University of Leeds Degree Shows – ‘Kapow’ & ‘And Again’

Education intern, Dominique Triggs, tells us about her recent visit to the University of Leeds Degree Shows 2016.


I had never previously been to the degree shows before this year at the University of Leeds, but after going to see Kapow and And Again – I wish I had visited them before!

Kapow covers work from the departments: Art and Design, Textile Design, Graphic and Communication Design and Fashion Design, highlighting all the best work from final year students. I enjoyed viewing the work from all departments, however my favourite pieces were from the Art and Design students. One of my particular favourites was Kang Gao’s In a Flash, which featured a large silver box and a smaller silver box, the latter of which you could go inside. Once inside it had mirrors covering all the surfaces and when you made any kind of noise (for example, clapping) the inside of the box would light up. This was incredibly cool, as the lights would flash different colours and for differing periods of time depending on the sounds you made. I really liked how interactive this piece was, and I think Gao definitely succeeded with his aim of “creating my own immersive space that will bring the viewer a quirky experience”. Another piece I liked was Victoria Williams’ oil paintings of Leeds. As I am about to graduate I feel a certain sadness at leaving the city, so seeing Leeds’ skyline in these paintings struck a chord with me. Harriet Lasman’s piece, with numerous small drawings reflecting anxiety disorder, were particularly moving. She used cling film to create differing shapes and then drew these onto pieces of card, which when assembled created an interesting effect. I liked how the artist’s interpretation of their work was next to each piece, as it allowed me to gain a better grasp of the intention of the piece and influence my own interpretation of the work.

I went to view the And Again exhibition, which features the work of Fine Art students, on its opening and there was a great atmosphere. In one room there were videos on loop, one of which featured India Pearce’s work on “multi-channel colour separation”. It is difficult to explain the piece in words, but it was great visually. Another interesting piece was made by Lottie Tulley, whose reasoning behind her piece reflected why I applied to become an Education Intern in the first place and contribute to the Footsteps into Art project. Tulley critiques the education system which she argues does not allow enough space for interactive learning, with the emphasis on “numerical target-based agenda”. Her work reflects the possibilities of more freedom and experimentation in art.

The degree shows highlight the incredible talent of students at the University of Leeds, and I would recommend anyone to go and see it for themselves.

Both degree shows are on until 24th June 2016. Four graduate artists will be selected to exhibit their work in the upcoming FUAM Graduate Prize Show at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery.