OPENING the degree show season, Duncan of Jordanstone’s students stake a claim to future glory with this cornucopia
THE resourcefulness of young artists, using whatever is to hand as a starting point for heir inventiveness, was more than demonstrated by the excellent contributions of artist-run projects to this year’s Glasgow International. Now, as Duncan of Jordanstone opens the Scottish degree show season, the enterprising spirit is proved to be as alive in Dundee as in any other city in Scotland. Tutors say this has been a year of self-starters, students prepared to get their sleeves rolled up and get on with whatever it takes to make their art: cajole colleagues into being their models, haggle for scrap metal, procure animal parts…
… Dundee is traditionally strong on figurative work, and this year is no exception: painter Nicole Porter is already chalking up the awards for her large-scale portraits done in the art school.
A funny thing happens at the degree shows. There is so much art, stuffed into every studio, corridor, nook and cranny of the art schools that a viewer’s brain can’t quite cope. So it attempts to pick out themes; to group artists together and spot trends in a bid to impose order on the chaos. Artists whose work might at first seem to have little in common become kissing cousins, and those whose work stands out set the tone for their peers…
… Then there are Nicole Porter and Fraser Gray, two very different painters who match technical facility with a concern for the process of making work. Porter’s realist canvases include self-portraits of her in her studio, charming small-scale paintings of pages in her sketchbook, and a painting of a painting of her fellow graduates in conversation.
Students scoop prizes!
School of Fine Art students have scooped eight of the RSA Annual Student Exhibition prizes! Our students have a long relationship with the RSA through the student exhibition, where work is shown alongside student work from the three other Scottish art colleges, in premier international standard exhibition space. Prizes went to: Ross Brown, Rendezvous Gallery/Linda Clark Nolan Award; Casey Campbell, Peacock Visual Arts Award for Moving Image; Rebecca Lindsay, Scottish Further Education Unit Purchase Prize; Nicole Porter and Camilla Symons, David Gordon Memorial Trust Awards; Joyce T Stewart, RSA Printmaking Prize; Euan Taylor Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Award; Hayley Wilkinson, RSA Carnegie Traveling Scholarship. The Royal Scottish Academy of Art continues to develop its unique position in Scotland as an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose sole purpose is to promote and support the creation, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts through exhibitions and related educational events. School of Fine Art staff are instrumental to the RSAs development.
Boundary Gallery Prize for Nicole Porter
Nicole Porter, final year BA Honours Fine Art student, has won second prize of £1000 in the Boundary Gallery Figurative Art Prize. Joanna Fraser, School of Fine Art BA Honours student, was short-listed and both Nicole and Joanna are exhibiting at the Boundary Gallery in London from 18 April to 3 May 2008. The aim of the prize is to encourage up-and-coming artists at the beginning of their careers, who specialise in figuration. Fifty-two art schools from around the UK were asked to put forward final year undergraduate and postgraduate students and 102 submissions were received. From this, twenty have been chosen to exhibit at the Boundary Gallery.
Cover star Rolf Harris was on fine form at the recent grand opening of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ self-portraiture exhibition. Rolf Harris presented the Bulldog Bursary to Joe Galvin. The Australian painter, performer and presenter was on hand to greet Nicole Porter, the winner of our own self-portraiture competition. Nicole’s painting took pride of place at the London show, with Rolf dubbing it “fabulous.”
EXCELLENT. That was the verdict of the Council of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters about the finalists in our recent self-portrait competition
We had narrowed down the more than 100 entries to 11, choosing a wide range of styles and techniques. The council’s vote on the winner and two runners-up was all but unanimous. Andrew Festing, president of the council, praised all the shortlisted entries. “ The standard is extremely high,” he said. “Quite a number of these would get into the society’s exhibition. They’re a good cross-section of what’s being made now in portrait painting.” Nicole is in her final year at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, where she is studying fine art. The judges praised composition and the detail in the painting. “ It’s quite an amusing composition,” said Andrew Festing. Nicole said she painted it this way because “the space is as much as part of me as anything else.”