Tuesday, February 25

Andrew Kay: Yak Yak Yak

- September 13, 2016

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A degree of satisfaction

It’s 38 years since I graduated from Chelsea School of Art and since then the building has been pulled down and replaced, the school has become a part of a much larger organisation and moved to Millbank where it now occupies a rather grand old building with lots of character bang next door to Tate Britain, prestigious or what? It has also been renamed Chelsea College of Arts. I rather liked it being school but that I guess is progress.

A week ago I was invited along to see the post-graduate degree shows for students in the Spatial Design department and in particular the work of a friend. I was slightly unnerved to be going back after such a long absence and for the first time to the new incarnation but I need not have been afraid, I loved it. Loved it so much that I hankered to be back, to be in the vibrant creative environment simply buzzing with ideas and energy.

Intelligent and creative thought

Not that it was all good, far from it. I enjoyed seeing the post-grad graphic designers’ work, some of which put a smile on my face but a lot which made me frown. I guess the course is aimed at creative development but I did not see much that had any form of graphic application.

Fine Art was definitely a mixed bag, some genuinely stunning work sat side by side with work that I would have labelled plagiarism, really, I was shocked and dismayed. Some however was very impressive and I wished that more of the students had been there to talk to.

Finally Spatial Design, here I was most impressed by a wide range of intelligent and creative thought and beautifully, on the whole, realisations of those ideas.

Would I go back? Maybe, perhaps, mmmmm maybe not, it was great to see the shows and talk about the work but at the end of my time there I was happy that I had once been a part of such an exciting institution that upholds such high standards.


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