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Our Emerging Artists Series explores and features the stunning work of new, rising artists and graduates coming through different universities, colleges and art schools. We promote their work not-for-profit to raise awareness of new talent across the British Isles.
This week we are featuring three of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design recent graduates: Amy Carter, Kate Morton and Laura McSorley.
AMY CARTER: TEXTILE DESIGN
Amy’s textiles designs inquisitively play with the idea that the imagery could either be microscopic or macroscopic. To create the impression of expansiveness Amy took influence from the concept of microscopic imagery mimicking much larger views. Deliberately not including any anchors that would distinguish size, her photography focuses on close ups of inks in water to inform design work which resemble vast scenes like skies or space.
Not wanting to lose any of the fluidity in her work by forcing it into a pattern or structure that had hard edges or obvious repeats, Amy looked for inspiration in renaissance paintings. She analysed how they were structured in terms of light areas and dark and that influenced how she structured her own work. Working on silk allows her to layer up lighter colours to develop a sense of glowing light reminiscent of renaissance oil paintings. Silk also allows Amy to create splattered highlights that resemble galaxies of stars.
We absolutely adored Amy’s designs the minute we saw them with their soothing colour palette and adaptability to be used for fashion or interiors, it is no wonder Amy was chosen to exhibit at New Designers down in London a couple of weeks ago. New Designers is a trade show that provides a unique platform for fresh design talent to connect with design educators, professionals and consumers, for creative exchange and collaboration.
Speaking of her time at DJCAD, Amy states that her tutors taught her to pick out the important details when looking at visual research so that she could create designs that were less literal and more interesting to create her own style as she was so used to drawing things and subjects as they were and how she saw them beforehand.
KATE MORTON: JEWELLERY & METAL DESIGN
Wanting to capture the sense of something soft and fragile in a harder material to reflect the subject matter of grief and loss, Kate uses distressed fabrics rolled through metal to create interesting mark making. She then preserves these delicate and fleeting textures using enamel to make the impermanent become permanent, creating her gorgeous range of small plates, brooches and other jewellery and installation pieces.
For her graduate collection, Kate explored grief and loss, trying to find ways to cope with a grief process of her own, creating tangible memorials to absent friends. Her work documents her own personal journey with grief but also serves as an invitation to interact with the work and take a moment for quiet contemplation which we resoundingly felt with her installation piece at the DJCAD Degree Show entitled, “Tokens of Remembrance.”
Having completed a course in enamelling before her Jewellery & Metal Design degree at Duncan of Jordanstone and writing about the history of enamel for her dissertation, deepening her understanding of the material, Kate cites that enamelling, along with mark making as her favourite processes: “there is something really magical about fusing glass to metal. There are so many creative possibilities with the material, you’ll never master it all in a life time. I love knowing I’m working with a material that I’ll always be learning about.”
Asked about her time at DJCAD, Kate answered: “I’m a completely different artist and maker than I was when I started at DJCAD. I had quite a rigid approach to my work and everything was quite controlled and as a result I think I really restricted my creativity. The staff at DJCAD are really good at pushing you and picking up on your strengths and encouraging them. I’ve got a much more open view of design now, and I’ve adopted the “just try it” attitude!”
LAURA MCSORLEY: FINE ART
Laura looked at the teaching of ancient Greek philsophor, Epicurus, to inform her ceramic and bronze work. Epicurus founded a garden near the city of Athens in 307/306 BCE, which was used by himself and his followers. It became a symbol of Epicurean philosophy. Epicurus believed that the garden was, “a place devoted to friendship, philosophical conversation and delight in simple pleasures of the senses.”
Laura states that her practice is, “born out of, and manifests through, gestural action and interactive sculpture. An awareness of the senses other than the visual is an important element, utilising sound, smell and touch as an apparatus of bodily felt knowledge. The aim is building a framework that can examine how people and ideas can come together.” This was seen in one of her pieces at the DJCAD Degree Show, a fabulous tiered fountain whose trickling water made the most magical and peaceful sound: a definite place for contemplation. This peaceful, communally shared feeling is felt through Laura’s gorgeous handmade ceramic platter that will soon feature on the AUTHOR website. Laura states that, “the knowledge that a piece is made by hand and is one of a kind is what makes an object really special.” – we couldn’t agree more!
Laura states that she first began working in porcelain in her first year and quickly became addicted to it. This led to an interest in bronze casting and most forms of sculpture. The alchemy of building, firing, glazing, casting and patinating are fascinating to Laura because the process can sometimes show you different and new ways of working which is really exciting.
When asked to reflect on her time at Duncan of Jordanstone, Laura stated that: “DJCAD is a place where anything is possible. The staff and technicians are amazing in making sure you know that no idea is too big or complicated to achieve whilst also encouraging you to collaborate and engage with the wider art community allowing for lots of different influences to come through. I have left DJCAD with a strong sense of self when it comes to my practice. I would like to thank the staff and technicians at DJCAD for helping me learn how to make independently. Alan and Malcom in the wood work shop, Sean in ceramics and Roddy in the foundry.”