2013 by Sam Houston
Now Falmouth, Shoreditch Town Hall; www.samhouston.co.uk
Falmouth bought a selection of its 2013 graduates to London, letting them loose in the underground rooms of Shoreditch Town Hall. This cavernous space, with its dark and hidden corners, is the perfect place for a graduate show; the experimentations of a new generation creeping across its crumbling and atmospheric walls. One of the most memorable has got to be Gaby Vindis’s The Box; formidably thin spikes cover each side but the bottom, allowing you to climb inside (backwards is advised) and someone else to shut you in, all bathed in a luminous pink light. Pencil drawing pervaded throughout the exhibition, not always common in grad shows, Cheryl Maslen‘s inquisitive explorations among them. Painting was stolen by Sam Houston, also a print-maker, whose canvases are built up through a layering of images, paint and print. Taking crumbling old buildings as a starting point, Houston explores the fragility of our surroundings; places that were once home and safe, decaying into an uncertain shadow of what they once were. His layering technique builds up these feelings, as distant architectural outlines are cloaked in an eerie smoke of drained colour, the shadows of lost figures imprinted on their souls. Houston’s work conveys that strange and internal sense of evaluation upon seeing a derelict building – when one thinks of what went on inside the walls, before being left to disrepair.