Howard Gardens Final Year Degree show 2014 i.e. ‘The End of an Era’



The end of an era has come, Howard Gardens is no more. A shame, a disappointment, that a building with such a rich artistic history must be vacated and eventually desolated. However, it did not go out with a whisper, but with a shout! The Degree show was the best I had seen yet, with a great amount of time, effort and lots of alcohol fuelling the masterpiece that was the show.





Elaine Begley

A series of work that spoke to me as soon as I saw it; crafted from wax and a combination of paints and found objects, Begley creates cubes of what appear to be translucent sediment. One is urged to peer into the contents of the cube, in order to find some sort of answer from the work. However, fascinatingly, we see there is no real answer to be found. the piece celebrates the ambiguity of the objects silhouettes; the blurred lines between what is, and isn’t there, creates an interesting illusion within the piece. I was drawn to the beauty of it instantly, and it inspires me to possibly play around with this ambiguity of object.

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Joshua Kendall

A series of pieces that have fascinated me ever since I saw them debut within reception at Howard Gardens (which I will sadly not see again), the work of Kendall is brutal in its simplicity, but beautiful in it’s execution. The juxtaposition of the single, textured, turquoise brush stroke against the heavily detailed, Black and white photographs of forests is almost primal in it’d essence. There’s something about it; whether it be the simple execution of the piece, or the action taken to craft that brush stroke on the piece, I’m not sure what it is about this piece that makes me love it so much; I just can’t stop thinking about it!

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Emma Booker

A truly beautiful series of works, inspired by the decay of anatomical and organic forms. Booker focuses on the abstraction of these forms to create something that is instantly recognisable as hers. The decaying beauty of her works, the ambiguity of the brushstrokes and forms beckons back to those of Francis Bacon, yet seem far more rooted in the abstraction of the early 20th Century. There’s something very moving about the piece as a whole, and this is what drew me to them.

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Unfortunately, I do not know the Artist who created these pieces, but I do know that it was an illustrator. The artist’s work is based on a collection of old maps that her grandfather once owned, and she began to start to create cyanographic maps of the landscape around her home. The pieces are striking, the dark blue against the white lines echoes the waves of a sea, but showcases the beauty of the land. It’s a very appreciative piece, one that celebrates the dualities of nature.


Lucy Rhian Evans

This piece was beneficial to me, as it helped cure the headache that I was suffering from because of the night before. The room was illuminated by a single light, and the translucency of the hanging objects created intricate, crumpled silhouettes on the wall behind each one. the room was silent, and the shapes on the walls did not move. It was perfect for meditation and relaxation, and allowed me to collate my thoughts on the exhibition as a whole. Thank you Lucy, for helping  my mind.

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Shabazz Chapman

One of the most interesting pieces in the entirety of the exhibition. Stiffened, painted pieces of fabric hang from a ‘web’ of black thread, over a pool of Black liquid. The reflection of the fabric creating an illusion not unlike the one at the bottom of the Saatchi Gallery, but bringing with it and ominous message of fate, and the tragedy of a fall. One piece of fabric almost touches the surface of the liquid, creating a tension within the work that only serves to enhance the essence of this tragedy. The fabric may fall and succumb to the dirtiness of the black liquid, but if the fabric is already dirty, is there any point in saving it from becoming stained more?




Harriet McCormick

Although the work of Shabazz is interesting, it does not even come close to the work or McCormick here. I’ve been fascinated by ceramics for a while not, and this series of work blew my preconceptions about the medium out of the water. Being so delicate, I could not envision the practice being applied in a way such as this; primitive, brutal objects have been crafted, however, their inherent beauty and the use of ceramics creates a balance of fragility and Brutality. I liked this work so much that I actually bought two pieces of work off of the artist for my own home, something which I have never done before. Taxidermy is another great passion of mine, and therefore I can not dislike any of this artist’s work; it is far too stupendous!


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