Nationwide Degree Show: The Kate Byran Curation

  • Daniel Randall
  • Emily Turner
  • Louis Loveless

The Nationwide Degree Show is a collection of work from art & design students, who's final year shows have been cancelled due to COVID19. What started as an initiative by Fresh Meet to plaster billboards across the UK with student work, has now resulted in an online collection of over 1000 submissions from over 100 universities and 17 creative disciplines. The Curation Series is a programme of student work selected by industry leaders, creative pioneers and trendsetters. Below you will find a selection of student work curated by Kate Byran, infamous Art Curator, Advisor and Television Presenter.

Kate Byran is an Arts Presenter, Curator, Expert, Author, Mentor... The list goes on. Kate stands as Head of Collections for Soho House, aquiring art globally to future proof the collection. She is a judge for Sky Arts on both Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year. By working as an Art Dealer in both Hong Kong and London, Kate has built a wealth of knowledge about both modern and traditional art, working with global clientel and practioners. Most recently, Kate has written a book titled "The Art of Love", profiling the love affairs of the art world and the stories behind many famous works of art. Kate is also a mentor for emerging artists and works closely with her mentees to champion talent and diversify the industry.

#1 - Adonia Hirst

The first selected piece in this curation is an exploration of intimacy, by graduate Adonia Hirst.
Kate writes, "This speaks to great female artists I admire such as Bourgeois, Lucas and Hesse with an almost suffocating presentation".
Adonia Hirst, BA Fine Art at Newcastle University.

Adonia writes, "My work explores communication, intimacy and movement, using new ways in which we can experience softness and volume with our human bodies. Situating the physical disconnection of modern society, with my interest in the diminished use of textiles techniques. The tactility of my sculptures is explored through organic exploration of our senses. This work is part of a body of textile pieces that are ongoing in experimentation, using my close friends to interact with the work, through video, photography and performance, exploring the relationship between textiles and contemporary art."

#2 -Dexter Stokes-Mellor

The second selected piece in this curation is a reportage piece by graduate Dexter Stokes-Mellor.
Kate writes, "I admire the sentiment, the presentation and the intimate slice of life offered up".
Dexter Stokes-Mellor, Glasgow School of Art.

Dexter explains, "I listen to Blue Monday every Monday is about club culture, about music and it's impact upon our everyday lives. It's about repetition, about growth and change."

#3 - Amy Elena Nash

The first selected piece in this curation is an exploration of cultural identity, by graduate Amy Elena Nash.
Kate writes, "I love the cultural questioning this image poses and the embrace of contemporary fashion and image-making to help create the work".
Amy Elena Nash, Norwich University of the Arts.

Amy explains, "As a British/ Romanian creative, I am exploring and using my Eastern European heritage to introduce ideas of my culture into the mainstream British culture. I am exploring how culture continuously inspires modern fashion; taking key cultural elements like the shape of the garments, colour scheme and stitching techniques to then marry them together and create a modern silhouette, illustrating Romania’s rich history."

#4 - Daniel Randall

The fourth piece selected for this curation is a still from a film by graduate Daniel Randall.
Kate writes, "A timely look at isolation, it’s a compelling snapshot into what I am sure was an interesting performance".
Daniel Randall, Fine Art, Norich University of the Arts.

Daniel writes, "This piece originated as a still from the film, 'Coral Ghost', a part of our collaborative film project 'Solidarity', between myself and fellow Fine Art students Emily Turner and Kim Ryan. The film is based on ideas of isolation through the use of a confined, statuesque costume worn by Kim. The stills from the film have become works of art in their own right, and reflect on the current issues we face in this climate. The statuesque pose and vibrant colour of the 'ghost' aims to inspire strength and power in times of isolation and social withdrawal."

#5 - Louis Loveless

The fifth piece selected for this curation is a collage piece by graduate Louis Loveless.
Kate writes, "An ambitious painting that feels very original and enjoys a clever relationship to collage".
Louis Loveless, BA Fine Art at the University of East London.
Louis reveals "My work involves assembling paintings like a collage, painting different images on top of shapes and pasted materials, building up the image. I also collage different spaces, going from illusionistic depth to abstract flatness in a flowing line around the canvas. The paintings work almost like a relief. The content of the collage is about a search for truth and answers, via different forms: religion, science, conspiracy theories, philosophy etc. whilst simultaneously trying to demonstrate the issues with absolute belief in ideology."

#6 - Rithika Pandey

Selection number six for this curation is a painting by graduate Rithika Pandey.
Kate writes, "I love this surreal, bold painting, full of narrative and a masterful colour palette".
Rithika Pandey, BA Painting, Drawing and Printmaking, Coleg Sir Gar.

About her work, Rithika Pandey writes "My work is about the surreality of displacement.  It explores the constant push and pull of intangible forces existing at the threshold of mental life and lived experiences through an interdisciplinary lens of inquiry."

#7 - Sarah Larby

The penultimate selection for this curation is a sculptural piece by graduate Sarah Larby.
Kate writes, "I liked the surreal aspect to the piece and the elegant and playful compromise that a sculptor has taken right now".
Sarah Larby, BA Fine Art with Contemporary Cultural Theory, University of Leeds.

Sarah writes, "Untitled: Lollipops" is a work depicting an imagined space based off a sculpture I made this last month. My practice is primarily sculptural and focuses on materiality, for this piece I was exploring the use of wool roving and felting in my work. However, there is another side to my practice, where I like to keep my sculptures a little bit absurd and whimsical, bringing a smile to people's faces. Due to lockdown I was unable to get the materials needed to make multiple editions of the work, so I wanted to recreate the space I live in and reimagine it as an area of whimsy and fun, filled with my fluffy sculptures blowing in the wind."

#8 - Leonie Cameron

Finally, the eighth selection for this curation is a piece by graduate Leonie Cameron.
Kate writes, "I love the strong feminist concept and the presentation is sensitive and evocative".
Leonie Cameron, Fin Art Sculpture at the University of Brighton.

Leonie writes, "My work is currently based around my central working phrase 'Every Woman is a Deity in Her Own Right' which aims to elevate the worth of the every day woman as a feminist action. In this work, I appropriate religious banners and altar textiles aesthetics combined with images of my two grandmothers, my mother and myself as an ode to the women who raised me. I use hand plant dyed fabric and screen prints of medium format film portraits to communicate the tangibility and sensitivity of my work."
You can find more talent from all of our submissions at the Nationwide Degree Show or through the Fresh Meet profile.
You can also visit the artists of this curation in the project credits below.