New Contemporaries

Gray’s graduates set for New Contemporaries exhibition

Work created by nine graduates of Gray’s School of Art will be featured in a prestigious exhibition this week aimed at showcasing the best of Scotland’s emerging talent.

The sixth annual Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) New Contemporaries exhibition will take place at the RSA Galleries in Edinburgh, from February 15 to March 12, and features work by 63 graduates selected from the degree shows of Scotland’s five art schools.

The graduates are given the opportunity to launch their career at the galleries by exhibiting a substantial body of new work, including painting, sculpture, film making, photography, printmaking, architecture and installation.

Among the Gray’s students chosen to exhibit is BA (Hons) Printmaking graduate Marie Allan (25), from Hazlehead, who will showcase a series of linocuts.

She said: “I was extremely shocked and overwhelmed when I found out that I had been selected for the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition. I had worked hard all year creating the work for the degree show and it was fantastic seeing it all up, but to be selected for this exhibition almost didn’t seem real. I’m very excited.”

Marie, who has been busy working on a fresh folio of work since graduation, added: “The work that is included in the RSA exhibition is a continuation of my degree show work. My practice involves the creation of futuristic dystopias by combining bits and pieces from reality and fiction – it reflects my take on the celebrity culture of today and the ideas that are put forward to us through the use of the media.”

Also exhibiting is Sculpture graduate Conor Baird who has created three new pieces of work for display, including two photo-works and one large installation that he will be performing with for long periods of time over the exhibition’s duration.

He said: “It’s great to be part of the event. Importantly, it has given me a chance to further develop my practice, to question it, to engage with it on a different level outside of art school which I have really enjoyed. I feel like I am on a more personal and honest journey with my work.
“Not all of my work is performance based but it is a big part of my work. I use it because I feel it is a very honest medium and it allows me to search for moments of catharsis and triumph.”

Head of Gray’s School of Art, Professor Paul Harris, said: “The RSA New Contemporaries exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for graduates to launch their careers on a very prestigious platform. It is always great to see the range and quality of work on show and I very much look forward to visiting the exhibition at some point over the coming weeks. Congratulations to all the Gray’s graduates selected this year.”

RSA Exhibition Convenor, Alan Robb, who selected the work in association with fellow academicians and representatives from each of the colleges of art, said: “In 2013 the overall quality of Degree Shows was impressive, continuing evidence of the high standards maintained by our art schools and colleges. This exhibition will be a marvellous art feast with lots of thought provoking ideas, images and objects. Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by the visual intelligence of the artists we have selected, the dazzling variety and resolution of individual works.”

Over £25,000 worth of monetary prizes will be awarded at the exhibition, in addition to residency, studio and purchase prizes.

Release by
Jenny Rush

Communications Officer | Design and Technology

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