Sammy Sinclair (21) from Elgin, a 3-Dimensional Design student at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, is putting the finishing touches to her final-year work ahead of the School’s 127th annual Degree Show later this month.
The former Elgin Academy pupil has created a range of ceramics inspired by her hometown including the historic Elgin Cathedral and new housing schemes. Her final-year collection includes a series of ceramic spheres and bowls which have been shot into with a rifle creating unusually-shaped designs.
Sammy explains: “I’d heard the story of when Oliver Cromwell’s troops used Elgin Cathedral as a firing range whilst staying there in the 17th century and was stunned to find when I visited that the walls are still littered with bullet holes more than 400 years later.
“I wanted to create pieces that would visually represent and draw attention to this episode in Elgin’s past not only for tourists but for residents of the town who might not realise the history right on their doorstep.”
Starting with ceramic spheres, akin to the main ruined window at the front of the Cathedral, Sammy lined up the pieces and shot through them with a 2:2 rifle, she then shot the bowls using a 12 bore shotgun. This unorthodox technique meant that the impact force of the single bullet on certain spheres caused them to collapse and the pellets used on the bowls created a ‘splattered’ effect.
In her bid to represent Elgin old and new, Sammy has also created a ‘new town’ of cylindrical porcelain vessels which represent areas of new housing developments in the town. The vessels of varying size are covered with bright floral designs reminiscent of popular wallpaper designs.
In contrast to the cylinders, Sammy created small houses reflecting West High Street where she grew up, with homes built in Elgin’s old ‘local’ sandstone style. Each model house is unique and utilises a different ceramic technique that relates to the people who live there. For example, one miniature house is made from felted fabric – representative of a neighbour that makes felt bags.
Sammy continues: “When housing schemes are built, the buildings themselves often look very similar and therefore people put their own individual stamps on their house by decorating with certain colours and patterns.
“I wanted my ceramics collection to reflect different parts of the same town through all stages of history and the marks that various people leave behind.”
In the future, Sammy would like to continue her work in ceramics and is looking to pursue a career in teaching.
She adds: “The Degree Show is the culmination of four years of hard work and I’m really looking forward to seeing the public’s reaction to my collection.”
Gray’s School of Art Degree Show 2012, sponsored by BP, will showcase a plethora of undergraduate talent across a range of disciplines including 3D and product design, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fashion and textiles, graphics, digital media, visual communication, photography and electronic media.
Gray’s School of Art Degree Show 2012, sponsored by BP, will be launched on Friday 15 June. The show will then be open to the public from 16 to 23 June. For more information, visit: www.rgu.ac.uk/degreeshow.
Communications Officer | Faculty of Design & Technology
Robert Gordon University
Tel: 01224 262206