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Cultural Artefacts & Formal Arrangements: Hamish Pearch and Emma Marks, BA Sculpture 2015

Emma Marks pictured with an aspect of her degree show work
Emma Marks pictured with an aspect of her degree show work
Emma Marks pictured in her degree show space
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Published date
19 June 2015

We caught up with them to find out more about the work they will be exhibiting in this year’s Undergraduate Degree Show, Monday 22 June – Saturday 27 June 2015.

Large scale cast orange Fedora hat hanging on wall Hamish Pearch (BA Sculpture 2015)Hamish Pearch (BA Sculpture 2015)

What can visitors expect to see from you in this year’s show?

Hamish: ‘For the show I have made a number of interrelated sculptural objects. I aim to explore how male psychology and post-feminist ideology is represented, parodied and defined in cultural artefacts and popular culture. I am particularly concerned with the rhetoric of over simplification and misrepresentation. I am interested in the lexicon of (youth) sub-cultures and activities pursued by those groups, many of which I am a part of and conflict with. The groups are particularly concerned with aspects of constructing a truth and displaying it through collected objects and images (badges, clothing items, posters, graffiti).’

Emma: ‘Screen-cast-Fan’ is a formal arrangement where everyday objects are reproduced and restaged to create a performance that belies their mundane roots. The processes I use explore ideas of transformation through dressing up, compositional arrangements and casting in different materials. My interest lies in exploring the taken-for-granted visual clues that effect our perception, behaviour and consumption. The sculpture crits we have had whilst on the course have been an invaluable tool where, like a fly on the wall, I can observe how other people engage with my work.’

Emma Marks (BA Sculpture 2015) ‘Screen-cast-Fan’

Emma Marks (BA Sculpture 2015) ‘Screen-cast-Fan’

You both seem  to have made great use of the Sculpture foundry – what key materials and processes does your practice involve?

Hamish: ‘The construction and fabrication of my work has become increasingly performative, as a result, often a neurotic act is implicit. The marker pens I have used refer to a specific aesthetic of adolescence, born of zeal and obsessiveness that usurps objects indiscriminately. I’ve also handed over the role of mark-making to other people (in particular one first year student, Fred). I have found this to be an incredibly sculptural process, as the production evolved and manifested itself through my and other people’s contributions.’

Emma: ‘This work has involved a lot of casting. Although soap casts and vacuum form reliefs are in the work, the journey has also included plaster and wax casts as well as experimental techniques using clay and plaster with the vacuum form machine. In the sculpture workshops Becky, has an excellent knowledge of casting processes and is always interested in students’ work. She advised me with my rubber moulds. I also discussed my design for the screen with tutors and technicians who were able to advise on fixing methods, suppliers and outsourcing the weld and powder coating. I used the metal workshop to make the stand for the fan.’

Two large scale cast Fedora hats resting on top of one another one blue, one black Hamish Pearch (BA Sculpture 2015)

Hamish Pearch (BA Sculpture 2015)

Have you got any London gallery or Camberwell recommendations for visitors who are coming along to the Summer Show?

Hamish: ‘Camberwell is great for food. ‘Falafel’ near the green is tasty. The Ethiopian Zeret Kitchen is insane, shuro is dreamy. It’s impossible to single out a favourite gallery because there’s so much around. Its one of the best things about studying in London, although I think it can also be a curse; at a lot of degree shows you see people following what seems to be an aesthetic trend, which means content tends to be a bit thin. I think it’s important to try and find your own voice with interests that actually mean something.’

Emma: ‘We are so lucky to have such a wealth of galleries on our doorstep. South London Gallery Café – is always an oasis of calm and they serve delicious soup. I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite.  I’m particularly interested in some of the artists at Herald St, The Approach, and Sadie Coles.  I love the big shows at the Hayward Gallery – Mirrorcity was a game changer.’

And finally, looking forward – what are your plans for after you graduate?

Hamish: ‘I’m looking forward to the struggle of making work outside the comfort of art school. To help with the reality of the real world away from technicians and tutors, I’m also excited to be a part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015.’

Emma: ‘I have a studio in West Norwood. I will continue to produce works and put on group shows and make applications for shows and residencies. We plan to put on our next group show this October. I hope to go on to do an MA at some point, but first I would like to see how my work matures over the next couple of years.’

Emma Marks pictured in her degree show space - photographed next to part of her final piece a speckled orange marble screen

Emma Marks pictured in her degree show space

The Undergraduate Degree Show is open at Camberwell College of Arts between Monday 22 June – Saturday 27 June 2015.

The Private View will take place on Monday 22 June, 6-9 pm.

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