Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design once again put on a fantastic dazzling display of artwork in their 2023 show. We at UoD Museums had the privilege of picking several pieces from the Degree Show to add to our ever growing collection of artwork.

Fine Art and Art and Philosophy put on an impressive show – with one of our favourites being Ben Johnston’s sculptures and drawings. Inspired by the celebration of the beauty of abstraction found in nature, particularly of the Taihu stone or spirit stone. The aim was to capture the feeling of these spiritual objects and we think that the overall outcome was definitely like walking into a sacred space.

Detail of Ben’s work
Ben’s work in situ from our Instagram


Also presenting with a strong aesthetic was Sean Davidson whose paintings required multiple viewings. Using heavy painterly techniques, the paintings combine realism with abstraction – almost appearing like a memory or dream. The bold and contrasting colours bring the paintings to life and you can get lost staring into the mountains and crevices that the paint has made.

One of Sean’s gloriously textured paintings, now in our collections

Kirsten MacKinnon’s figurative paintings caught our eye – with one of the paintings mounted on the ceiling during the show, forcing you to sit down on the provided seats to get a good look. Their work consists of figurative oil paintings, created from life, which explore contemporary art world gender equality. Our favourite was the one we acquired below and we love the texture of the painted palette.

Kirsten’s figurative painting
Up close detail of the paint textures


Illustration was also strong this year, with one of our favourites being Zofia Chamienia – who recently designed merchandise for the DJCAD Art shop. With bright, colourful figures and gorgeously drawn details, it’s easy to see why these illustrations were very popular in the show.

Zofia and the tote bag design for the DJCAD Art Shop
One of Zofia’s bold illustrations

We had our eye on a few illustrated books too – ‘An A-Z of Dinosaurs’ by Tia Fox – a gorgeously illustrated book, the terrifyingly cute ‘Scaredy ghost’ by Chloe Dickson and the achingly sweet ‘Homebody’ by Chloe Gardiner. All were on our list and we’re very excited to have them in our collections.

Snippet from the book ‘A-Z of Dinosaurs’ by Tia Fox
‘Scaredy Ghost’ by Chloe Dickson
 ‘Homebody’ by Chloe Gardiner

In the jewellery department we were blown away by Laura Cruickshank’s gorgeous delicate metalwork. Each piece was designed with such delicate precision that it took a while to appreciate all of the effort that had poured into the making of the jewellery. We also had the opportunity of acquiring one of Lily Smith’s hand crafted chalice sculptures which were stand-out pieces in the jewellery show.

 Jewellery by Laura Cruikshank
 Lily Smith’s display of metalwork


We wish to extend congratulations to all those who exhibited in the DJCAD Degree Show – all Degree Show work is still available to view by following this link.

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