RCA Show 2019
This year nearly 900 graduates from the Royal College of Art received their degrees at the convocation* held in the Royal Albert Hall - midway through the SHOW on 3 July…
These 900 students showed their work in the annual SHOW at two main campuses - Kensington Gore and Battersea, with Fashion showing in Cork Street, West End, galleries and architecture in the ‘Old Fire Station’, Lambeth.
See images and videos from the Show 2019 on the 'Gallery' section.
The RCA degree SHOW never disappoints…
But there are also waves of concern… Painting has equivocated for years about ‘painting’ and this year was no exception, Sculpture was temporarily ‘exiled’ from its Battersea building site and sat comfortably ’upstairs’ in the design ethos of Kensington Gore campus, nomadic Fashion held its event a month earlier and continued to cock a snoop at the ‘commercial fashion trade’ whilst aligning itself with the ’commercial fine art’ galleries of London’s West End, Architecture was out on a limb in Lambeth’s ‘old fire station’ and the curators curated around the Oval. Absent from Kensington’s ‘design emporium’ was automative design (now known as ‘Intelligent Mobility Design’) which has delayed it’s SHOW till 19-24 February 2020… originally known as vehicle design it will be interesting to see how or if the College celebrates the 50th anniversary of this ‘high octane’ school.
A moment’s relief from the intense viewing of so much work could be found by escaping to the lecture theatre to watch a programme of Animation - the mystery of these moving pictures unravelled in the warren of rooms in the Stevens Building (named in short memory of the infamous rector whose timing in dismantling the film and environmental media schools was confounding).
Added to these physical and naming shifts are the contemporary pressures of being a student; financial, time pressures, reduced length of courses, increased numbers of student intake, re-organisation of schools… all undoubtedly impacting on the skills quality of work and level of intellectual thinking behind ideas.
But, In every SHOW there are works which shine, ideas which excite and mark out why the Royal College still, regardless of all these problems, has a world-wide reputation as the top university for Art and Design study.