Degree Show Review

A short review of two pieces of student’s work from the degree show at university.


For part of my assessment for uni we were given the mini brief of completing a review of two pieces of work from the third year degree show. We had to choose one piece of work from an illustration student and one from a student from another discipline.


I chose this piece from an Illustration student, Polly Colquhoun, because I liked that it was a 3D piece and I found it intriguing. I also liked the texture within the piece. This piece of work consists of 3 3D scenes that are displayed within a wall. The scenes are accompanied by text which are lines from a contemporary opera called Death’s Other Kingdom. The scenes are quite small but they are illuminated from within which makes them eye catching. All of the scenes consist of black prints on white paper or card. The scenes occupied a space that was quite hidden, this allowed the viewer to stumble upon these little glimpses of a different world. It also allowed the viewer to explore these pieces in the quiet as it was slightly removed from the rest of the show.

This work communicates quietly as the pieces are quite small and almost hidden within the wall. They are there to be discovered rather than there to exclaim their presence. This work is imaginative because it looks unique and consideration has gone into the process of designing and making it. The printing technique and the conversion from flat pieces of work to a 3D scene demonstrates skills. I find the piece captivating because of the little details within the piece and because of how simplistic and rustic the different components look.

The work is inviting and intriguing as it resembles little worlds there for the viewer to explore and experience. The work as a whole coheres well, all of the scenes were made using the same technique of printing and they are all in black and white which makes them fit together well. They all have text underneath which adds more intrigue to the work.



I chose this piece by an Artist Designer Maker student, Sofia Calatrava, because of the interesting way that illustration has been combined with ceramics. I also like the animated ceramic piece that spins to highlight the transition shown on the pot. This piece  consist of multiple ceramic pieces that have been decorated with illustrations of faces. This piece is about personality and emotions. It portrays divided feelings. All of the pots follow the same design, glazed white with dark illustrations. A mirror is used to show the opposite side of some of the ceramic pieces, which also demonstrates the split emotion theme of the work. Some of the pots are quite large compared to others which could show that some of the feelings portrayed are stronger than others.

The work communicates quite boldly, the faces on the ceramic are quite imposing and hard to miss. The illustrations clearly show a split or a conflict of the artists feelings. I think that this piece is imaginative because of the combination of illustration and ceramics which is quite unique. It also demonstrates a number of skills which are needed to produce this work. The purpose of the work is to portray the artists self-perception and I think that this is communicated clearly.

This work is intriguing and slightly unnerving because of the stark faces present on the pots. It encourages the viewer to question their own self-perception and think about how they view others. The work coheres as a whole because of the uniformity of the ceramic pieces even if the illustrations differ. The work isn’t hidden in its space, its noticeable and confrontational in the way that it demands people attention.

Object and Subject

Discussing the body as a subject and how it can become an object through social media and selfies.

The body as a subject is free, it can’t be owned by others so we have control over our own bodies. It can also communicate freely with other bodies, as a subject the body is free to do what it wants when it wants. However through things like social media the body can be seen as an object, for example when a selfie is posted. This happens as the body then becomes the object of observation online and people don’t know what others use their images for. The publisher owns the selfie but others can download it and use it. Selfies are also subject to criticism and scrutiny from others, this criticism is not always posted online so the owner of the selfie may never be aware of it. Selfies are also subject to control from popular culture, people go to great lengths to capture the ‘perfect selfie’ by editing their images using filters or photoshop. Selfies objectify the body through the need to be seen as beautiful and for others to accept and like us.

Emily Hilditch Selfie 2016 

The Body in Art and Design

The relationship between the body in art and design and my practise, illustration.

Dr Matteo FARINELLA and Dr Hana ROS – Neurocomic 2013

The body has been depicted through illustration for many years. Illustration has been used to explain the inner workings of the body, for example medical drawings showing how organs work in the body. Life drawing is also used within illustration to accurately depict the body but it can also be about capturing the movement of a person and portraying it on a page. Illustration in comics or books, like the one from the comic Neurocomic above, can also be used to explain how things within the body work in an artistic and simple way.