Chloe Alexander: “This piece started off a new chapter in my work”
Fine Art student Chloe Alexander's work has been selected as the Degree Show artwork for this year. Here, she chats to us about the inspiration behind it...
Each year, we ask students to submit their work to be considered for use as the Degree Show artwork, and this year Fine Art student Chloe Alexander was chosen as the winner. Her work is inspired by the building itself, with the drawing below being a view of the Crawford Building from the window of the studios. Chloe tells us more...
"A lot of my work is based on one piece that I did at the beginning of third year, which was the start of a whole new project. I’d had enough of what I was doing previously and I thought I’d just try and find some inspiration, so I went around the university with a pen and paper looking out of different windows and doing line drawings of the landscapes that I could see.
“The piece that was chosen is based on a line drawing of the view of the Crawford Building from the Art & Philosophy studios, where the Textiles and Animation studios are based – you can also see part of the church on the Perth Road and the Tay behind it. I wasn't really looking at the page as I was drawing, and when I looked down there were all these overlapping lines. I ended up adding elements of colour so you could see more of the individual elements and it’s just evolved from there.
“Quite a lot of people think the piece is an aerial view, rather than a face on, but if you look closely you can see the windows for the other courses and objects that are in the room – art pieces and mannequins and so on. As it’s quite abstract I don’t know if people can always tell, but that’s what it is; what I could see from the window at the moment.
“A lot of the pieces I’m working on at the moment are cropped in sections of that original drawing, which I’ve blown up so you can look at the shapes as well as the colours more individually. They’re all quite big, I try and make the most of the supplies in the shop on campus and go as big as I can! I also want to give other people the experience I had when I was creating the first drawing; it was only on A2 but as it was so precise I was always up really close to it, so that’s the thinking behind it.
“This piece really started off a new chapter in my work; I hadn’t really painted before but now I consider myself a painter. I even mix my own paints. I’ve kept most of the original colours from the drawing so sometimes I spend days and days making one precise colour. It’s funny, as before I came here I worked mainly in black and white and I hardly used any colour at all – it’s almost like I was scared of it. Now it’s one of the main thing that I focus on and it’s so important.
“It feels amazing to have my work selected. As soon as I got the email about the application I made a point of prioritising it. Having seen previous years, it’s quite a big deal because it means that everyone is going to get to see your work – even if they don’t see it in real life. I hope it will be exciting for people coming to the Degree Show and point out my artwork.
“We have some of the best studio spaces are in the building. There’s so much light – you get light all throughout day, and we’re so lucky to get so much space. There’s never been anyone who’s complained about the studio space we have here. You’re in a space with three other people, so you can be in your own little bubble if you want to be, but it’s also quite sociable – we all bring our mugs and gather in someone’s space for lunch or a coffee and a chat. Everyone is inspired by each other.
“I’ve loved being a student here. I’m not from Dundee, and I wasn’t completely sure about it when I first moved here, but you just fall in love with being in this place. The whole city is so university-oriented; it’s just made my experience.”
Find out more about this year's Degree Show on our website
“It feels amazing to have my work selected. As soon as I got the email about the application I made a point of prioritising it. Having seen previous years, it’s quite a big deal because it means that everyone is going to get to see your work – even if they don’t see it in real life."Chloe Alexander, Fine Art student