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Talent on show at 'Onwards', Gray’s Postgraduate Degree Show 2021

Monday 08 November 2021

Sculpture from Gray's Graduate Julija Astasonoka
A vibrant exhibition celebrating talent from Masters’ students at Gray’s School of Art goes on display this week as ‘Onwards’, Gray’s Postgraduate Degree Show 2021 launches.

This is the first physical degree show post-pandemic and opens in Gray’s Look Again Project Space on St.Andrew’s Street, on Friday 12 November.

This innovative show includes a wide range of work from the 2021 graduating MAs’ together with progressing, part-time master’s students, across the Design and Fine MA disciplines including Photography, Animation, Video and Sculptural installation, Painting, and Jewellery.

The collection of work is wide ranging but includes significant common themes that focus on the environment and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Course Leader, Jon Pengelly from Gray’s School of Art said: “It is fantastic to be hosting a physical exhibition again. Our students have worked very hard throughout the pandemic curating an exhibition which includes a thought-provoking and dynamic collection of work.   

“This is the direction of travel we want to be going in, hosting a physical exhibition in the heart of Aberdeen at the Look Again Project Space, that shines a light on Gray’s School of Art talent.”

One of the master’s students exhibiting is Julija Astasonoka who has graduated with a Distinction Masters in Textiles. Julija, who is originally from Latvia, draws on her Soviet heritage and presents abstract concrete sculptures with hand embroidery that explore Soviet memorialisation, brutalist architecture and Russian Avant-garde.

Julija said: “Despite the fact that this is a small exhibition, it is very special and long waited as it the first live show after lockdown, something that will re-unite people in a difficult time. Working remotely in limited conditions during COVID times we did not expect to publicly show our creative practice and it proved that creativity has no limits, working in isolation students managed to produce honest and very personal artwork to a high standard.

“I want to acknowledge Gray’s School of Art’s academic and technical staff for their endless support throughout this process. They made it safe, enjoyable, and extremely cognitive. I think we learned how to be more independent, focussed, motivated and disciplined.”

The postgraduate showcase is free and open to the public.

A launch night takes place on Friday 12 November, 6 - 8 pm. The exhibition will run for three consecutive weekends in the Look Again Project Space, St.Andrew's Street, Friday to Sunday, 11am - 4pm.

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