University for the Creative Arts, Farnham – Fine Art Degree Show 2011

University for the Creative Arts, Farnham

Fine Art Degree Show 2011

I visited the Exhibition on 11th June, with two fellow OCA students.  The Farnham Campus was originally an Art College but is now part of the University for the Creative Arts. Their website informed me that they have over 2,000 students studying a wide range of creative arts subjects, including fine art, photography, textiles, crafts, film, graphics, journalism and advertising. It was a good opportunity to go along and see some Degree work first-hand.

There was also an Open Day running when we went so there were a large number of young people and their parents being given group talks by staff at various points throughout the College.

Photography Exhibition

Many of the students were exhibiting in a large ground floor hall.

As to be expected, there were a variety of themes depicted. There isn’t space to describe all of them here but I’ll mention some which I found eye-catching.

Emmie Thorstenson is Swedish and she had put together a series of black and white images titled “On the Verge of Adulthood”, which were beautifully exposed, sharp and clear. I’m mentioning her nationality because her images, somehow, reminded me of what I imagine her country is like. I saw that she is also exhibiting at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London and I think she will be a photographer to watch for in the future.

Chris Spackman had a series “Unstill Life” in memory of a friend of his who had died from cancer.

The above doesn’t capture the quality of his work but his website link is below.  The images are the outcome of continuous exposures of up to three weeks.

From the main hall we wandered the corridors finding exhibitions of other Degree work and also Foundation and Access students.

There were ceramics and glass, including this piece by Emma Clench which was a glowing orange.


One exhibit from Sally Rowe was of cutouts placed in front of a mirror

the information on her website says that her work is concerned with identity, both as a visual construct and as narrative.

There was also one section which, at first sight, purported to be a museum exhibition of work by ornithologists. Paintings and drawings and various artefacts.  It was a clever illusion created by Jose Nieves.  I didn’t take a photograph (I should have done) but his website link is below.

In the Fine art section there was a wonderful piece of mixed media created by Natasha Caine from found objects.

It was titled “Carosellas” which were apparently the Spanish entymology of carousels, and were spinning mechanisms for battle training/tournaments.

We also had opportunity to see some fashion designs

There were several sketchbook/working logs that were pieces of art in themselves.  I’ve seen some on the OCA site of course but they are so much better in reality.


It was, of course, a different experience from visiting the London exhibitions of famous photographers and artists, but so good to see a wide range of work and appreciate the imagination and creativity of the students.  The more informal atmosphere helped me feel nearer to the work as well. This made it less daunting because I could imagine that, if I complete the Degree, I might one day be able to reach their standards.  Because it is a University and I saw several young students visiting on the Open Day I formed an assumption that contributors to the Exhibition were all young adults.  However, I’m probably wrong.

Overall it was very useful to see how the prints were being exhibited – framed, unframed, in box-frames and also on aluminium.  Some of the students had also produced photo-books of varying sizes (including Blurb books) to accompany their images.


11th June 2011



Farnham Campus of UCA:

University for the Creative Arts:

Chris Spackman :

Emma Clench: (although couldn’t access it)

Emmie Thorstenson:

Jose Nieves:

Sally Rowe: