Qualifications and standards

Scholarship sculpture exemplars - 2016

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Outstanding Scholarship

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Sample Workbook pages

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This submission is a conceptually rigorous and technically faultless sculptural investigation. The proposition clearly identifies an interest in exploring “mental diseases/disorders” to question ‘their’ place and effect within society/social contexts. To do this, the candidate works with metaphorical notions and ideas of cannibalism and self-consumption. Research into psychological disorders has helped drive the way in which they approach these ideas in the work, for example - eating one’s own intestine as a self-harm action (in relation to anorexia). This is understood as a perceptual notion; to eat one’s self, which in effect is both absurd and abject – and is reinforced by the visual and visceral material nature of the objects and sculptural works, i.e. they look ‘horrific’. 

The ability to take a traditional sculpture material approach, such as ceramics along with additive/subtractive processes into inventive and manipulated methods of making is at a very high level. The candidate doesn’t rely on the technical aspects; these are primarily used to reinforce the conceptual and do so succinctly and with authority. The manner in which the various materials and processes are employed transcends the ceramics as a base material, i.e. they work to the potentialities of traditional material conventions of ceramics. 

Ceramic form is also cleverly utilised as object and prop for performance. The works produced move in and out of other material propositions, which are complementary to the ceramics, e.g. where he, the main figure is eating his own intestines, the soft gelatin material is treated (manipulated) in a similar way to the ceramics. This is consistently demonstrated throughout; aesthetics is well-understood and relate conceptually within each work.

The candidate is highly cognisant of how to manipulate an audience. They understand that literally viewing the work can and does engage the audience in an abject experience. The representational capacity of the ceramic object is being used to subvert the expectations of the viewer. This positions a strong conceptual focus, which is tied into the abject as a methodological strategy and conceptual tactic for exploring this socio-political psychological topic. 

The research presented in the workbook draws from a range of psychological and sociological issues. The analysis of this informs the sculptural practice in a way that adds to the viewers understanding of the work. The candidate has a personal investment in cultural contexts that relate to their selected research territory, e.g. music and film – which makes this a totally authentic enquiry. The horror genre is referenced in relation to film and the abject through the writing of Kristeva (philosopher, “Powers of Horror”). This evidences a real depth of engagement and thinking not often seen at this level.


(click icon images to see a large version in a new window)

Panel 1 (JPG, 1.7MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.4MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 1.5MB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 4.6MB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 2MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 1.8MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 1.9MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 1.8MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 1.6MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 1.8MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 1.8MB)

Sample page 8 (JPG, 1.7MB)

This submission successfully employed play as subject and the platform to create a series of playful sculptural provocations. This is strategically clever. Taking simple game structures and elements that are familiar, such as lego, play dough and coloured pencils, they embark on a widely experimental and exploratory process that reinterprets functionality and exploits the limitations and potential of ‘playing’ through sculptural intervention.

Sculptural methods of making are deployed to articulate ideas that reinforce the notion of play, but also add humour in terms of functionability through applied colourful restrictions and paper creating negation of movement. Priority is given to intervening with objects that challenge usability through instructions, devices of blocking, reinterpreting movement. In other instances, devices diagrammatically refer to physical function, such as filling in the space or volume of the space of movement (negative space) recording the intangible. This is an interesting translation developed on from Whiteread’s work, where negative or interior space is often cast – here, however the cast is recording the space that is carved out through movement.

The workbook extensively explores sculptural ideas, lots of them! The drawings effectively utilise sculptural thinking and test out a range of options including a number of lateral possibilities. This submission travels far and does this through in-depth analysis, founded in the sheer number of proposed works, experimental tests and resolved works. The simplicity of the drawings advantage the testing nature of the work, in that each drawing clearly communicates what each idea proposes.

Scale is an element that is productively used to communicate play through sculptural conventions. Various tactics are employed, such as working with human scale, i.e. playground apparatus, swings, hopscotch. The provisional nature of the materials used – paper, cardboard, string, tarpaulin – also reinforces the propositional stance that the work upholds. This sits well with the concept of play as a temporary state and the suggestion of an experimental attitude the subject and site of the playground brings to the enquiry.

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