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Jan Patience: From war to weaving… Student art unveiled at Duncan of Jordanstone

© SYSTEMMia Mackay ‘wearing’ Marly Baker’s Nub Land at the Dundee graduation show
Mia Mackay ‘wearing’ Marly Baker’s Nub Land at the Dundee graduation show

Art school degree shows are hotbeds of creativity.

They offer the next generation of artists a chance to show off work to family, friends and the public in an actual space.

The first post-pandemic degree show out the blocks is Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD). Last Friday, I visited with my 18-year-old daughter, Mia, a nursing student (with an art school vibe) in the city.

This year, 66 students are graduating in art and philosophy and fine art at DJCAD. What the 18-year-old sees and what the 58-year-old sees can be miles apart. It was a joy to meet in the middle with Mia.

This year, unsurprisingly, themes rising to the fore include: fallout from the pandemic, war, politics, shelter, home, nature and the intricacies of the human body.

I loved Charlotte Maishman’s delicately hovering shell of a garden shed made of porcelain and Nathan Price’s joyous graffiti-laden installation (inset, above).

Maella Wallace’s slogan-based rug, woven using a technique she learned from her grandmother, is striking. Rebecca Rodger’s textile work, reflecting on bodies and queerness, were beguiling.

Marly Baker’s giant “wearable landscape”, Nub Land, appealed to us both. Mia climbed inside Marly’s igloo-like tent and “embraced” the work with in-built inflated arms.

Patrick Mitchell’s small painted and drawn self-portraits and still lifes were beautiful. As were Isla Davie’s delicate pencil drawings. There’s something Japanese haiku-like about Isla’s simple coloured pencil drawings of droplets falling into a blue ocean. Look closely and bodies curl around droplets.

And finally, Laurie McInally’s playful installation based around the never-ending cycle domestic chores. Ironing and washing as installation art? Genius.

Ends today. dundee.ac.uk/graduateshow case/2022/fine-art


Montrose-based filmmaker Anthony Baxter’s elegiac film, Eye Of The Storm: A Portrait Of James Morrison, was a surprise hit on BBC Scotland last year. James Morrison: A Celebration, 1932 – 2020 opens this Wednesday at The Scottish Gallery and runs throughout June. Two years on from his death, the show will present works across seven decades, focusing on his land and skyscapes of Angus and the West Coast, alongside rare early Glasgow scenes and views of France, the Arctic and Canada.