May 16, 2015

8.15 pm. I greet the day of the degree show opening with the same anticipation as one would a very large wedding. But first … my fortnightly egg hunt at the Farmers’ Market (15th anniversary today), and an appointment to mow my mop. 9.45 am. No egg lady (again); now less hair. 10.30 am. Marking and a messenger exchange with a comrade who’s currently in hospital.

1.30 pm. Off to the School to oversee the set up of several technical-based exhibits and complete a runaround the exhibition to remedy any window mounts that had ‘popped’ during the night. Then …

2.00 pm:


The teaming hoards ascend. For many years, the degree show has welcomed huge numbers of guests. It always feels like the first day of the Selfridge’s Spring sale. And there’s as much good will shown towards the students and their work. From Professor Richard Marggraf Turley on the School’s Twitter page:

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One observation that is made almost every year, and by those who have a knowledge of education and culture, is that the School has no house style. I concur. As I wrote in  a recent letter to intending students for entry in 2015:

The show is the culmination of three year’s endeavour, and of the final semester’s studies in particular. On view will be a range of medial disciplines including drawing, illustration, interdisciplinary studio studies, painting, photography, and printmaking. The works reflect a diversity of styles too, from realism to abstraction and conceptually-orientated practices. The one thing that all the works and students have in common is a commitment to quality, integrity, authenticity, and individuality.


Throughout the first few hours, I served as one of the roving reporters ‘snapping’ encounters between the spectators and the work. I’m one of the amateur photographers who needs a plausible visual idea in front of me before I can countenance pressing the button. A shoot-out with Mr Croft (a fellow rover). I fired first with the panache of a seasoned gunslinger:


The wine ran about at around 4.00 pm. Short of a biblical miracle, it was only either a rather pleasant elderflower and fizzy water or orange juice thereafter. By 5.45 pm, guest and students were ready to tear themselves away. (Heat and dehydration can be very persuasive.) Good to see so many former students, and that they’re still in the game and doing well in their careers. School of Art kids, more often than not, land on their feet.

Some of our MA bunch. It’s Calendar Girls all over again:


7.30 pm. An evening with the family.


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