Spot the next Damien Hirst this weekend

Goldsmiths College is synonymous with producing some of the most promising artists of the future, and this Thursday sees the opening of one of the most exciting events of the college year.

Karen Wonnacott adding the final touches to her exhibit. Photo: Jade Desumala

Goldsmiths, University of London is synonymous with producing some of the most promising artists of the future, and this Thursday sees the opening of one of the most exciting events of the college year.

Students from undergraduate art courses will be showcasing their work across the Goldsmiths campus as part of their final degree show, following in the footsteps of such distinguished alumni as Damien Hirst, Sam Taylor Wood and Lucien Freud.

Work in a number of different platforms such as photography, sculpture, painting, digital media and performance art will be on view. Modern art lovers can get a sneak peak of the exhibition at the private view this Thursday at 6pm through to 9pm. The exhibition opens to the public on Friday 18th to Monday 21st June. We spoke to some of the artists involved.

Karen Wonnacott, a fine art and history of art student from Cornwall, said her life size stuffed textile tower that hangs from the ceiling of one of the exhibition spaces was ”very playful.” She said: ”So many people have just come in and hugged the pieces. They offer a very comforting notion and even though they are so big and so tall they are not intruding on you – you are free to walk through. I’ve had someone describe it as massive technicolor Rapunzel hair, some people have said they look like trees. As an artist, I’m very interested in how people perceive it. My personal development is going to be to totally different to each different persons interpretations – and I like that, it means that it’s open.”

Roxanne Copeland’s piece, ‘Behind Closed Doors’, is a look at the extremities that occur inside houses. She explained: “It’s all very ambiguous making it easy for people to relate to. I want people to look at the piece and relate it back to their own experiences in their own homes.”

Inspired by his own experience of  the London drag scene, George Thompson’s photography pieces are a colourful comment on gender ideology. He explained, “When I moved to London and came to Goldsmiths, I just saw a whole new scene that I got really in to. I started off just going to clubs and enjoying the part scene, raving with really interesting people. Then I started performing in drag and then the idea of documenting it came around. I would take my camera out and interview drag queens. It was a very natural process.”

“My pieces have a sense of humour; I want people to find them amusing, expressive and fun, but there is also a much deeper side. It would be nice if everybody took something away from that element too, rethink the way they see their gender and have a less conservative view on it.”

Also showing this weekend are Goldsmiths BA Media and Communications photography students, whose exhibition, (Untitled) 2010 is at The Pigeon Hole in South Bermondsey.

Each student’s work stands independently, but falls under the idea of  ‘urban landscape and its inhabitants.’ The private view takes place on the 18th June at 6pm to 9pm and the exhibition is open to the public on the 19th – 20th June between 11am and 6pm.

Rosie Vas, one of the students, explained the concept behind her work: “My photography is a reflection of the belief that art work is able to give a feeling and connection for anyone on a personal or shared level. My interest is in the concept of anonymity. I previously explored ideas of how people feel able to share personal information when they are able to remain anonymous. I continue my interest of anonymity undergoing my own self exploration.”

Kieran Jessel’s photographs attempt to make sense of the complexities of the urban environment’s permanent mutation. In doing so, he also raises questions on photography’s treatment of such phenomena. His series of diptychs highlight minute, often latent changes in urban or suburban spaces.

Tim Goodman’s work is an exploration of spatial noise via the medium of portrait. Goodman notes: “The portraits also explore relationships and interconnections between each other and more importantly between myself as the photographer in a personal narrative of sorts.”

Benjamin Mallek, adopting techniques from fashion photography, focuses on the inherent paradoxes found in bourgeois life. Vienna, Mallek’s place of birth was also influential of his work, along with the the ideas and aesthetics of Jugendstil.

Both exhibitions are free of charge and are a must for all contemporary art lovers.

BA (Hons) Art Practice, Fine Art and History of Art degree show

BA (Hons) Media and Communications Photography show

The Pigeon Wing


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