The Ruskin School Of Art Degree Show 2015: Highlights

Artlyst has attended the Ruskin Degree Show 2015 to take a look at what the prestigious Oxford School may offer the art world in the near future. The school dates from 1871, when John Ruskin first opened his School of Drawing, the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art has enjoyed a variety of guises, and a developing reputation.

Ruskin intended to develop a course for the University leading to a degree in art. The school consisted of a teaching collection of more than 800 watercolours and drawings and more than 400 prints, including works by Dürer, Tintoretto and Turner, and was originally housed in the University Galleries. The school continued its work in what became the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, moving to its current High Street site in 1975.

Ruskin’s dream of establishing a Bachelor of Fine Art degree was finally achieved in 1978, and this became the present honours degree in 1992. Artlyst attended the schools ‘Green Shed’, the site of this years exhibition, and here brings you the highlights, suggesting a number of artist’s to keep an eye on in the future.

Ruskin’s School of Drawing is eloquently referenced through Eleanor Pryer’s particular drawing practice focusing on organic patterns forming installations, blurring the boundaries between two dimensional and three dimensional practices. The artist’s work ‘has become concentrated on the diversity of the rigid line’ becoming both organic and geometric. There is a minimalist component to Pryer’s work, a maturity in terms of language, and a clarity that belies its status as degree work. In fact the common denominator in terms of chosen artist’s from this year’s Ruskin show: is a clarity of language.

Laurien Ash, creates a work that juxtaposes video art with principles of installation, projecting the viewer into the topography of live video-gaming, creating event-based art where the perception of our own physical space is transposed into digital space, synchronising movement with the screen. The work contemporises the viewers interaction with principles of installation art, and hyper-reality. Affirming the Baudrillardian stance that media substitutes reality, as we project our own identities across the internet creating empty Baudrilladian cyclical reflections.

Last but not least in this selection is Julia Sklar, who explores concealment and facial expression, as well as western notions of feminine beauty and self-presentation. The artist works in video and presents herself in a video performance ‘resurfacing’ her face through the misuse of various cosmetic products, subverting their application to effect socially acceptable presentation and therefore perceived identity. A particularly strong work from this year’s Ruskin Degree Show, and certainly an artist to look out for in the future.

The Ruskin School Of Art Degree Show 2015 Exhibitors: Rebecca Achieng Ajulu-Bushell, Laurien Ash, Sonia Bernac, Madeleine Bogacki, Ailis Brennan, Emma D’Arcy, Zoë Dunn, Melanie Eckersley, Arieh Frosh, Irina Iordache, Gala Ioannou, Josie King, Joe Mackay, Mark Mindel, Emma Papworth, Lili Pickett-Palmer, Eleanor Pryer, Mateo Revillo Imbernón, Mateo Revillo Imbernón, Louisa Siem, Julia Sklar, Amy Thellusson, Noelle Turner-Bridger, Amy Wilson

Words: Paul Black. Photos: P A Black © 2015

The Ruskin School Of Art Degree Show 2015 – The Green Shed Oxford – 19 to 22 June 2015

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