While enjoying my last few days of mid-week freedom, I have become decidedly retrospective and nostalgic for this time last year, when I was finishing University. This has not the least been helped by the influx of End of Year shows that I have noticed popping up on Facebook through my UCA connections. Luckily, I have found help to relieve this itch in the form of the 2nd Year Illustration show in Stepping Stones Studio.
Placed in the middle of town, within a supremely funky cafe by day/bar by night, it is great to see an independent arty hub not only opening but succeeding in Maidstone- especially with the controlled decline of Maidstone UCA.
As my first time visiting there was much to take in, but what I did see was an assault of colour, style, texture and talent. Large group shows always provide a feast for the eyes and the illustrators here were no exception, with individual styles placed deliberately to contrast and harmonise. With delicate, understated advertising, exhibition catalogues, contact cards and display ephemera, the work on display definitely took centre stage in the space (in a way in which I felt was more successful than my graduation exhibition in Free Range). That is of course subjective, but the location was certainly well chosen and sympathetic to the feel of the exhibition.
This week, I only went and finally got myself graduated! The parking was in the middle of town so I thought I’d grasp the opportunity for a shot to remember!
Thats with a shocking double whammy of a First Class dissertation and degree grade overall.
The three years have certainly flown by and not without a fair share of dramas inbetween. Yet inspite of the personal (and not so personal!) crises I faced, I managed to kick them right back to where they came from. I know that I have a lot of notes to deliver to some invaluable people, to thank them for their equally invaluable support.
I did more work in my third year than I ever thought I would do in the first and second year combined. To think I did intern work, 2 extra-curricular group design projects and helped shape a graduation show! Hopefully its not all for naught. In a chat with me during the last couple of months, one of the younger training tutors said that even if I decided that I never wanted to open another Adobe program as long as I lived, this course will never have been a waste of my time. I didn’t believe her then (probably something to do with the 3 imminently coinciding deadlines) but I suspect I’ll see what she was on about in a little while.
I’m on the search for the next foothold at the moment, so I’m doing a lot of weighing and measuring to see where I should head first but I don’t think there is any way of knowing when things will really start changing.
Before I finish, I know that this will be cross posted as a bulletin to Facebook so I would be remiss to ignore the people that made three years more interesting! It seems so ridiculous to disband just when people were making some serious bonds! But I know I’m unlikely to see you again, so to every one of my course mates: thankyou…
for being as mad as a sack of cats
making me feel slightly less ‘odd’
for being so diverse as to inspire countless combinations of fantastic ideas
for reminding me there is no I in team
making the early mornings and late finishes not only enjoyable but repeatable
for making me laugh!
for broadening my taste in music
giving me something to aspire to in each of your own fantastic specialities
for finally getting me out of hoodies every day of the year
for teaching me that co-orperation is to be encouraged at every opportunity!
for the tidbits of half remembered websites and information you dispensed in group tutorials and mainly, just for doing your thangs.
Thought I’d post a quick update using the photographs of one of my bookworks pieces, sent to me by one of my tutors, Silke Dettmers. Ordinarily I’d post some pretty standard pictures but I have the pleasure of uploading ones of my work in an international collaborative exhibition involving UCA. The work was a brief exploration of the idea that by using the pink/red/purple colour swatch cards as indicators of love or passion, I would be able to censor the content of a romance novel. The few photographs I took of it for my project records (below) were taken on a phone and tucked away for later use.
However, the next photographs show the piece displayed in the Columbian leg of the 3 stop tour. It is still extremely strange to see an object made in a day for as a playful exercise and with limited materials, in a display case!