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Ones to watch: CSM BA Graphics Show 2010

Well heck. Not sure what they're feeding the students over at Central Saint Martins, but this year's graphic design degree show is a humdinger.

It's being held over at the spacious Nicholls & Clarke Building on Shoreditch High Street, and has been tightly curated so that you have a real sense of what you're looking at - which is a huge help when you're faced with such a vast quantity of work.

It's always interesting to see what the visual vibe is each year - this year there was a lot of work that had the scent of the AA Print Studio about it (sometimes huge stinking whiffs of it in fact). That's fairly natural, and just part of the ebb and flow of what's hip in the design industry at any given time... but we hope that those students will find time to develop their own distinct visual language.

We'd been invited to pick out our favourite piece from the show for the annual Joss Turley award, so got a chance to have a fairly decent wander round before the beer really started flowing. Here are just a few of the faces we think are worth keeping an eye on:


Maria Gruzdeva has put together a frankly beautiful, hugely polished book about the Yuri Gagarin Russian State Science Research Cosmonauts Training Centre (also known as the Star City) - a secretive military research facility where cosmonauts have lived and trained from the 1960s onwards. The book features her stunning documentary photography (above and top) from the Centre, as well as a wealth of archive material. It's a hugely substantial piece of work, really brilliant.


We were blown away by Brendan Olley's vast photographic prints, taken on a large-format camera on a trip to Svalbard, the world's most northern town, sitting 300 miles from the North Pole. Brendan says the work "identifies the oddity of human behavior in relation to the landscape. Playgrounds and basketball courts are engulfed by snow and made redundant. Cars become reclaimed by the planet until eventually they become inseparable. It brings into question the reasons why one would wish to occupy this isolated place."

They're truly fantastic pictures, and you really need to see them at their actual size to get the full effect.


Jamie Hearn has created a beautiful pair of screenprints, one showing simplified household products stripped of their lettering, and then a second print showing just the lettering, which he's hand drawn. Really delicious, and he's also documented the work in a rather fine book (above). Great stuff.


We really liked Helen Lovelee's series of hand-drawn prints inspired by traditional Aboriginal philosophy - this one reads: "To stay warm on a cold desert night sleep between two small fires and close to your dog". Which sounds mighty fine.


We were also really taken with Chihiro Sasaki's whimsical illustrations, particularly her series "The Territory of Human Being", which looked at the invisible barriers people form to distance themelves from others. The illustrations have a really distinctive and charming style. Dead good.


Okay, full disclosure, we've had Ed in here on a placement, so we already think his work is great - and he didn't disappoint with this series of beautiful letterpressed prints. Tasty bit of framing too Ed.


We chuckled at this one. Sometimes graphic design is allowed to be funny.

There's stacks of other fine work, and the show runs until Monday 21 June. Get along there if you can.

posted: 17 June 2010
categories: Events | Graphics | Illustration | Photography
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