Masters

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Ben Cairns

In 2014 Scottish Natural Heritage published an updated map of ‘Wild Land Areas’, using the methodology developed from ‘Search areas for wild land’ in its policy statement 2002.

This map identifies 42 areas within Scotland that are deemed ‘wild’, categorised based upon 4 key criteria: 1. Perceived ‘Naturalness’ of the Land Cover. 2. Ruggedness of terrain. 3. Remoteness from public roads, ferries or railway stations. 4. Visible lack of buildings, roads, pylons and other modern artefacts.

Using this as a starting point Cairns is looking at how the terrain differs to the elements on the boundaries or outside the area, that are deemed ‘non-wild’.

His project will be viewed through his experience of the landscape as a walker, a photographer and his upbringing upon the boundaries of Wild Land Area 16. He plans to apply his experience of the area in the form of personal maps, breaking away from the dominant narrative that is portrayed within traditional ‘thin’ maps, and visualise the walked line within his prints.

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Susan Cassie

‘People should make their own memory box in their forties and fifties’. This has underpinned the work throughout this Masters course, work that is now seen as two halves, before and during Covid-19.

Pre Covid the work concerned involuntary memory and the function of the everyday as memory trigger. Contextualized through alternative darkroom processes as dialogue between process and processor, the work questions the role of the everyday as facilitator of meaningful shared experience through the prism of Barthes’ notion of punctum and studium.

During lockdown, with no darkroom access, the work has had to evolve. The isolation of memory loss has become the collective isolation of lockdown. A bedroom becomes an alternative darkroom, existing dialogues develop in unexpected ways as lockdown continues. The everyday is explored through video and soundscapes of the immediate environment. The work expands as life contracts.

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Matthew Wells

Through his research into allegorical symbols, Wells situates his work within the Scottish narrative painting tradition. His work maintains a strong reliance on the processes of drawing as a tool of both thought and dissemination of ideas by repeating and combining motifs in different media. Two key informants of Wells' Masters project to date have been the Rennaisance compendium of moral emblems by Cesar Ripa, and the absurdist plays of Alfred Jarry and Eugene Ionesco. The allegorical approach of these writers has led Wells to develop his own character, "The Emperor of His Own Universe"; an outsider figure who inadvertently establishes a cult of worship around himself-and maybe begins to believe his own myth- with shades of Monty Python's Brian, Wells is attempting to address the veneration and criticism with which society treats figures it deems worthy, whether they have actively courted adulation and power or not.

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Angela Main

The work in this Virtual degree show attempts to articulate and capture some of the themes and ideas that I have been working with over the breadth of the MA course. Situated loosely in a land based/water based, performative arts practice, the work looks to engage with ideas of embodiment and liveliness, as potential frameworks to provoke an exploration within the natural watery environment, inclusive of pressing issues.

As the work attempts to negotiate itself in a place that is fraught of watery and tidal synchronicities, it considers a metaphorical abstract of a performative journey, concerned with space, time and embodiment. Surfacing, somewhere between endurance and ethical concern, this work floats in a cave that is bestowed to a language of a phenomenological nature. Close calling echoes of feminist discourse and practice provide powerful undercurrents that support this work, specifically that of hydrofeminist thinking (Astrida Neimanis) and ideas of trans-corporeality (Stacy Alaimo), in relation to thinking about being with the other.

Angela is hosting a series of live online performances during the week of the Showcase. They are free to attend and tickets can be obtained at the links below.

Watery meditation: I am a particle of water in the River Dee

SEP 27th 11:00 - 12:00

Watery meditation: I have a bowl of water in front of me

SEP 28th 20:00 - 21:00
OCT 2nd Fri, 14:00 - 15:00

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Our MA programme provides a learning environment that supports and challenges your specialist practice, enabling the acquisition of new interdisciplinary working practices and conceptual skills in the development and production of significantly new work. This programme is underpinned and contextualised by contemporary debates, perspectives and research within Art and Design practice.

Personal Creative Space

"This year has been extremely challenging for all the Master’s students who have graduated, this of all years, and for those progressing with their part-time studies. They have all had to both pause and then re-start not only the physical creative process of making, but more importantly pause and redirect the critical framework on which the work resides, as a direct result of this COVID year. The resulting creative spaces, they negotiated and had to find in this lock-down environment shows real ambition within this work. I do believe they have not been compromised at all by these restrictions, with students finding alternative ways of working and new directions as a direct response and consequence.

In many ways these developments and innovative personal practice[s] are testament to Master’s level performance and I would like to congratulate all the students on the incredible diversity, and creative sensitivity seen within this work, which responded creatively to new personal and social conditions. There are also I feel deeper questions asked here in some of this work, which demands or questions what ‘alternatives to production’ (Bruno Latour) we might now expect, of the systems or norms, we have come to rely on up to this point... resulting in new work, new conditions and new kinds of creative spaces."

MA Course Leader 2020

Jon Pengelly

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