Sunday, 24 July 2011

Show RCA 2011

SHOW RCA 2011 - Battersea
I was lucky enough this week to be invited to both preview shows of the Royal College of Art graduate students exhibition in London which presents the work of 431 post graduate art and design students.

The first show was Show Battersea and included work by students of Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture. The RCA alumni reads lie a who's who of the most famous and recognisable names in art, fashion and design. E.g. Henry Moore, David, Hockney, Tracey Emin, James Dyson and Ossie Clark to name just a few.

It was a real privilege to be viewing the students work prior to the official opening to the public and as the students themselves were present, a great opportunity to gain some insight into their work. With the Show Battersea including the degree show for students of photography this was also a great chance for me to see degree level work first hand. With so much new and exciting work on display I have selected just a few artists work which I found particularly interesting to discuss here.

Annett Reimer is a photographer who attained an MA at the RCA this year and had on display a series of images which showed herself as a self portrait in various landscapes. Described on her website:

 "Reimer’s main practice explores the relationship between body, femininity and domesticity. Throughout her work she is making use of her own female body as both the subject and the object of her imagery. In a performative way she is using personal locations where the normality is constantly challenged through playful interactions with the space"

In the series of images "Self-portrait in Landscape :1" I particularly like "Magnarps Strand, Sweden" which  is a great study of shape and form. Looking at her website I also particularly enjoyed her more surreal images eg. "THE UNHOMELY STAGE 1-5" which have great precision in their execution.

Another photographers work I particularly enjoyed was that of Nadege Meriau who was showing work which appeared to be some sort of landscape but on closer inspection turned out to be close up images of the inside of fruit and bread. Her images in the series "Intimate Architecture" called "Grotto" and "Post Ocular" are two fabulous examples. Close up images of a pumpkin and watermelon photographed in such a way that they appear to be cavernous structures. She states her practice

"investigates whether it is possible to create images that are immediate and immersive at the same time; close-ups that are also landscapes, sculptural forms that are also spaces that the viewer can dwell in."

You can see more of her work at

 David Pringle who is a sculpture student used a series of 24 rotating Kodak slide projectors in his installation. The projectors were running simultaneously with random photographic images overlaid on a blank wall. Each image was displayed for only a few seconds and the random rotation of the projectors meant that each image was unique. This piece of work really inspired. Occasionally in the sequence you wanted to say "stop" let me look at that again. The mechanics of the process also meant that there was a rhythmic click - clack noise as 24 slides were moved on in each of the 24 projectors. My husband thought it was a bit of a racket but I thought it was quite rhythmic almost musical. Unfortunately David didn't have a website address in any of the literature that I can refer you to so that you can view his work for yourself.

All in all a very enjoyable day. Not all the exhibits were to my taste. Some of the work I just didn't understand but could still appreciate for it's inventiveness or the painstaking work involved in creating it. There was no great chasm of difference in technical ability between these photographers and myself which was reassuring but where the difference lay was in their creative thinking and inventiveness.  

Anyone interested can view a selection of the work on the RCA website at

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