Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show
Call me biased, but as usual it was the painting and sculpture work which set my pulse racing
Engineering prosthetic eyelashes from flies' legs; obsessively reconstructing a dead man's bedroom; publicly confessing your desire to fuck celebrities in the mouth… Despite what you may be thinking, this isn't the to-do list of a deranged serial killer – these are the mere day-to-day banalities of life as a hard-working art student; and from June 17-27 we, the raffish masses, were permitted to venture inside ECA to find out exactly what it is that visionaries do with their time. Call me biased, but as usual it was the painting and sculpture work which set my pulse racing. In sculpture Jessica Harrison's interruptions and mutations of everyday objects had a distinctly David Cronenberg feel to them; a fleshy flute is augmented with human lips in place of a mouthpiece and fingernails instead of keys. The effect is unsettling and confrontational, perhaps even more so than the aforementioned 'Flylashes'. This is a compulsive and powerful exploration of our desire to behold the freakish and monstrous. Darren Farquhar also exploits our need to be unnerved by turning his space into a warren of ominous, black metal and wood constructions, complete with eerie lighting and a suspended television broadcasting only ominous static. David Lynch fans will know why I found this so terrifying. In painting, Andrew Ingram-Cooke's images of Edinburgh catch the eye, and are at once familiar and hilariously skewed. Banksy is a clear point of reference, as we find Winnie The Pooh ingesting acid in a Tollcross gutter and a monkey in a business suit chomping on Monster Munch down in Leith. More than mere gluts of unconnected imagery, these are surreal and witty investigations of the way in which we interpret our environment. Other highlights included Aki Nakayama's beautiful knitted wire body adornments in Jewellery and Yee Yung Seo's installation in Evolution House – a gently undulating wall of backlit tissue paper which hypnotised the viewer, and was the clear high point of the otherwise rather disappointing Art, Space and Nature department. [Lucy Faringold]
This exhibition has now closed.