Degree show review: Glasgow School of Art


By Nick Creed | Co-Founder & Digital Director

June 8, 2012 | 3 min read

The Drum is dispatching industry professionals to this year's advertising and design degree shows to see what we can expect from the next generation of talent coming into the industry.

In the first installment of the series, The Drum's director Nick Creed checks out the work on show at Glasgow School of Art. Want to review a degree show for us? Email

I always feel a little sorry for final year students at their degree show because they've spent the last four years of their life working up to one sodding display of work that is critiqued by complete strangers. Most of the students are half cut by the time it starts, and quite right too - they've spent a lot of emotional energy getting to where they are and, quite frankly, they deserve a drink.

So through the whiff of alcohol I embarked on this year's Department of Visual Communication Degree Show at Glasgow School of Art.

The first thing that struck me was there were screens on practically every wall with a large proportion of students creating work around film and motion. Graphics and illustration was still represented but not as strongly as in previous years.

Final year tutor Neil McGuire praised the students: "It has been a really good year with a strong body of work - diverse in subject areas both in content as well as the medium. Students are taking a broader approach to executing a project using different technologies which is good to see."

Three students stood out from this year's show.

Fraser Clark's work was notable with his bold colourful screen prints of The Simpsons cartoon landscapes, but without the Simpsons characters. A separate piece of work looked at the nature of online privacy and how people can curate their own life. This took him into Second Life and social networking where people take on different personas.

Gabriella Marcella Ditano showed a wall of strong graphic work exploring relationships. Each image was unique and interesting in its own right but all fitted together in a well thought out presentation. She recently won a £10,000 prize from the 2012 Deutsche Bank Award which has given her the confidence and fiancial help she needs to set up a specialist print studio based in Glasgow.

Sally Aurora Sibbet reacted against print and graphics with a tongue in cheek look at print through an eye catching film installation.

And other work that caught my eye was separate work from illustrators Kate Costigan and Ruth Lillian Foulis.


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