MA Degree Show to reflect on societal and technological change


Wednesday 21 August 2019

Matthew Wilcock's ceramics
A major highlight in the North-east’s cultural calendar, Gray’s School of Art MA Degree show returns this week, with 19 students exhibiting work which reflects on society, technology and the change which is occurring in our everyday lives.

The exhibition features the work of full-time and part-time students from across a diverse range of specialist disciplines including Communication DesignCuratorial StudiesFashion & TextilesFine ArtJewellery and Product Design

The MA Degree Show opens to the public this Saturday, August 24, and provides the opportunity to engage with the artists and designers, while viewing collections of work which have been developed throughout the students’ time at Gray’s.

Jon Pengelly, Programme Leader for the Master’s in Fine Art, believes there is a very strong showing from his students this year, which will reflect some of the bigger and important societal needs and concerns around change.

He commented: “The MA Degree Show is the culmination of one, or two, years’ work by our graduating students, who have spent that time really honing and developing their craft. We put a great deal of emphasis on the final graduate show and our students’ ability to present their work in this professional context.

“What we can see in this year’s show, is that the artists and designers are really wrestling with some of the bigger questions, about our relationship to the environment and the relationship of art and design with wider society.”

Maya Medina, an international student from Bolivia, studied the MA in Product Design and has been working with Recyclability Ltd on a range of products made from repurposed material.

“My Master’s project is related to things that I really care about and focuses on social responsibility and ecology,” she said.

“I have been working with Recyclability Ltd using unwanted materials, which would otherwise go to waste, to develop a new product range which will hopefully allow them to access new markets.”

One of the other graduating Master’s is Matthew Wilcock, lecturer at Gray’s School of Art, talented ceramicist and winner of BBC Great Pottery Throwdown. Matthew’s project has looked at how traditional handmade craft can integrate with new technologies.

“In an age where ground-breaking equipment is being developed, regular contemporary makers are able to access new tools which allows them to make what would otherwise be impossible,” he said.

“Using Computer Aided Design, I am able to create deigns that otherwise would remain limited to my imagination and restricted by material properties and other practical restrictions.”

The Gray’s School of Art MA Degree show is free to attend, with many of the artefacts and products being for sale.

Visit the website for more information.

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