DJCAD Degree Show 2013 – Top Picks

Nikki McWilliams - DJCAD Degree Show 2013

May is a busy month for us here in Dundee- with so many brilliant events in the creative calendar- including the DJCAD Degree Show- which opened last night on the 17th of May 2013.  It feels like yesterday that I was hosting my Degree Show here (although it was only 5 years back) how time flies!

Over the last few years I’ve blogged about my own personal highlights of the show (you can find my 2011 & 2012 picks via the links previous) and this year is no different.  The work on show this year was exceptional- so prepare yourself for a bumper blog post to match!

Graphic Design – John Russell

DJCAD Degree Show  2013 - John Russell

First up, John Russell’s work caught my eye in the Graphic Design show, with his personal project, General Store.  I really enjoyed John’s use of simple colour, type and the overall tactility of his work on this project. Also, the idea that Dundee could one day be host to a store full of beautiful things such as these made my heart skip a beat.  John’s wonderful notebooks were available to purchase as part of Paula Grubb‘s excellent Show Off platform over in the Matthew Building.


Jewellery & Metal Design – Beth Lamont

DJCAD Degree Show - Beth Lamont

I find that in general I’m drawn to work that’s quite interdisciplinary, and Beth Lamont’s work was no different here.  Beth’s delicate ceramic balloons which were embellished with dainty silver clouds and strings of cotton rain drops pushed the boundaries of  Jewellery Design and really took on a sculptural form. Her work had a peaceful and nostalgic air for me, reminding me of the hot air balloon light shade that hung in my room as a child.


Jewellery & Metal Design – Ali Taylor

I unfortunately didn’t get a photo of Ali’s work that did it justice- so on that note I’d strongly urge you to go and visit his show in person to enjoy it in full.  In a somewhat unheard of turn of events, Ali is exhibiting his jewellery in a room all of his own, outwith the usual group show format of the graduate jewellery show- which he has done magnificently.  His work takes on new life as art, referencing religious symbolism within his installation.  Very clever!


Textile Design – Kirsty Marshall

DJCAD - Kirsty Marshall

Kirsty Marshall’s combination of printed pattern and appliqued leather and laser cut acrylic jewels was stunning.  Kirsty’s embellishments had a super contemporary feel and gave her cloths a lovely weight.


Fine Art – Ross Weryk

DJCAD - Ross Weryk

Ross Weryk’s dark installation, Hospital quite deservedly picked up the esteemed RSA New Contemporaries prize, where he’ll exhibit alongside Scotland’s finest emerging artists (and several other DJCAD graduates) and architects next spring.  Hospital left me feeling totally unsettled, and for that reason, I thought it was brilliant. A definite must see in the depths of the art school’s sculpture block.


Fine Art – Morgan Cahn

DJCAD - Morgan Cahn

I first met Morgan Cahn at a Creative Dundee bash and was instantly impressed by her vigour for all things creative.  We caught up with Morgan on the night of the show where she was clad entirely in gold, whilst inhabiting her Onion Cellar from which she’s hosting all manner of fun events over the course of the Degree Show.  Morgan’s program includes artist’s talks, an art scavenger hunt, film screenings and soup making- lovely!

Fine Art – Paul Corbett

DJCAD - Paul Corbett

I visited Paul’s space 3 times over the course of the evening – and his work was easily my favourite across the entire show. I was instantly drawn to his use of colour and repetition and his show’s particularly strong design aesthetic (there’s that mixing of disciplines that I like so much, again!).  All of the objects in Paul’s space mimicked the form of functional things that we come across in our daily lives- manipulated in either colour or scale to take on a new existence as sculpture.  I’m currently trying to figure out a way I could welcome one of his pastel petrol drums into my life- I’ve become quite attached!

It was brilliant to be back at DJCAD at a time when the whole building is buzzing.  There is SO much to see so if you’re planning on paying a visit make sure you give yourself a whole day (or even two) to take it all in.

I’m not sure if they’ll be around for the whole week- but there were a couple of SUPER FUN photo booths dotted around the art school- which were free and I’d totally recommend. My art school pal Alex and I got our picture taken. What larks! Likewise- if you’re in town for the show this Thursday, do feel free to join us in our Dundee studio for Sample Sale fun and games!



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