Postgraduate alumni of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Farnham are joining forces for a special exhibition and lecture series.
Past Masters, which runs from 28 November to 20 December 2012 at UCA Farnham’s James Hockey and Foyer Galleries, will showcase artwork by graduates of UCA’s diverse range of Masters’ disciplines for the very first time.
The free exhibition, which features bronze and glass sculptures, photography, jewellery, ceramics and textiles, is a unique opportunity to see works which have been shown at the Victoria & Albert museum, Tate Modern, the Royal College of Art, Barbican and a variety of galleries and art fairs around the world.
MA course leader, Sarah Sutherland, said: “We are really excited to welcome back past Masters students to show their work in an interdisciplinary exhibition.
“This is a unique opportunity to celebrate their achievements since graduating from UCA and to be proud of these stunning exhibits, which have been shown in prestigious galleries internationally, through a free exhibition for the public to enjoy.”
Past Masters will be complemented by a series of free public lectures by Dr Glen Adamson, Head of Research at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Professor of Photography at UCA, Anna Fox (5 December), Professor of Crafts at UCA, Simon Olding (12 December) and Professor of Textiles at UCA, Lesley Millar MBE (19 December).
The nine Past Masters artists themselves will talk about their work at a special event on 13 December which will feature an Open Evening for anyone interested in studying for an MA.
The flexibility of postgraduate study – either, one year at full-time or two years part-time – is often attractive to mature students or professionals who need to balance other commitments outside of studying.
Sarah Sutherland said: “Those who join a Masters course are often mature students who have changed career or overcome adversity and want to develop their passion for the Arts.
“It is also an opportunity for people to return to their first or lifelong pursuits so that they are able to change career. For example, Roger Buchanan is a retired Oncology Consultant who became a Photographer through the MA, as has Richard Brayshaw, who is also exhibiting and has left his career as an Engineer to become a professional Photographer.”
MA Photography graduate Richard Brayshaw said: “I completed the MA in 2010 in Photography and it has redefined my life. I now concentrate on my art practice but also do some commercial work and teach on courses at UCA Farnham.”
Jewellery graduate Tara Murphy experienced traumatic bereavements during her studies, losing both her father and uncle in an avalanche, but through determination and dedication has been a finalist twice in the Royal Dublin Society National Crafts Competition in 2010 and 2011.
Tara Murphy said: “My Masters studies and jewellery practice provided me with a vital lifeline that enabled me to constructively focus all my energies into a very positive outcome, which I know my father would be very proud of.”
The nine Past Masters are: Ceramicist Ros Perton who has exhibited in Japan, Korea, USA and China; John Joyce, whose bronze work was recently shown at the RCA; Tom McDowell will showcase his award-winning jewellery, some of which is currently on display at the Barbican; Photographer Richard Brayshaw, who has exhibited at the Mall Gallery; successful glassblower Bruce Marks returns with conceptual pieces from his MA; Tara J Murphy will showcase her award-winning jewellery; fashion designer turned Textiles Artist, Louise Anderson, will share her Japanese inspired work; retired cancer specialist Roger Buchanan explores pinhole camera techniques; and, fresh from the British Glass Biennale, the public will get to see Emma Rawson’s thought-provoking glasswork before she takes up a residency position with the National Trust.