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Student Shows 2012: Liverpool John Moores University School of Art and Design

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Dan Gibson discovers an LJMU show balanced between theoretical and practical thinking

An ethos striking a balance between theoretical and practical thinking was seen in the diversity of this year’s Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) degree show. The school continues to encourage students to engage with their surroundings in Liverpool and the North West. The ambitious attempt to deal with challenging urban sites was impressive and the depth was cause for optimism.

Standout unit

The TED Talks-inspired ‘paradigm of a future green utopia’ unit stood out as generating the most engaging responses. The central image of Peter Edwards’ Genesis Project was a good example of a powerful graphic style.

Standout students

As well as Peter Edwards’ work, noteworthy projects at degree level included Thomas Stacey’s polished response to the Living Art Gallery and Steven Anton’s Ballet Mechanique, a study of axonometric projection in relation to James Stirling’s work.

Diploma projects were grounded in an urban design context redefining Cumbrian coastal towns. Projects of note were Mark Yates’ gargantuan Workington Steel Centre and Robin Graham’s Cookery School in Maryport.

In a word

Aspiring

Dan Gibson, director of Gibson Architects and guest critic at LJMU

AJ reviews of every student show in the UK are in AJ26.07.12. Students can subscribe to the AJ for just £82.50.

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