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7 – 21 June  2013

BA & MFA Acknowledgements Special thanks to The Arts Committee of the University of Reading. We would also like to thank all of the contributors of Degree Show Fundraising. Without their generosity the Degree Show publication would not have been made possible. ( We would also like to thank artist Dean Kenning for his UK Art Courses poster contribution. (

Arts Committee

Further thanks go to Christine Ellison, Ruth Blacksell, Rachel Garfield and University of Reading MA Art History students Gerry Wyld, Katie Ackrill, Rachel Coles and photographer Robbie McKane for their guidance and contributions. Designed by Henry Bacon and Kathryn Chandler, students from the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading.

It’s us! It’s us! (2012) The Motorcycle Showroom, Bristol The Turbine House, Reading

Image Action Text – Publication launches (2012) Department of Art, University of Reading

Spectrum (2012) The Keep, Open Hand Open Space, Reading

Merz-soup (2012) The Central Gallery, University of Reading

Studio 4 Open (2012) Department of Art, University of Reading

Interim show (2013) Department of Art, University of Reading

Top left  Tanika K Ahluwalia Top right  Imogen Banks Bottom left  Rachel Louise Bedder @rachel_bedder Bottom right  Sarah Brady sjbrady1989 @sjbrady89

Top left  Chris Brimecome Top right  Jake Broadway @jakebwayart Bottom left  Holly Butcher Bottom right  Jamie Crawford

Top left  Naomi Davies @pinkification Top right  Daisy Dixon @resonanceddixon

Top left  Paroma Guha Top right  Nathalie Charlotte Hammond @nathaliehammond

Bottom left  Nathan English @english_nate

Bottom left  Steven Harris

Bottom right  Louise Fitzgerald @louisefitzg

Bottom right  Lauren Harrison lcharrison89 @lharrisonart

Top left  Maria Iordanous @mariaiordanous Top right  Emily Lawrenson @emilylawrenson Bottom left  Sarah Isaacs @s_jisaacs Bottom right  Katya Lewis

Top left  Olivia Lewis @ojlws Top right  Lucy Meadway Bottom left  Emma Louise Bottom right  Alexander Newman

Top left  Eva Nicou Zapata Top right  James Quinn @jamesquinn19 Bottom left  Charlotte Robey charlierobey976 @charlierobey Bottom right  Erika-Lee Shaw

Top  Laura Truesdale Middle  Laura Walker @readingwalker Bottom  Lewdjaw///Jack Wilson @lewdjaws

Follow us at @ArtReading2013 #STUDIO4

Bob Geal +44 7798 632557

Symptomatic observations of the modern condition Geal’s work endeavours to provide a series of social, political and topical observations via multi-dimensional mediums, creating a dynamic juxtaposition between stasis and animation. A critique of the characteristically authorless capitalist system in which labour is obscured within an industrialised, profit-driven infrastructure takes the form of a mechanised threedimensional installation. Applying this methodology to the art world, this mechanistic piece objectifies the disembodiment of the artist’s hand following technological advancement and the entrenchment of commerce within contemporary art. In addressing these ideological ills, this exhibit comments upon an art market in which a price is often attached to the very act of viewing an artwork. Consequently, the pressure under which practitioners must operate leads to a sense of conflict in relation to artistic motives, thereby reinvigorating the philosophical debate of ‘art for art’s sake’ within the artistic discourse. A series of two-dimensional paintings explore the social consequences of the ideological crisis of our modern condition. Centred upon perceptions of identity, these pieces tackle issues of morality and concerns of the social alienation palpable amongst the internet generation. Here, identity is characterised as an ambiguous and contrived concept constructed as per circumstantial requirement. This ubiquitous state of anonymity leads to a sense of conflict in relation to whether identity is a quantifiable entity or if it has become a subjective commodity dependent upon how one wishes to be perceived. The absence of facial features within Geal’s work highlights the social anxieties associated with the faceless methods of communication of the digital age in which we cannot read body language, facial expression or the nuances of speech that are fundamental properties of our shared humanity, giving rise to a question of trust. The iconography of these compositions, in which a nod to film noire can be identified, plays upon thematic aspects of criminality, infamy, illicit behaviour, violence, anarchy and tensions between conformity and liberation. Stylistically, this cinematic quality serves to reinforce both the conceptual narrative and iconic cultural allusions present in this work. These properties are further emphasised by the restrained application of colour, directing the viewer’s gaze to the more essential compositional elements such as light and shade, perspective and narrative. Via this predominantly monochrome aesthetic, these images possess a nostalgic characteristic which undoubtedly takes its inspiration from black and white photography; a further articulation of the dichotomy between hand and machine within the contemporary art world. Rachel Elizabeth Coles, MA History of Art & Architecture

