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Degree Show 2014 – Opening Day Success

Saturday 24th May saw the grand opening of the 24th Degree Show for the Fine Art, Creative Events and Music at the University of Kent.

Open until June 2nd, Free to attend.

DSC_0309_compressedThe event which showcases the work of almost 50 undergraduate and postgraduate students at the School of Music and Fine Art, opened to the inaugural private viewing at 2pm on Saturday, 24th May.  The show is now open to the public and free to attend, with Fine Art installations located amind the magnificent Slip3 Mezzanine, with Creative Events and Music Students having work DSC_0429_compressedacross the Engingeering Workshop and The Smitheries.

Guest speakers, renowned artist Humphrey Ocean and Artistic Director of the Huddersfield Music Festival, Graham McKenzie opened the event officially, providing some amusing annecdotes and useful insights for the students. You can read about their speeches below. Also Sarah Turner and Tim Meacham took time to thank colleagues and congratulate the students on their achievements and the students themselves gave their appreciation to everyone who helped with the Degree Show arrangements for 2014.

View a few of the students conversations about their work, their set up and their onward expectations for their careers on the School of Music and Fine Art You Tube channel or on our Facebook page.

Not only were the Fine Art BA and MA students exhibiting some amazing installations, but the Creative Events students were showcasing some of their presentations, videos and models, and the Music students entertained guests with an array of genres throughout the afternoon.

Open until Monday June 2nd, open to the public and free to attend, the Degree Show concludes with a special and unique addition for 2014 – an ‘Education Day’, where schools and collegess are encouraged to contact us for the chance to get workshops and talks as well as take part in activities that give younger budding artists the joy of art as well as showcase the wonderful facilties that students at the University enjoy.

DSC_0246_Compressed Humphrey Ocean:
“The world is alright, because there are still art schools. Arts schools are where you are taught ‘nothing’ but your learn everything”

“ You are just about to enter the weird bit of your lives, the next 70 years”

“Another misnomer about art, is that you love art. Anyone can love art, take Tate Modern, it’s the most popular visitor attraction in England apparently. It makes you want to go home and say ‘that show ‘em’ – it’s not a love, it’s a need.”

“If you are artist and going to make your life as an artist, it is because you have no alternative. Its not a career choice. You have got to want to make, more than anything, is another day where you can just go into the studio and close the door, so you can craft without someone coming in and saying ‘this is how you should have done it’. You want to make mistakes, get it wrong, make it bad, make it smell, then the world will catch up and say that smells good.”
“Welcome aboard, it is a breathtaking way to live your life, even if it does take you breath away sometimes. I wish you the best of luck.”
DSC_0253_compressedGraham McKenzie:

Many thanks to Tim and Claudia for inviting me to this 24th degree show and this amazing complex of buildings. Walking round this show, I am greatly encouraged to see art from the various disciplines coming together because I really believe that divisions between the art forms is no longer relevant. I read an article in the Guardian today that was persuasive article that talks about cross genre work as a way to grow interest and culture as a way as far as audience are concerned. We have seen artist from film winning the Turner Prize and a visual artists that uses human voice as her instrument and is her artwork, and its only a matter time I believe before a composer wins a Turner Prize.

Many of the younger generation of artists and composers that I work  with are comfortable being in gallery setting working in installations, as well as writing or performing in a more traditional concert hall or setting.

Another thing that struck me as I walked around this show earlier, as well as the quality of work and the innovation, the thing that was most pleasing was the individual voices, for me really stood out. I think whatever genre you are working in art, its that individuality that’s important. Follow your vision, your belief and when you leave the education establishment its tough to follow that through. You need that all important break. You need luck but you can make your own luck to certain extent.

There are people there like me, outside that walls of education whose responsibility it is to seek out emerging talent to help you articulate and facilitate your vision. It’s about building working relationships and finding the curators and programmers out there that believe in you and your work.

It can be soul destroying when your sending things away and your fired up about a project, and you’re not getting the responses when your are approaching galleries or festivals or concert halls. Don’t be disheartened when you are approaching people and you are not getting an instant response, they probably are subconsciously aware of you. Keep politely sending stuff in and it will seep through.

To end, my congratulations to you regarding the standard of work in this exhibition and the work in the buildings around. It will be my pleasure to work with many of you in the future.







Counting down and setting up

Time is tick in the lead up to the Final Year Degree Show 2014

With 5 days to go until the Private Viewing signifying the grand opening of the long awaited Degree Show, Monday 19th May saw the start of a very busy week for Final Year students of Fine Art, Creative Events and Music at the University of Kent.

As work progresses to get everything ready in time for the first (private) viewing of the Degree Show, fine artists, musician and creative events students are getting their work and performances ready.  Some have been marked already and many are still under assessment.

Fine Art work got hoisted to the magnificent Mezzanine floor of the Slip 3 at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, where the Degree Show final installations for the Fine Art students will be exhibited. View the I AM Present video of Day 1 here.

We managed to get some sneak previews of the work going up today, and chatting with the students, some of them reveal to us their inspirations for their work.

We will join the students later in the week for a final look at their exciting preparations.

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