I recently went back to my uni to expose a screen for something I did for Evisu. It was good seeing old faces, seeing new ones, seeing what has changed and what hasn’t. It was only in June this year that I was last present there, exhibiting at my end of year show for BA Surface Design.
The visit was short, I was only exposing a screen. But in that period of time, especially waiting for emulsion to dry, I had a chance to take in the studio. Since Batlow graduated and I had begun, he had left his legacy of his time here in the form of a leather canvas he painted. Hung up proudly by our technician Rob, the canvas lay there for students to admire, to aspire to. I certainly did. It was like the unofficial Hall of Fame for Surface Design, and for the three years I did the BA, it was there, and didn’t move.
Gracing the walls towards the studios would be display boards that would show current work of particular merit. Work would be there for a term or two, then get replaced by the next current project etc. I don’t know if Batlow’s work ever made it to those notice boards, but his work certainly made a new wall for itself. The picture I took doesn’t exactly show the canvas being displayed in a proper Wall of Fame/Gallery fashion, but it definitely means more than those notice boards.
I never made it to the display units or notice boards. I did my work, don’t get it twisted. I wasn’t a bad student either. But for the last year of uni I was in for half of that year, which is quite bad. After I did my final year show I left pretty much all my work there except for the rug I made. One of the things I left was a Versace inspired table I made. (Yeah. I was on that Versace tip before H&M.) I thought it would have been thrown away in the rubbish tip. But to my surprise, it wasn’t. Right below that leather canvas was my table top nailed to the wall. I’m not blowing my own trumpet, but I must have done something right during the three years for it to be there.
…Unless I was being used as a good example of a bad example of a student, that never comes in but still impossibly bangs out the work last minute. Then yeah. Shit.
Either way I left with my screen, and a big gloat on my face, knowing that I didn’t leave with a 2.2 on a piece of paper a couple months ago, but knowing that The Ugly Kids Club ethic actually is of relevance, and that there is a wall we started.