Postgraduate students at Massey’s School of Design and School of Fine Arts showcased their final projects at a joint exhibition in February.
Titled “M”, the 2012 Master of Design/Master of Fine Art graduate exhibition displayed work by seventeen postgraduate students in the College of Creative Arts: Kristine Brooks, Anna Brown, Brigid Ann Burnham, Em Davidson, Matthew Fanning, James Findlater, Sandy Gibbs, Laura Haughan, Kristy Johnstone, Colin Luxton, Thomas McQuillan, Rosemary Mortimer, Gary Peters, Xiang Qian (Steven), Lorna Smith, Aihua Wei and Lee Whiterod.
“Each student has explored the frontiers of art and design creative practice in light of contemporary issues and intellectual concerns,” says Julieanna Preston, Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies in the Institute of Design for Industry and Environment. The works ranged from practical responses to furniture for ADHD school children, political commentary on fashion and communism, site-specific typography and installation practices, the interactive experience of Tai Chi, to speculation on the animate nature of objects and acerbic investigations of painting’s continued capacity to peel away layers of the human condition.
“Collectively these works reveal the power of creative practice research to be innovative, inspiring, resourceful, inquisitive, experimental, compelling, irascible even, and aesthetically insightful -- all attributes crucial to addressing the challenges of the twenty-first century,” says Ms Preston.
One example (pictured) is the collection by Masters of Design student Aihua Wei, whose project investigated the relationship between Chairman Mao’s jacket and herself as a Chinese migrant and fashion designer/artist. She has, she says, “been awakened to the impact that the jacket has had on my life, education, family, surroundings, thinking and behavior. There is a sense that I have always been wearing this jacket invisibly.”