The planet is currently broken. We are doing our degree show on Mars.
The trajectory of the LJMU Fine Art Degree show has been charted. We proceed at full-throttle and we are on schedule. This final journey into the unknown for our graduating students is not a pared back simulation of what might have been, it is a voyage that seeks to collectively establish new relevance and understanding for their individual endeavours, amid the stasis the world is currently experiencing.
Artists respond to the world as they find it, they reflect it and help to build an understanding of what we are experiencing. The Degree Show on Mars is not simply showcasing the extraordinary originality and resilience of our graduating artists. It is a means by which we can document and understand the crisis through the eyes of artists who are emerging into a world very different to that which they had anticipated.
The graduating artists’ response is a multiverse, a series of possible worlds where you can encounter the variety and complexity of their individual, collaborative and curatorial practices. Using NASA's detailed 3D scans of the Martian landscape, the entry level in the Gale crater on Mars is scattered with crash landed objects that are alien to the planet's surface. These virtual found objects each represent a graduating artist, and act as portals that transport you back in time and space to an exhibition put on by the students a week before lockdown in the Capital Building, Liverpool. This exhibition has been documented using Matterport 3D software, enabling the visitor to wander around the exhibition and see an actual show of all the students’ work together prior to lockdown. Each artwork in the show then acts as a further portal to that student’s current work, and to websites and further examples of their practices. The Degree Show on Mars allows you to travel the surface of Mars and around the documented exhibition horizontally - going from artist to artist, or you can teleport vertically though a series of wormholes, seeing each artist's response to the multiple times and spaces – navigating towards an uncertain future.
LJMU BA Fine Art is distinct in the UK, in that rather than doing one show a year (a degree show), we average over 55 exhibitions a year in many unique spaces. 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.
Georgia Addy, Mitchell Armstrong, Sophie Bacon, Cheryl Blackburn, Parice Bowyer, Harriet Butler, Ian Colligan, Tom Condon, Joshua Cook, Ella Crabtree, Stephanie Da Maia, Emma Dolan, Chloe Eadie, Kyle Evans, Chelsie Feather, Rachel Geary, Joe Goff, Jake Gould, Hannah Graham, Ruta Griskeviciute, Kea Haughey, Kyle Hicks, Beth Hill, Mary Hill, Franky Hughes, Sheree John, Nadia Kawafi, Carys Kilduff, Beth King, Emma Magill, Shannon May, Erin McKerrow, Chelsey Morrison, Phoebe O'Connor, James Ockenden, James Pope, Bethany Prandle, Angelica Rossiter, Millicent Rotchford-Monks, Daniel Rymer, Ashleigh Sands, Jennifer Sharp, Nicole Stiff, Monika Sznajder, Ellie Towers, Morgan Tunnicliffe, Kirsty Jo Wallace, Bethany Wallis, Natalie Weston, Martine Williams, Rachael Williams, Meri Williamson, Johnmichael Woodruff Graduate Students (Object on Mars, artwork in Glasshouse show and their online artwork from online platforms which they host and manage individually)
Rory Macbeth (Programme Leader), Peter Appleton, John Byrne,
Adam Carr, Juliet Carroll, Jai Chuhan, 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 for Mars
Keith Mayers, AVimmerse Lead 3D Creation for Mars
Robert Awork Jr. Support 3D Creation for Mars
Rosie Dickins Graphic Designer Poster
Peter Horrocks (Architecture) for Matterport Support
Peter Woodbridge (MA Immersive Art) Technical Advisor and Support
Rory Macbeth: Idea for the Degree Show on Mars 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)
Roy Claire Potter: Making the ideas public (Publicity and media)
DANIELLE FREAKLEY and Graduating artists Mitchell Armstrong, Cheryl Blackburn, Ella Crabtree AND Ashleigh Sands:
Development of Mars Gale Crater Region language
Pelham Communications: PR
Danielle Freakley: Website (Show info website)