Ed Quick

Site-specific projections  Quick’s work stems from an interest in transforming the bluntness of the digital three-dimensional image into a more tangible and believable experience. Due to the flatness of the digital image there is a barrier between us and the digital work which he seeks to break down with site-specific illusionary pieces, which the viewer is to experience rather than simply watch. This idea can be traced back to Quick’s early interest in the Pepper’s Ghost effect, which was created in 1862 to create more convincing illusions in the theatre. In art the development of the video projector became a tool for artists from the beginning of the 1970s, and with the improvement of this technology throughout the decade artists began to experiment with the potential to project images onto unconventional surfaces.  Tony Oursler would project facial features onto faceless dummies and use sound to make them talk with the aim of creating a ‘situation rather than an image’. Quick’s work also uses projection in this installation form, projecting images onto real life objects in order to create an experience for the audience. However, whereas Oursler’s work creates a strange and psychologically disturbing atmosphere, Quick creates site-specific illusionary projections that blur the boundary between the real and the imaginary, and challenge the flatness of the digital image. Site-specific art first emerged in the late 1960s with an aim to establish a relationship between the artwork and its site by allowing the piece to become formally determined by its environmental context. Since its beginnings the range of site-specific art we have seen is extensive and diverse, ranging from Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ 1978–80 performance ‘Touch Sanitation’ which highlighted the support structures of the Art World, to Joseph Beuys’ ‘7000 Oaks’ project (1982–7) which commented on the participatory nature of social sculpture. The importance of site-specific art lives on and now takes its most famous form in the 9/11 memorial recently created within the footprints of the Twin Towers. Quick’s use of site-specificity can be seen as a comment on today’s digital image for it aims to corrode the rigid boundaries between the viewer and the flat image. Finally, it is imperative to mention the influence of automatic writing in Quick’s art. The artist feels it is important to achieve a balance in his work; between chaos and control, feeling and thought. Therefore he incorporates his own automatic drawings into his projections with a view of freeing the works from too many conceptual constraints. Yves Tanguy and Roberto Matta in particular have been great influences in this process for their contribution to automatic drawing in the Surrealist movement (c.1920s). Katie Ackrill, MA History of Art & Architecture

Elisabeth Tomopoulos

Daria Wanzik

Robyn Appleton

Manifestations of power  In her work Robyn takes long established images of power and influence and recontextualizes them in unusual situations. In her first series of works she uses a statue of the Virgin Mother and Infant Christ that she obtained from a local church, initially to effect repairs to it. The Madonna and Child is one of the iconic images in the history of art and one that has produced a powerful relationship between viewer and object. This has applied in both religious settings (where it adorns the walls and chapels of thousands of Roman Catholic churches and acts as a focus for prayer and contemplation) and on the walls of museums and art galleries where it has formed the subject of many paintings over hundreds of years. Robyn has taken this image, via her statue, and sought to question this formal relationship by removing it from its church context. In her photographs she stands holding the Madonna juxtaposed with images of the desert, a packed cathedral and inner city riots. Inadvertently, however, the statue forms the shape of a cross with her own body and perhaps poses another question about power. In another set of works she takes an iconic symbol of power – the political map – and sets out to deconstruct and subvert its power. Maps of the world have been used through the centuries to show the growth of empires, and up to the Second World War, the shade of red indicated the great spread of the British Empire across the continents. Robyn takes these ‘power’ maps and literally deconstructs them, tearing them into narrow shards, exploring the authority they represent. Then, taking the sculptures of Fred Sandback as her starting point, she hangs the shards in vertical and horizontal structures from ceiling to floor, replacing their original certainty with a new fragility. Though her two sets of works employ different media and subject matter Robyn’s work has at its heart the question of power. Power structures are transitory even though they may seem to be, at the height of their influence, invincible. Her ongoing work is exploring manifestations of power in communal and personal settings. Gerry Wyld, MA History of Art & Architecture

Introduction  This initiative – for the History of Art and Architecture and Fine Art students to come together for their degree show catalogue – was suggested and overseen by Robyn Appleton from the Masters of Fine Art programme. Robyn and I met with the HoA&A students in the Autumn term to introduce the idea of some form of contribution. They met this approach with great enthusiasm mixed with a little trepidation and went through a process of visits to the Fine Art studios and discussion about how to proceed, thinking through different models. The initial idea was for the Art History students to write about something of interest to them, that they would be doing on their course, perhaps. However, a suggestion soon emerged for a direct dialogue to take place between the Fine Art and Art History students, a dialogue in which the art historians would write about the work of the artists. Great generosity of spirit has been shown by both sets of students who gave their time and focus to this. It takes courage to write about living artists, who can speak back, disagree and feel misunderstood. It also takes courage to trust someone you don’t know to write about your art and look at it when it is still in process and hope that it is understood, or at least has an empathetic ear. Happily, the development of the relationship from discussing to writing, was amicable throughout and the result of this can be seen here: Katie Ackrill, Gerry Wyld, and Rachel Coles have written pieces about the work, contextualizing the concerns of Ed Quick, Robyn Appleton and Bob Geal respectively. I would like to thank the Fine Art BA students who allowed the joint BA/MFA catalogue to go ahead without any additional funding. I would particularly like to thank the MFA students and the History of Art & Architecture students themselves. This catalogue is a result of considerable effort and a leap of faith by them both, to see the value in overcoming their self-consciousness and concerns and opening their ideas and work up to people whom they didn’t know before. I think it has paid off and I look forward to many more initiatives and collaborations of this sort in future years. Dr Rachel Garfield, Director of Postgraduate Studies

7 – 21 June  2013

Reading Degree Show 2013  

This Publication contains the profiles of BA and MFA Reading University Graduates.

Reading Degree Show 2013  

This Publication contains the profiles of BA and MFA Reading University Graduates.