Last night we visited a preview of the Central Saint Martins 2013 show to check out the best work from their graphic design, illustration and animation students from their latest crop of graduates.
It's been a while since the Central Saint Martins had a reputation for being the most artsy and outrageous of the yearly grad shows – but based on this year's crop of students it may also lose its mantle as one of the best. There were some exceptional pieces of work, which we've collected below, but overall the level of the work was definitely down on last year.
Our three favoured streams of graphic design, illustration and animation featured fewer people that agencies might want to hire or commission. Graphics had less commercial appeal, illustration seemed stuck between 'I'd love to be commissioned by Vice' and 'I want to do a comic for Nobrow' and animation had moved beyond what brands consider to be abstract into layered-meaning pieces that you had to force yourself to engage with.
Animation was also plagued by a complete lack of information about the works on show – so sorry to whoever showed how their Vida Vega-esque hand-drawn animation could be adapted to titles concepts from enlightenment to a sports car, you were great but we have no idea who you are.
Anyway, enough negativity: here are the works worth seeing. Use the slideshow controls above and right to see them.
The Central Saint Martins grad show is open to the public from June 19-23.
Cai's illustration and design work is drawn from a woodcuts tradition, but while the usual textures are used for organic elements of fur and sea, clothes and cars and other man-made creations are rendered in stark black-and-white reminscent of stencils
Working largely from found elements such as biological textbooks, Charlotte's circular compositions are really quite beautiful.
Clio's Anxiety Portraits are simple, bold and eye-grabbing.
Mixing psychedelic colour palettes with simple linework, Edward's work may is very much in the indie-comic tradition – but there's an easily consumable rhythm to his work that could easily be adapted to more commercial creative work.
Last year, CSM's show was peppered with papercut work. This year, it was sparse – but the work of Kateryna Kyslitska stood out as being as delicate and artful as the form should be.
Part of the MA show, Naian's piece Once Upon A Quantum Universe (right) took over 200 hours of drawing – and for some not-quite-explainable reason reminded us of the linework of Katsushika Hokusai, though obviously without the women-having-sex-with-octopi angle.
Simon was the star of the show, as his work popped up a couple of times in different locations and both times instantly grabbed our attention. His artful coloured-pencil illustrations work as well in a faux Victorian behaviour book for boys (far right) as in patterns for some rather desirable shirts (right).
Clelia is an Italian illustrator based in London. Her standout piece is her disseration, a history of invisible art rendered in invisible ink (right). We were also drawn to her Talking Heads abstract poster works, based around the end of world.
Eva and Marta Yarza
Working as a team, twins Eva and Marta produced Design Graffiti, a box of minimalist letters that are designed to be used to quickly brighten up the bleakest environment with bold typography.
2D/3D is a series of five 3D posters that uses a growing circle of colour to create a 3D object that can only be 'read' correctly – and are only at their most aesthetically pleasing – when viewed from face on.
The theme of collage permeated Sinduja's work, which included both traditional pieces that put a humorous spin on fashion editorial illustration and a wonderfully madcap diorama (right) featuring hybrid animals. This was based on Sinduja's research project into why such creations have been so appealing in history.
As regular DA readers wlll know, we love creative projects that take advantage of hackable tech such as Arduino and Microsoft Kinect. Konstantinos's 3dMedia dissertation project is a ready-for-primetime experiential project based on Pin Art toys, except that the pins rise in response to what's put in front of a Kinect – which could be anywhere else in the world.