red wine a safe distance from this glorious work!

Work by Mari Campistron at Glasgow School of Art Degree Show

Mari Campistron, Glasgow School of Art

There's so much great work at the GSA Degree Show, it's impossible to cover everything. One highlight from Architecture was the large train station design by Ewan Whittle and from Product Design don't miss Harriet de Wet, who designed a digital service to help bring stability to the everyday lives of Glasgow asylum seekers.

All in all, another fabulous and eclectic show from a group of future stars. I’m proud to see the beginning of your creative journey. The Degree Show 2016 ends on Sunday, so go take a peak before then! Full details and opening hours on GSA's website.

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