NCAD Graduate Show 2017 highlights work of leading artists and designers of the future
The academic programme at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) is adapting to meet opportunities being presented by a national policy which promises to elevate the arts and creativity in Ireland and beyond. According to Bernard Hanratty, Acting Director of NCAD, the College is rolling out new dimensions to its academic programme in September 2017 designed to enable graduates to build on opportunities set out in the Government’s Creative Ireland strategy. Mr Hanratty was speaking at a preview of the College’s graduate showcase, the NCAD Graduate Show 2017.
Bernard Hanratty said: “Through our collaboration and links with industry partners we know that creativity and innovative thinking are highly sought-after and valued skills not just in the creative sector, but across all sectors. The education programmes offered at NCAD are designed to encourage our students to maximise their creative potential and we ensure that these programmes continuously evolve to stay relevant.”
New opportunities for students include the introduction of the ‘Studio+’ year, which seeks to give students at NCAD the opportunity to work on live commercial, social and cultural projects; undertake industry internships with leading companies and organisations; learn from the skills & expertise of students and staff from other disciplines and courses; and work in a real-world design environment.
Students can also undertake the new four-year BA International programme, which includes a full academic year of study abroad. Additionally, NCAD will be offering a number of new programmes at undergraduate level including Illustration, Graphic Design, Jewellery & Objects and Interaction Design, and from 2018 there will be a broader range of entry pathways to NCAD making it possible to select an area of degree specialisation on application.
“All of these initiatives are in line with wider developments in the arts, design and creative space, and with government initiatives such as the Creative Ireland policy, which has a big focus on elevating creative talent and industries, and on promoting Ireland’s creative strength abroad. Our commitment to the consultation process towards a National Design Strategy is also reflected through these initiatives. NCAD is pleased to be ahead of the curve in preparing this generation of students for what we hope will be a renaissance of investment in arts, design and creativity,” continued Bernard Hanratty.
This year’s showcase focuses heavily on social and political issues, with students applying innovative creative processes to anticipate the needs, wants and desires of future societies. The showcase will be open to the public from Saturday, 10th June until Sunday, 18th June and will feature the work of undergraduates from NCAD’s Schools of Fine Art, Design, Education and Visual Culture, and postgraduates from the Master of Fine Art and MFA Art in the Digital World programmes. Work in progress from postgraduate students in the Schools of Design and Education will also be on display, together with a selection of live industry projects undertaken by Design students.
“Across our four Schools of Fine Art, Design, Education and Visual Culture, the body of work produced by this year’s graduates clearly shows a critical awareness of complex societal and political issues facing Ireland today and into the future. Feminism and women’s rights, for instance, is one of this year’s key areas of focus with a reflection on a range of topical issues, from the Repeal the 8th movement to the upcoming centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland next year. Other key themes include students’ explorations of mental health issues, as well as fake news, an issue which, in a world of ‘alternative facts’ in becoming bigger by the day.”
In total, work by 329 students features in the NCAD Graduate Show 2017. The showcase presents an annual opportunity to exhibit the creative identities of students as they launch their careers. There is also an opportunity for potential clients, collectors, employers and other innovators, as well as the general public, to see the best in art and design at its early stages of development.
Highlights of the 2017 graduate showcase include:
- An interactive virtual reality installation by MFA Fine Art student Elaine Hoey, Stranger than Fiction is Fact utilises technology to disrupt and destabilise the viewer’s navigation and understanding of our current political mediascape. It investigates the idea of ﬁction as a new reality, drawing parallels between technological, mediated and political systems, proposing new ways to negotiate this uncertain terrain.
- Repeal Chain by BA Visual Culture student, Leanne Woodfull, is a collaborative project with the aim of creating an activist platform to educate those outside of Ireland on the Repeal the 8th campaign.
- Through personal interviews and anecdotes, The Curious Paradox by Visual Communication student Conor Foran, sheds light on the shy presence of stammering in our society.
- A Culinary Childhood by Jewellery & Metalwork student, Sinead Christie, explores the challenging and memorable personal moments that she has experienced with her family. Passion for food runs through their veins and when they eat together, they are celebrating life – the good and the bad. By taking the fork and spoon motifs, Christie turns them into personal and quirky reflections of both her and her family, while showing how love stands in the face of adversity.
- Demolishing the Memories by Joint Painting & Education student, Adam McGrane, is a tribute to the people of St. Teresa’s Gardens on the occasion of the demolition of the flat complex. McGrane’s work captures the moment the resident’s homes were destroyed through using raw materials from the scene as an artistic medium. It offers an insight into the thriving community spirit that once existed, its balcony culture and an intimate view into the characters of St. Teresa’s Gardens.
- The space and distance between people can often be increased, even when living within close proximity to one another. The perceptions which Sculpture & Expanded Practice student Kevin O’Kelly has incorporated into his installation, Something about the way you look, manipulates the two-way visibility of witnessing somebody alone in a space, while also being conscious of loneliness as being visible to others. He explores the tension produced by these factors.
- Shackleton by Product Design student Adam Blagburn, explores our sensory perceptions and questions the values we place on everyday experience. Modern society often fails to stop and take in the world around us. Through haptic navigation and inflatable location mapping Shackleton acts as a tool for modern sensory exploration, disrupting everyday routine.
The NCAD Graduate Show 2017 Show will open to the public on Saturday, 10th June at 10am. The exhibitions will run until Sunday, 18th June across NCAD’s campus at 100 Thomas Street and The Annex, 101-103 James’ Street, where work from Master of Fine Art and MFA Art in the Digital World programmes will be displayed.
For more information, visit: www.ncad.ie/about/ncad-2017-show.