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Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2015

Until June 7th
Four stars

With more than 430 graduates showing off their wares in the vast expanse of ECA, it's impossible to give anything but a cursory overview of the event in such limited space as is allowed here. One can only follow one's nose and try not to be too overwhelmed by the vast array of fresh talent bursting from every pore of the building. Wit is always a winner, and William Spendlove (or William Spendlove & Bros Painters & Decorators if you please) has it in spades in his waggishly industrious line in small works that include a pair of sandles and a vivid polo neck jumper wrapped around a frame with a Picasso tote bag hung rakishly on its arm.

The upside-down legs of Rosaleigh Harvey-Otway photographed in theatre auditoriums and other spaces offer glimpses into equally topsy-turvy worlds, while both Mel Wilson and Douglas Allison seem to be operating in similar all-angles day-glo territories. John Nowak's music-inspired canvasses throb with Brian Eno styled inspirations, from the fact that they're christened 'Anbient 1, 2 and 3' to the way the colours offer up translucent chilll-out spaces pulsed by everything except the actual sounds themselves.

Tucked away in a cupboard, the creepy detail of Lola Higgins' set design for what looks like an early Ian McEwan short story is a grotesque, claustrophobic and gloomily evocative construction, and is all the better for that. As is too Amy Boulton's cheeky but wryly-observed dig at ECA/University of Edinburgh's role in city gentrification by presenting a mock-up of a TV ad for Institution House, ECA's purpose-built library here remodelled as the ultimate post-modern des-res destination for those who like their buildings shiny. These are but a handful of snapshots of the next generation of artists. There are many many more.

The List, June 2015

ends

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