When I left school I trained as a beauty therapist, but after working in a salon for a few years, became so disillusioned with the superficiality of it all that I decided to leave that profession and seek something more fulfilling. This body of work was made with cosmetics alone, on either calico or canvas—I began experimenting with make-up on canvas using cotton buds and make-up sponges. Appropriating sources from magazines and the internet, particularly glossy cosmetic advertising, I am currently working on several portraits based on body image and the media. My work is influenced by artists such as Richard Phillips, Chuck Close, Elizabeth Peyton and Franz Gertsch. I am also a fan of the BP portrait awards and photography, particularly by Irving Penn and Mario Testino. The cropping of images has become a major part of the process and can completely change the original reference, adding a new context to the piece.
Karen Hodge is in her fourth year at Duncan of Jordonstone, Dundee
My work is based on mundane routines overlooked in the course of everyday life. The exploration of this theme [the contraceptive pill] takes a number of forms—drawing, painting, animation and object-based work. This was my first attempt at animation, although I have been experimenting with some more short pieces since I made the pill film.
Mary Ferguson is on the MA Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art.
‘Dance of the Pills’ was awarded the Peacock Visual Arts Award for Moving Image. Ferguson hopes to graduate this year and plans to work and travel in Europe
Manuela Gernedel I work with an interest in the romantic notion of longing and sentiment, although it seems difficult to have that in your work and bring a humorous side forward without being taken as ironic.
Manuela Gernedel in in her fourth year studyng painting and printmaking at Glasgow School of Art. She recently exhibited at Lowsalt, in Saltmarket Glasgow
In my performances I attempt to create a one-off event, reliant on exhaustive physical preparation beforehand. Making complex sculptural constructions like this informs the motion. The presence of solid sculpture is essential to altering the environment the performance inhabits and enforces my need to engage with the audience, focus their gaze as a kind of punishment, make them uncomfortable, laugh. My performances are theatrical and contradictory—I feel it necessary to influence the viewers’ whole visual experience by creating dominating sculptural extensions of my own presence which are then used to achieve a very simple performance. This often involves multiple performers who, through movement, blur the boundary between set and action, clearly illustrating a basic sort of cause and effect. In deference to most known examples of performance art, my material is hugely selfish and based on anti-intellectual primal performance and sculpture enhancers.
Darren Farquhar is in his first year of the Edinburgh College of Art MFA. He was awarded the Hope Scott Trust Postgraduate Award