Personal Critique of Degree Show

Today we were asked to write a critique of two of the exhibition spaces in the third year degree show. I had already had a few looks round but I went in again to get a refresher and to choose the students I would write about.

The first degree show student I wrote about was Clojo Ruth. Hers was my favourite degree show so I already knew that I was going to choose her.
Her collection consists of a children’s book, a selection of croquis and a range of products for children’s interiors to go alongside. She made a lampshade, a blanket and a cushion.

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What set Clojo’s work apart from the other’s for me was the original and unique idea of having a book with a range of interiors to match. She was inspired by her love of wildlife and did a lot of market research into what was already out there. By finding a little gap in the market she was able to combine this with her experiences from the previous project.
I really love her bright, fresh colour scheme, this is something that I would like to experiment more with in my own work because I usually work a lot in pastels and more muted colours. I am thinking about focussing more on this in the first project of third year to see if it is something I would like to pursue in my FMP.
Most of her croquis design samples are on what looks like cotton, some of which were hand painted, but for some she used fleece and a sheer, lighter fabric.
One thing that I really liked about her work was her combination of techniques, for example digital stitch, free machine embroidery and hand embroidery. This is something that I have started to try and do in my own work and would like to continue. Within her croquis, she included placement designs, borders and all over patterns.
The thing that impressed me most about her exhibition was the professionalism of her display. The furniture and props used complimented her range perfectly.

The second student I chose was Kelly Veal. I didn’t really see much of her exhibition until the last couple of days and then this week during the actual degree show. I was really impressed and inspired by her theme.


I was most fascinated by how Kelly had managed, with her ‘Enchanted Forest’ theme, to create such a sophisticated collection which isn’t at all childlike. Her theme is coherent in her country kitchen style display and I think this is really effective in presenting her products to a professional standard.
I really liked the way she chose to display her products, especially the tea towels, apron and oven gloves. The fabric was looked very effective displayed on the ladder and I like the the other two products are shown as if they were hung in someone’s kitchen.
I feel like Kelly’s style of work is something that I can relate to because it is similar to my own.

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Overall, I was really impressed by the wide range of talent and skills on show in the degree show this year.

A lot more than I expected was digitally printed and this meant that the handmade, stitched pieces stood out a lot more to me. I definitely prefer the bespoke, handmade style of things.

The degree show this year has definitely taught me how important a professional finish in the display is, in terms of headering and finishing of samples etc. All of the little details make a big difference to the finished effect.

When it comes to my own degree show, I will refer back to the notes and photos that I took during the installation and also from the finished exhibition for inspiration on display methods etc.


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