I was delighted to be invited to respond to Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Showcase 2020, a digital degree show.
As you will see in my video, I was particularly taken with the work of Gabriel Phipps, a student of Painting and Printmaking in the School of Fine Art. He has explored the themes of leisure and free time. This has turned out to be particularly relevant as many of us find we have more of both than usual during the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown. Also, with the current easing of lockdown restrictions, we are more delighted than ever to have some freedom to enjoy ourselves.
Phipps openly cites a wide range of sources of inspiration, from Fernando Botero to Massimo Vitali and Lisa Brice. Four things struck me about Phipps’ work:
Firstly, its positivity as seen in his painting Man in the Sun, Glasgow.
Secondly, its generosity, for example wanting the viewer to share the relaxation being experienced in Lilo Boy.
Thirdly, its technical accomplishment, as seen in the fore-shortening of his Self-portrait.
Finally, its humour, using plasticine in works like Another One.
I think these four characteristics can be rare in contemporary practice and fit in well with a more community based spirit currently being enjoyed in Scotland and beyond.
Other students whose work caught my eye were:
But see what you think – have a look at the showcase – and remember, some students have presented complete bodies of work, others those in development.
I congratulate all the students involved and look forward to seeing what they create in the future.