97th Annual OCAD University Graduate Exhibition

May 3 –  May 6, 2012

Stepping into OCAD’s main building on May 4th, a sunny Friday afternoon, I was immediately surrounded by a happy buzzing of young people. They were all over the place, many of them graduating this year and proudly showing their work to friends and relatives.

Installation view with Nicholas Crombach, Bella and Piffin Melchior Duvekot’s sculpture in the background. Photo: Imre Hajagos

On the ground floor at the sculpture and installation section there is Nicholas Crombach milking cow called Bella, fabricated from plastic sacks and other waste materials juxtaposing its name by being more weird than pretty. Piffin Melchior Duvekot nudes are another knock out to beauty, showing difficult, even ugly moments of being a female.

Small sculptures by Mason Mummery. Photo: Imre Hajagos

From there I went up to level 4 being a lover of paintings. All the hallways were covered by works and large rooms were dedicated to exhibitions. The abundance of paintings of any imaginable style from representational through abstract to a single brushstroke filled the floor. Amanda Baron‘s paintings like Long quake of Infinity are very expressive with their distorted figures. Cayla Christiansen’s abstract paintings are outstanding with their colors, while Angela Plesa’s Napoleon portrait is mainly figurative with just a little touch of mystical blur.

Amanda Baron, Long quake of Infinity. Photo: Imre Hajagos

Angela Plesa, Napoleon. Photo: Imre Hajagos

The printmakers in their studio were selling prints and handmade papers, a big success as they sold a dozen or so in the short time I spent there. It was also interesting to see some of their tools like lithographic stones. The printmakers also had a large exhibition. Ilana van Zyl series, showing beaten up faces of children and adults, were very disturbing. Visitors could put on gloves and look at hand made books or play with printed houses. The jewelry studio was open with students working on their pieces. In the fashion design show students were also present to discuss their pieces with visitors, a good idea.

Erin Loree’s paintings. Photo: Imre Hajagos

Looking down from the balconies into the second floor the award winners’ work could be seen. Erin Loree won the painting and drawing price. Setareh Zakeri’s Persecution triptych (both in video and photographic form) is very dramatic, showing how one is locked into religion and both the suffering and cleansing effect of it.

Setareh Zakeri, Persecution 1

The class of 2012 is indeed an eclectic mix of more than 550 graduating students working in twelve undergraduate programs, exhibiting work from a broad spectrum of disciplines, ranging from drawing and painting, printmaking, photography, criticism and curatorial practice, integrated media and sculpture/installation in the Faculty of Art; to advertising, environmental, industrial and graphic design, illustration and material art and design (jewellery, fibre and ceramics) in the Faculty of Design.

Gordon Peteran’s gate. Photo: Imre Hajagos

Text: Emese Krunák-Hajagos.


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