The exhibition, like last year’s Degree Show on Mars (degreeshowonmars.com), is a response to the specific times we find ourselves in. A year on from the first lockdown, things no longer feel like a sci-fi scenario, and the Edible Degree Show reflects this. This is very much a return to earth, with all its lockdown exhaustion, tinged with the language that video games and Netflix have enveloped us with over the last year.
A year ago, a fridge was brought into the Fine Art studios with a view to it becoming a Gallery. Fridge doors are, after all, where most of us first exhibit our artwork. The various lockdowns meant that this fridge never realised its potential to house an ongoing series of exhibitions throughout the year. Instead, while that gallery-fridge was confined to long-term storage in the studios, we have been confined to our homes, where we have been obsessing over our own fridges and their contents.
Fridges have become a strange and unacknowledged focal point to our enforced domestic stasis. We obsess about keeping it stocked, worry about it being empty. We constantly go to it for comfort. It has become a kind of totem over lockdown. A shrine that gives us life and extends the life of our food. It is also the temple that guards the vaccines that we pin our hopes on.
This curatorial framework serves as a platform for the graduating artists to create meaning from our global common experience. The exhibition attests to a lived experience of a year in lockdown and to the conditions of the graduating students’ making work at home, who turned this disadvantage into a means to make meaningful and relevant work at a unique point in history.
So this year our degree show is in a series of fridges. Cold storage units gathered with the mysterious monumentality of a domestic Stonehenge in another storage unit - a warehouse. Each fridge stores an entire world. Each a vision of where we are at, what we have been though, and where we are going. Edible Degree Show is a moment of sustenance on the journey out of lockdown, or into the next lockdown. It is a space where this year’s graduating artists can reflect on a year in storage, a year where everything was frozen.
LJMU BA Fine Art is distinct in the UK, in that rather than doing one show a year (a degree show), we average over 50 exhibitions a year in many unique spaces. This has held true over the last year of the pandemic, despite the difficulties in making exhibiton happen. Students are constantly encouraged to test their work through intensive experimentation, independence and ambition. With unique residency prizes, and 1-1 mentoring prizes with the Directors of Liverpool’s leading art institutions, (Tate Liverpool, the Liverpool Biennial and FACT), the Fine Art programme supports its graduates in embedding their careers and creating a lasting impact locally and nationally.
Rory Macbeth (Programme Leader), Peter Appleton, John Byrne,
Adam Carr, Juliet Carroll, Richard Creed, Chris Evans, Patricia MacKinnon-Day, Neil Morris, Roy Claire Potter, Imogen Stidworthy, Bedwyr Williams, Mark Wright Academic Staff
David Tully, Scenography studios Lead 3D Creation
Keith Mayers, AVimmerse advice 3D Creation
Alexandra Ardelean Support 3D Creation
Alexandru Lazar Support 3D Creation
Rory Macbeth: Idea for the Edible Degree Show and Lead
Mark Wright: Overseeing making the idea real (Principal System Architect, Experience Designer and Troubleshooter)
Adam Carr: Making the idea public (External selector organiser, publicity and media)
Pelham Communications: PR
Danielle Freakley: Website (Show info website)
For this project, assets from NounProject have been used (https://thenounproject.com/) as per the site's instructions:
‘mouse’ icon by Ilham Fitrotul Hayat from the Noun Project
‘camera’ icon by Aybige from the Noun Project
‘refrigerator’ icon by Federico Falaschi from the Noun Project
‘freezer ’ icon by Mikicon from the Noun Project
‘refridgerator’ icon by Atacan from the Noun Project