As a central London-based journalist, it'd be easy for me to limit my trips to grad shows to the multi-institution shows like Free Range, New Designers and New Blood (especially as I'm judging the 'best of' for the latter again this year) – where animators, creative directors, designers and illustrators essentially all come to me to check out their work.
However, you can't see any of the work at the scale it sometimes deserves – and you can miss some great talents who haven't got the money to do the 'big' shows. So I try to make myself go to university shows I know will be of merit, and it's great that some of the institution have made it easy for me by being based a stone's throw from the Digital Arts office (Central Saint Martins), being on my way home (RCA) or – in this case – setting up a show just south of the River even though their uni is based only down in the suburbs of south-west London.
Kingston University's grad show for its illustration and animation work makes the most of the space it has, with many artists showcasing their work through installations, like Anni Sayers here.
Anni's Parliamentary Display Cabinet represents the modern political system as a series of stuffy antiques. Each government department has its own pottery character, with the House of Parliament represented as a wooden cabinet to house them.
These were displayed as some wonderfully drawn posters and diagrams – and as real ceramics.
Michael Driver's work marries simple geometry and texture very well indeed. It's fully formed and likely to be on the receiving end of a lot of editorial commissions soon.
Reece Wykes' 52 Dogs project is five screenprints about the dogs pulling Roald Amundsen's 1911 South Pole expedition.
The work was striking – both in the artworks themselves and the way the elements have been used around the central piece to make it stand out at the show. It's also affecting, as the dogs also served as food for the explorers – and the dogs still living.
Tom Quinton's The Man Who Saved The World is a graphic novel based around the actions of Vasili Arkhipov, the Russian submariner who prevented a nuclear torpedo from being launched during the Cuban Missile Crisis – an action that would likely have lead to nuclear war between the USA and Russia.
As well as large-scale frames of the novel's artwork, Tom also built a periscope – from components including bike grips and a Viewmaster – through which you could see more of it.
Most of the works I saw were hand-crafted, but Camilla Hempleman's Thermo Colour Map used technology innovatively.
These maps of Camilla's home town of Bath are printed with thermochromic inks on Tyvek fabric. When heat or water is applied, different designs appear. Originally hand-drawn, these highlight things you might want to do around the city when it's warm and sunny or raining.
Hannah Elizabeth Caney's Printed Grief project is about death and memory. She's turned the wrappers discarded from flowers at cemetaries into flat artworks.
Mournful but intriguing at their full size, they likely would have been lost in a group show.