Sustainability at the heart of Gray's Degree Show ‘Welcome to the real world'

Wednesday 08 June 2022

Emma Caldow - Painting Gray's School of Art Degree Show
Final preparations are underway for Gray’s Degree Show, ‘Welcome to the real world’, opening on Saturday 11 June, with many graduates drawing inspiration from environmental issues and sustainability.

The degree show is free to visit and people are invited to Gray’s School of Art to enjoy a diverse mix of final year projects across Painting, Contemporary Art Practice, Fashion and Textiles, Communication Design, Three-Dimensional Design and Photography.

As part of the degree show, Painting graduate Emma Caldow from Aberdeen, salvages material from three Scottish beaches and creates bioplastic artwork for her project entitled, ‘The Antroposcene’. She uses bioplastic derived from Agar or seaweed, that is entirely marine-degradable and bio-degradable and creates corresponding colour palettes which include; organic or shell and inorganic or fossil-fuel plastic for each beach.  

Emma explains more: “I want my audience to appreciate the natural landscapes of the North East coastline and to inspire others to develop sustainable processes and to consider alternative futures that sustain a more circular economy.

“I want to highlight the need to use more sustainable materials and hope my work can generate an appreciation for the earth around us, whilst also highlighting the permanent and devastating impact of fossil-fuel plastics.

“I’ve chosen to work in this manner because I believe creating more sustainable and environmentally-conscious fine-art is essential for our planet's climate and ecosystem.”

Fellow Contemporary Art Practice graduate, 22 year-old Katie Taylor from Tough in Aberdeenshire, creates a collaboration of her experiences with nature as she explores the theme of slowness and the natural elements: water, earth, air, and fire.  She bases her project on the North-East coastline and asks the audience to consider where they would go if the world was ending, using analogue photography, audiovisual material, written word pieces, sculpture, and movement practices to explore this.

Katie explains why sustainability is so important to her: “With every process that I choose, I challenge myself to find alternative, more sustainable, and ecologically beneficial modes of creation.  My work explores the pace of nature and the rhythms of the tide and patterns in the sand as I encourage the audience to find a moment of calmness in the chaos of everyday life and to slow down.”

In Painting, graduate Saoirse Horne from Dunfermline, produces a project called ‘Surface Resonance’ as she encourages the audience to recognise the subtleties of noise and surface sounds.  Her painting installation explores the feeling of sound as she holds and releases moments of sound, building up textured alterations between frequencies and exploring the parallels of stillness and movement within painting.

A series of events will run during the Degree Show including an alumni networking event, an evening reception for those in the creative industry and a range of school workshops for secondary pupils. An online directory will also be available when the show opens, highlighting work from each of the student's exhibiting.

Find out what's on:

Image shows Painting graduate, Emma Caldow with her project 'The Antroposcene’.

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