The main show is in the NAS gallery, one of the former main cell blocks and it is an interesting show. I knew a couple of people in the show, former teacher Deborah Marks and honors student Fiona Lanigan. Deborah was exhibiting some collages similar to the ones from Charles Hewitt earlier in the year. I liked Fiona's etchings in the main space but thought the digital ones in the print studio were my favourites. The students studios are only open the first weekend so you get to see about 4 times as much as in the main gallery. You can also take some sneakier photos that way if you have a blog to write for! Overall the sculpture didn't really do it for me, and the ceramics likewise. Painting was probably my top pick of the disciplines on show. Lots of talent there. Zoe Tweedale had some great animal portraits - a big squid in the main gallery that the junior critics fell for and a big pig in the studio that I liked (then again given I played a few seasons for the hogs I have a soft spot for everything porcine). Bridgette McNab had some cool portraits inspired by glossy womens mags (and a fully functioning website, students these days!). And Carlone Karllson had some Syd Ball'esque abstract geometric shapes (her Tripod sculpture was the kids top pick).
Points: 3 to Zoe (can't decide if it is for the squid or the pig, is that a form of surf and turf?); 2 to Bridgette and 1 point to Wally McGregor, my top pick from the drawing faculty. I did like his data flow (pictured upside down on the NAS website - perhaps as an homage to deceased alum Norman Hetherington of Mr Squiggle fame but more likely an unintentional piece of art criticism about contemporary drawing). Still, if I was him I would be filling out the Dobell entry form right now ...
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