Preview: Fine Art degree show

The Tab speaks to three of the Fine Art show’s ones to watch.


This weekend sees the Fine Art students reaching the culmination of their degree with the show taking place in the Richard Hamilton building, The Glass Tank Gallery and Drama Studio.

Here’s our selection to check out:

Sam Varnham

Describe your art in three words: Monochrome. Sex. Institutionalised.

Favourite piece of yours: ‘I LOOK FOR YOU IN EVERYONE’

Who influences you?: Grayson Perry, Barbara Kruger, Tracey Emin and Marina Abramovic.

Who else should we look out for?: Me. (And Becky Eastment, her works alright too)

I see you in everyone

I see you in everyone

Sam decided to do something he knew about for his theme, and settled on relationships. He’s most hoping that the audience won’t be “complete dicks and [will] actually try and relate to the work”. Despite the focus on sex Sam’s isn’t out there to cause a scene.

“It’s nothing new, or shocking, when you think about it. It’s all confessional. Or myself commenting on others relationships, but its all my reaction to it all. Nothing’s fake.” He described his favourite piece as “comforting”, and it sums up the feeling you get when you like someone who doesn’t like you back.

After three years of hard work, when we asked Sam what his plans were he said “I plan on going to a hot country and doing absolutely fuck all for about 2 weeks at least”.

Vicki Clampitt

Describe your art in three words: Material. Spatial. Temporary.

Favourite piece of yours: Five tools made from lead-free pewter.

Who influences you?: Gordon Matta-Clark and Lara Alamrcegui.

Who else should we look out for?: Jessica Reynolds’ latex ‘skin’ of a caravan.

The five pewter tools

The five pewter tools

Vicki described herself as being “excited and a little nervous” to have her work on display. Unlike Sam, she’s doing something that has been at the core of her work for some time. As a body of work ‘The Unbuilding’ should be one viewed as whole to properly see all of Vicki’s investigations but her favourite pieces were “created and used to unbuild Dallam House”.

Dallam House is a building in the North-West which is about to be demolished. Given that she focuses so much on change, is it a positive or a negative? “I think changes to our urban environment are inevitable and encompass both the deterioration of forgotten spaces as well as the regeneration of a city.”

Vicki has achieved this by using Dallam House, where improvement efforts haven’t worked and Oxford, where there is little space for development. She’s already has a job lined up as a Graduate Art Technician in a school.

The inside of Dallam House

The inside of Dallam House

Ella Harding

Describe your art in three words: Personal. Ephemeral. Distorted

Favourite piece of yours: One from a series of a paintings called ‘False Interiors’.

Who influences you?: Jeff Wall.

Ella's favourite piece

Ella’s favourite piece

Ella should be one to remember given that her focus is on the memory and imagination. Our memories of the past tend to become distorted the more we try and remember what happened.

This is the first time that Ella has properly displayed her work, “I am quite anxious, but it looks great in the exhibition space”. She’s hoping that our memories of her work won’t be distorted.

She said “I feel my pieces will be remembered by the use of colour. Most of my work is black and white but I’ve added a range of lilac tones to create a nostalgic elusiveness.” Ella’s plans for afterwards? She’s looking for summer work experience and then a year out to travel.

The Oxford Brookes Fine Art Degree show takes place Saturday 10th May – Friday 16th May, and is open 10am – 6pm daily, with a late night viewing on Wednesday.

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