The graduate shows are a highlight of the year for me. They’re the huge exhibitions put on every June by the UK’s leading creative universities to showcase the work of their highly sought-after graduating students to the world.
Not only are the shows massively inspiring, they’re also a glimpse at the future – a new way of seeing the world through fresh creative eyes.
And not only for professionals in the creative sector, but also for anyone with a passion for art, culture and innovation. It’s the most important annual showcase where we can catch a glimpse of exciting, fresh new talent (the creative entrepreneurs of the future) and admire their inspirational work.
Both the general public and major brands (e.g., Mercedes and LVMH) flock to the graduate shows to celebrate and discover the innovative creativity of students of fine art, graphic design, illustration, animation, fashion, film, photography, and more.
Many graduate shows are being held virtually this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. I’ve been fortunate to attend these events in a physical capacity in the past – there’s such a vibrant, lively buzz to them.
The exhibits are truly eye-opening and intriguing. Here are a few photos from the graduate shows at UAL and Ravensbourne in London. They give a flavour of how amazing the degree shows are and why they are so worth attending.
The degree shows are taking place throughout the end of June and into July, and you might just be able to catch a physical exhibition or two if you’re lucky. For instance, the work of UAL’s 2021 BA and MA Graphic Communication Design graduates is being exhibited in public spaces around London (and elsewhere in the UK) from 30 June.
It doesn’t really matter whether the degree shows are virtual or physical events. What is so incredibly vital is that the creative community gets behind these talented, young minds by exploring their work and sharing it on social or through word of mouth. After all, the Class of 2021 (who are graduating during the most challenging of times) has the potential to shape our future.
Further reading and inspiration:
- Creative Boom: Class of 2021: a guide to all of the UK’s degree shows this summer.
- Design Week: The 2021 Design Week graduate show guide.