Today I went to the Dundee University degree show , a vast sprawling collection of artists exhibiting a vast array of art, design and architecture. I will only write a little of my experience here as I aim to write a larger piece for DUSA Media Online and I don’t want to write anything to similar. I thought I may not write about it at all on here but it was such an eye opening experience that I thought I would have to share some of it on my Blog.
Before going to the exhibition I had believed that I knew a reasonable amount about art, following the exhibition I now believe I perhaps don’t. As well as a mind boggling layout in the vast sprawling connected buildings of DJCAD, the works exhibit truly boggled the mind; in some ways good and in other ways not so much. There was the unique, innovative and unexpected in a good way which for me came primarily in the form of numerous small bowls with rounded bottoms atop of a table which then sat on a wooden platform which moved when you stood on it, thus resulting on the bowls wobbling and chinking together creating a rather beautiful song.
I heard someone saying when they left the exhibit rather jokingly “how is that art?” to which another replied “because someone said it is”. Clearly these people didn’t quite get what the concept of art is. They have a misconceived attitude towards the fact that it is art “because someone said it is”. No. It is art because it is an expression of human creativity. That is fundamentally what art is. To develop upon this initial foundation, art can also be something that represents emotions, reality or really pretty much anything. In the exhibit in question it is entirely plausible that the artist intended something, but what I found was that it made me smile and happy thus to me it inspired and represented emotion. It is no doubt a painstaking construct of creativity and thus there is no doubt in my mind that it is art; Not because “someone said it is” but because it actually is.
Now to be slightly more cynical. I said earlier there were some things mind boggling and not necessarily in a good way. There was a pile of burnt things which I’m not entirely sure wasn’t the work of a pyromaniac. It literally looked like the contents of a house fire. I think there may have been a reason that it was placed in the dark cinema room. So at this point you may be reading and thinking what a hypocrite first he rants about people slagging of art and then he does it himself. To clarify I don’t have a problem with people formulating an opinion on whether art is good or not, in my opinion that was bad art, but I would not say it is not art. It is judging something as being art or not art that I have a problem with, that is not for the critic to decide.
In addition to the weird and wonderful pieces on display there was some more conventional art. For example photorealism, takes on impressionism, photography and jewellery. There was also some brilliant graphic and textile design as well as some fantastic works of architecture. I have of course missed a lot out here and I could easily write 30000 words or more on the exhibition but unfortunately I must limit it to but a mere few.
In conclusion the degree show was quite unlike any other exhibition I have been to, and I have appeared in one or two. It was a fast pace, hectic array of images, emotions, colour, light, textures, sounds and even smells (whether intentional or not). It was a sight to behold. To sum up the experience in three words: Innovative, Unique, Mind blowing.