In Arc's Art & Design Manager Kieran Butler’s eyes, the upcoming Annual 18 Graduate Exhibition can be expected to be “a controlled chaos in the most exceptional and exciting way possible”. The exhibition is the largest national showcase of graduate contemporary art, design and media arts with over 200 participating students from UNSW Art & Design; and is a spring board for up-and-coming artists and designers. Located at various spaces at their Paddington campus, the exhibition opens 27 November and ends 8 December.
Kieran Butler is an UNSW A&D alumni and artist. As the present Arc@UNSW Art & Design Manager, Butler supports students in their artistic careers, and helps to facilitate various exhibitions, student-run galleries, events and mentoring programs throughout the year. Butler describes the Annual 18 as a non-curated exhibition, with one simple criterion for participation; the students, both from a bachelor and master level, must be graduating in 2018. “We want to make this event as accessible and inclusive as possible, where all graduating students can showcase their work, regardless of their final grade or their background. This allows for a wide spectrum of art and interesting ideas", Butler emphasise.
The artwork will feature film, animation, sound, photography, graphic design and digital media, as well as painting, sculpture, object design, printmaking, textiles, spatial design, ceramics, and jewellery. However, Butler will not pinpoint one favourite: “I want everyone to come with an open mind. The pieces are raw, because they are made from the fresh perspectives of our student; yet refined, as they are the result of what they have learnt to date. It is not just about the results exhibited, but the potential and possibility of great, new artists and designers”.
Marking the end of an era and having the possibility of opening new doors, the exhibition is a pivotal point in the artistic careers of our next generation of artists, designers, makers and digital media creators. Not surprisingly, the exhibition has become a highlight on Sydney’s cultural calendar and will be displayed at various locations across UNSW Art & Design Paddington Campus, including the exhibition spaces UNSW Galleries, the Black Box, the Interactive Media Lab, the Makerspace Virtual Reality Lab, the Lecture Theatre, the campus courtyard, as well as Arc’s AD Space, Kudos Gallery and Three Foot Square.