UNSW Art & Design’s 2014 graduate exhibition featuring work of more than 320 students opens in little more than a month and preparations are well underway.

More than 40 students and 20 staff are involved in planning and realising this years major event, specifically from ADspace, Arc @ UNSW, A/V, Chauvel Cinemateque, CSU, Kudos, Marketing and Communications, Technical Services and UNSW Galleries.

This year for the first time 22 postgraduate Exhibition Management & Curatorial Studies students are curating a component of the Annual for the Waterlow and Courtyard Galleries with a theme around ‘Mapping' under the supervision of lecturer, Lizzie Muller and UNSW Galleries Director Felicity Fenner. The students are working in teams in the areas of Exhibition Design, Management and Installation, Interpretation and Critical Framing Communication and Public Programs. The curatorial students working on the Annual are Alana Cappetta, Yuting Chen, Paige Cummins, Sarah Davis, Aby Dotulung, Wen Fu, Elizabeth Gallagher, Jin Jeong, Xu Jin, May Johnson, Luke Letourneau, Renee Quiambao, Ester Sarkadi-Clarke, Shaked Shamir, Hanli Shen, Alexis Tay, Noelle Tobing, Wei-Ling Tseng, Mardi Vassella, Jing Wang, Katherine Winten and Isaac Yeo.

The 2014 website and electronic catalogue is under development and participating students are urged to submit their content through the online application on MYCOFA. The final deadline is 31 October, however the organisers are encouraging participating artists and designers to input their images and text as soon as they can to assist the editors and web team.

In the lead up UNSW Galleries Director Felicity Fenner has been consulting regularly with the Student Annual Curatorium 2014 which is co-convened by Alexandra Mitchell and Kieran Butler, with student members: Melissa Barrass, Dominique Cahill, Hal Cochrane, Danielle Johansen, James McDonald, Jessie Odwazny, Clare Powell, Miranda Samuels, Larissa Silva, Bronwen Williams and Lucy Zaroyko.

The Annual project team is extensive and consists of Felicity Fenner; Susan Thompson, Gallery Manager, UNSW Galleries; Philip Hall, Exhibition Project Coordinator; Vaughan O’Connor Exhibition Coordinator UNSW Galleries and ADspace; Dara Gill, Exhibition Coordinator Kudos Gallery; Lisa O’Hara Publications and Web Coordinator; Peter Hong, Designer; Denise Raftopoulos, Postgraduate Curatorial Studies Intern and Exhibition Assistant – Annual; Hamid Dehghani Samani, Web Developer; Sabina Finnern, Project Manager, Development and Special Projects; Emma Blong, Event Coordinator Annual Opening; Steve Weymouth, Coordinator Chauvel Cinema. 

The team of student volunteers working on Chauvel premiere screenings includes Danielle Altura, Laura Beverley, Kriska Budiman, Michelle Dang, Wenhui He, Hana Hong, Wynton Jonathan, Jasleen Kaur, Jack Lazarus, Joseph Lui, Jessica Montecinos, Ben Portnoy, Kidakorn Tangsucharittham, Dan Watts and Jason Zhao; led by staff Susan Danta, Tom Ellard and Steve Weymouth.

A group of design students; Melissa Barass, Lauren Bradley, Alicia Constantine and Costa Damaskos have been assisting the Annual Design Team as volunteers, working closely with Bachelor of Design student and UNSW Galleries and Marketing intern Peter Hong on the design brief for this years visual identity. A number of excellent student submissions were received. The selection panel including Dean Ross Harley, COFA Council President Kieran Bryant, Program Director Design Karina Clarke and UNSW Galleries Director Felicity Fenner unanimously agreed Peter’s design was outstanding among a very strong group of concepts and clearly articulated the brief.

Peter Hong’s design From ‘A’ to ‘AND’ (&) acknowledges the original intent behind the ‘A’ as providing a singular and distinctive mark that represents the highest point one could excel to. 'A' represents the top grade, the beginning and first letter of the alphabet and represented a singular person rising above the crowd. It was an idea originally proposed by the Moffitt brothers, who were then on the cusp of graduating from COFA and represented their generation of design graduates. The concept was created in 2001 and has lived through the last decade. However, we are now entering a new era for the university and for A&D students. The major defining points of the graduates now draw from the 2000s, rather than the 80s and 90s. 2014 is a markedly different era. Major defining points of graduating include less stability and a return to community and grouping together as we face our futures, not alone, but together. It is no longer about getting that ‘A’ individually, but getting that ‘A’ together. Therefore, it makes conceptual sense to move from ‘A’ to ‘AND’ - from singular achievement to group achievement. ‘AND’ also represents the idea of inclusion - that we connect, accept and achieve together, not alone. There is now a diversity of ideas and values as opposed to the one ideal portrayed with the singular ‘A’. There is no longer a singular definition of what it means to be successful and the use of the ‘AND’ represents this shift.

Further information about the project will be shared as the event approaches, however key dates to remember include:

Official opening: Tuesday 25 November, 6 – 8pm

Key dates for students

  • Catalogue content due: midnight, Friday 31 October 

  • Exhibition dates: Wednesday 26 November – Saturday 6 December, Hours: Tues-Sat 10-5pm

  • Chauvel Cinema Screening: Friday 28 November, 6pm

  • Collection of work post exhibition: 5-7pm Saturday 6 December and 1-5pm Sunday 7 December

Anticipation is growing – and we are excited in advance of another extraordinary display of creativity at Art & Design. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to make contact with the organising team.