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Creation & Innovation: Artists From The Royal Academy
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Creation & Innovation: Artists From The Royal Academy

Picture of Imme Dattenburg-Doyle
Updated: 8 November 2016
The Royal Academy (RA) founded in 1769, was one of the first art schools, and has remained independent to this day. As well as offering 17 promising artists the only 3-year programme in Europe, the programme is free, with bursary support available. The programme offers students immense flexibility, due to the abolition of the ‘schools’, which required students to master a variety of techniques.

Gery Georgieva

Gery Georgieva’s two Giclée (high-resolution, large-format industrial prepress proofing inkjet printer) prints, Golden Sands and Ploshtad Nezavisimost, measure at 71 by 105 centimeters. They depict scenes of modern life, adding an air of nostalgia. Her second work, You Don’t Know My Name, is a three channel HD video installation, lasting one minute and 52 seconds. Spread over three screens, viewers witness the story of a waitress who nervously phones one of her customers out on a date. The dialogue, of which only her side of the conversation is heard, happens in a foreign language, but is subtitled for the viewer. The waitress’s face, which is painted a shade of grey, fills one of the three screens, whilst the other two are filled with flickering images, gradually going from purple to blue. The narrative of this piece is compelling, as audiences become emotionally invested in the outcome of this phone call, sympathising with the flustered waitress.

Gery Georgieva, Elena IV, 2014, video still © Gery Georgieva
Gery Georgieva, Elena IV, 2014, video still | © Gery Georgieva

Molly Palmer

Molly Palmer’s In Addition to Everything is a single-channeled HD video projection recounting a series of facts, some more philosophical than others. Unusually, these facts piece together a form of narrative, the aim of which is not made entirely clear. The scenes shift constantly, creating entrancing, futuristic patterns on the surface of the screen, which are complemented with the use of surround sound. This surreal work, lasting five minutes and 30 seconds, touches upon the nature of things, and is a good introduction to the unusual set of works ahead.

Jack Killick

On the lower floor of the exhibition is Jack Killick’s Swamp – a forest (or swamp) of black and white ply wood, towering about two and a half meters high, and covering a surface of about three by four meters. The work allows visitors to circumambulate it, dwarfing them in its scale and giving the opportunity to look a little closer at the rough finish of the work. Swamp brings to life some of the colours and patterns seen in Jack’s 23 exhibited paintings. The majority of his works measure 83 by 58 centimeters, and are made of acrylic on paper. The bold patterns and sharp lines work well together, and, due to the segregation of his work with the rest of the exhibition, form the first and only coherent room in the gallery.

Elliot Dodd

Elliot Dodd is a man of many talents. As well as being the artist behind the exhibition poster (Prototype, digital print on steel), this exhibition also sees him work with coloured pencil on paper (in Dopey Touchpad, Capital Sparky, and Bonus Bundle). Step Aeration (stringent) MCM (happy mix) is a 4K Digital animation lasting three minutes, and is the last piece of the exhibition. The video, unlike the videos of Molly Palmer and Gery Georgieva, has no basis in reality, and is entirely digitally created. For three minutes, Dodd designed an androgynous, computerised body to collapse, as if it had been filled with air and had popped. This ‘body bag’ rhythmically mutates, moving to a sound similar to that of a metronome. The effect is mesmerising, if not a little disturbing. Certain body parts, such as the genitals and the eyes, however, do not collapse, but hold their form, and become a recurring theme throughout his work.

Elliot Dodd, Prototype, 2015, digital image © Elliot Dodd
Elliot Dodd, Prototype, 2015, digital image | © Elliot Dodd

Wanda Wieser

Wanda Wieser’s works are extremely interesting in terms of the materials used. Zest For Life, for example, is assembled out of MDF, ciment fondu, polyester resin, and marble powder. The works include an array of intriguing objects, such as a white cast of the bottom half of a face, mouth wide open, with a tongue protruding out suggestively. This cast is balanced delicately on a bowl, supported on a MDF plinth. Slice I, Slice II, and Slice III are three beautiful ciment fondu 75cm diameter circles, attached to the walls of the exhibition, to which the artist has added either copper or brass powder.

Wanda Wieser, Untitled (Testpiece), 2014, ciment fondu, copper powder © Wanda Wieser
Wanda Wieser, Untitled (Testpiece), 2014, ciment fondu, copper powder | © Wanda Wieser