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DJCAD Master’s Show

Masters Degree Show

The DJCAD (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee) Masters show is a necessarily more sedate affair than the undergraduate show which precedes it by a few months.  The emptying of the city during the summer months means that the numbers of visitors to the show both on the opening night and during its week long run is significantly less than its sister event.  However, this should in no way be interpreted as attendant on the quality of the work on display which this year particularly was of exceptional quality.

The master’s programmes offered by DJCAD ensure that the Master’s show provides a wide variety of art and its applications that goes way beyond traditional fine art.  With Medical and Forensic Art, Art, Society and Publics, Fine Art and Humanities and Animation and Visualisation programmes there was something for everyone to engage with.

Forensic and Medical Art

IMG_1379In the Forensic Art programme, visitors could look at the application of medical art to develop learning tools, to show the difficulty in creating police composite sketches and to create facial reconstructions from human remains.  The work by Amy Thornton on the facial reconstruction of the nineteenth century poisoner and pirate Alexander Tardy from a cast of his skull in the University of Edinburgh Anatomy Museum and Hannah Isaacs reconstruction of a male skull from the Edinburgh Trams project illustrate perfectly the points at which art, history and science intersect.  Anatomy was an important part of the training of Renaissance artists, with Leonardo Da Vinci in particular conducting his own dissections in order to achieve greater understanding of the human form which he reproduced.  The Forensic Art programme combines this great tradition with the latest in digital and manual reconstruction techniques.  Leading on from this is also the Msc in Medical Art, The highlight of this programme was Claire Taylor’s book project “Understanding Terminal Cancer”, aiming to provide a resource for people with a terminal cancer diagnosis with the scientific aspect of their diagnosis and prognosis.  This laudable ambition, to increase patients’ agency by increasing their access to information which helps them to fully understand their predicament shows that art can be used not just for scientific and educational purposes but also to benefit people in a very difficult life situation.PROMO IMAGE

Art, Society and Publics

P1020917 (1)In the Art, Society and Publics show the highlight for me was undoubtedly Penelope Matheson’s project “Nest of Gentlefolk” a series of surreal arrangements of animal ceramics, reminiscent of the creations of Hieronymus Bosch and early Dali sculptures.  These intricate and interesting pieces which also showed a high level of technical skill seemed to transform as one changed ones view points, and for me were one of the highlights not just of that particular course, but of the entire show.

Fine Art and Humanities

MashaviThe Fine Art and Humanities programme was the biggest section of the show and displayed a variety of work with disparate concepts, techniques and impacts.

Sekai Machache’s show “Mashavi” explored the issues of African women’s identity in relation to the manipulation of hair, specifically around the tradition of braiding.  Her work combined painting, photography, sculpture and sound work to create a space which explores the braid as a cultural artefact as well as a hairstyle.

Jae Ferguson’s delicate and intricate drawings of organic structures provided a great satisfaction to visitors who wanted to see more technique than just good conceptual work.  The perfection and simplicity of these pieces were refreshing and different in a world which is so often more concerned with the idea behind the work than the technical quality or what is produced.


Animation and Visualisation

10997499_934548359891211_139226110559213042_nThe animation course produced a series of entertaining and beautiful shorts, supported by extremely advanced supporting artist work.  Particularly outstanding in this respect Bimpe Alliu and Christina Maul with the animated music video “Hell Well” being the most coherent and entertaining stand alone piece on the show reel.


The opening night of the show was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with far more space to move around and look at the work than at the over attended undergraduate degree show earlier this summer.  The artists showing were friendly and on hand to speak about their work during the rest of the week as well as at the opening.

Currently you can still access the web page of the show at:


At this link you can find full listings of all of the artists exhibiting as well as information on how to contact them and follow their progress.  iartsupplies would like to wish all this years graduates the best of luck in what promise to be bright artistic futures.


Fiona MacHugh

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