Posted Friday 9 June 2023
A ceramic foosball table, sustainable furniture constructed from inner tubes and a structure to enhance Roman ruins are just some of the projects on display at this year's Kingston School of Art Degree Show.
Final year students from Kingston School of Art will see industry experts and the local community join family and friends at the Knights Park campus for the week-long celebration of creative talent. The show gets underway with an opening event on 10 June celebrating the Design School, the School of Arts and the School of Creative and Cultural Industries. The show will be open to the public until 16 June.
Themes of work across the subject areas include sustainability, innovation and inclusion as students represent their studies and studio-based ethos in paintings, products, videos, photography, models and a range of mixed-media exhibits.
Fine art student Ieuan James has produced a foosball table fitted with ceramic-sculpted players, which have been deliberately cracked and shattered following a performance of the table, with fragmented remnants forming his final piece. The ball was produced by bronze casting a regular foosball ball as part of the Remet Prize, which offered six Kingston School of Art students the opportunity to make an object from the metal alloy.
The two teams are formed from historical objects and figures throughout history with an association to humour and death opposing famous examples of ceramic art. These include the French mime Triboulet, a Monty Python sketch about the funniest joke in the world, comedian Tommy Cooper, a Toby Jug in the style of British artist Grayson Perry and ancient Roman pots.
Ieuan said the destruction of the ceramics represented the breakdown of functional ceramics in art spaces. "I wanted the piece to work as a sculpture and have a function, but for that the function to be displaced as it was used," the 23 year old from South Wales explained.
Product and Furniture BA Hons students are showing a range of items addressing design-led thinking. Sofia Matheou's unique and innovative approach to furniture design, Inflate, constructed from repurposed inner tubes, is among the eye-catching creations that will be going on display. Part of a project with furniture brand Heals, her work substitutes the foam, padding and adhesive materials commonly found in traditional furniture to create environmentally conscious statement pieces.
Other pieces on display include Self Repair Kettle, a simple and elegant design for the 21st Century made to be accessible by the user and engineered for repair using available replaceable parts by Lucas Holt. While Jo Ryan-Gill is displaying a set of two nesting side tables that produce no offcuts in their manufacture. The piece looks to remove waste from the production of furniture, creating aesthetically sculptural, environmentally and economically considered pieces.
The Roman ruins in Kent formed the inspiration behind architecture student Cyrus Aguilar's project, which is themed around designing a museum that would protect the ruins while connecting the local community with their heritage. He created paintings of the local area, using Dover Castle as an inspiration, then formed models of the proposed building inspired by architecture built by the Roman Empire, as well as Islamic architecture.
Detailing the wide range of influences in his work, the 20 year old from Worthing told of how his design incorporated the locally-produced Kentish Rag-Stone, informed by a desire to decrease the carbon footprint of the proposed building. "We looked at different abstractions and influences that utilised the ruins in a pragmatic but beautiful way," he said. "A variety of my influences came from sources outside architecture, such as Shakespearian castles, in which the place becomes a character, and abstract painter Mark Rothko for his use of abstracted colours to produce an atmospheric building."
Work on display at the physical show is also featured on a bespoke, award-winning website on which students from Kingston School of Art upload a range of work from their degree. The website encourages exploration of student work through a unique interface designed to enhance the art show experience.
Alongside the Degree Show, a performing arts event will be taking place at the Rose Theatre where dance, drama and music students will display their talents through a series of performances. The Fashion Department is also hosting a catwalk show at the Bargehouse within Oxo Tower Wharf in London's South Bank, showcasing garments from students who will go on to influence looks on catwalks and high streets.
Kingston School of Art Dean Mandy Ure said the Faculty's students form a unique community of creative practitioners, challenging categorisation while working individually and collaboratively to create innovative solutions, form new worlds of possibilities and look to a sustainable and inclusive future.
"We produce individuals ready to make an impact on the world, whether in the creative fields or by bringing their skills to bear to enhance other industries," she said. "The level of technical skill, informed knowledge and creative thinking displayed in the show is incredibly impressive and it showcases the work of some of the best young creatives in the country."