The Top-up degree show at Sussex Coast College

It seems extraordinary that is was a year ago that I wrote about the Sussex Coast College Degree Show. This is the exhibition that shows the work done by the top-up students who have completed the Foundation Degree that I have just finished and work for another year to get a full BA Hons. It brings together students who are studying Fine Art, Craft, Illustration and Design.

Last year I was stuck by the absence of paintings and again it was noticeable that the people who produced things that looked like pictures were more likely to be studying such things as illustration than Fine Art. However there was one outstanding painting by David Wright whose work has developed in a most interesting way over the last year. It was  difficult to photograph because of the dim lighting in the Printworks where the exhibition was held. Note to organisers – next year consider investing in a few more light bulbs.

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David is interested in the way that materials react with each other and what you see has been created by what  is in effect a chemical process. I saw the work in progress as it was being made or to some extent while it was making itself.  The end result is both beautiful  and dramatic- it must be at least five foot square – what you see in the photograph is the middle not the whole thing and the colours as reproduced don’t really do it justice.

Another person whose work I feel has developed hugely is Lyn Dale pictured below. Last year she offered the Lucky Bears her installation this year is most intriguing.


The pages you see behind her are all torn from autobiographies; only the chapter titles remain visible as Lyn has machine stitched out all the words.

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The chapter titles are extraordinary and include – Destroyed , Crisis, out of the Darkness, A Night to Remember, Call me Madam, and my favourite, A Policeman in the Attic. We can only speculate about these unknown lives.

From the craft students I was also impressed again by Gilles Buxton’s ceramic heads.

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And among the Visual Communication Design students, by Julie Plantecoste’s drawings of tormented hands.

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