Our picks from the A-level Summer Exhibition Online 2015

Published 28 July 2015

We asked members of staff to pick their highlights from this year’s A-level Summer Exhibition Online, which showcases the work of the country’s talented young artists and runs parallel to the RA’s Summer Exhibition.

  • Mataio Austin Dean, 'Beings of the World, Unite!'

    Chosen by: Gwen Ramsay, Artist and Family Programme Officer
    Behind the bold and idealistic call to action, “Beings of the World, Unite!” is a very subtle painting. The seductive fleshy palette draws us into the work only to discover we are in the midst of a scene of terrible destruction. Human rubble is beautifully strewn across a geometric ash landscape. It is inspiring to see a young artist confronting complex issues with a thoughtful painterly approach.

  • Mataio Austin Dean, Beings of the World, Unite!

    Mataio Austin Dean, Beings of the World, Unite!.

    Barton Peveril Sixth Form College
    With the use of biomorphic forms, this piece seeks to convey the unilateral destruction of both man and nature by capitalism. By painting these pieces of felled trees with colours reminiscent of flesh, I am unifying man and nature in an act of revolution against the reifying, objectifying and commodifying economic system of capitalism.

    Acrylic, emulsion and ash on board. 89.5 x 64 cm.

  • Laura Capon, 'Shops Typology: Manchester Northern Quarter'

    Chosen by: Beth Schneider, Head of Learning
    Shops Typology: Manchester Northern Quarter really grabbed my attention. We all walk past buildings with signs and images every day. But Laura, with her artist’s eye, sees the grid-like structure punctuated by colours, words, shapes and images and frames the photography bringing together a wide mix of elements in a structured and dynamic composition. The image also has a specificity of place that recalls, to me, the black-white photographs of signs and building by the American photographer Walker Evans. Evans’s works are quintessentially American and Laura succeeds in her goal of capturing a ‘British’ feel in her photograph.

  • Lauren Capon, Shops Typology : Manchester Northern Quarter

    Lauren Capon, Shops Typology : Manchester Northern Quarter.

    The North Halifax Grammar School
    This photo shows a very rustic style sandwich shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It is part of a larger documentary project where I created a survey of the local shops in different areas in order to present a message about the area. My most important critical influences when taking this photo and others in the project were John Londei’s series Shutting Up Shop and Dave Allen’s Photographic Grid Project. I really liked the idea of capturing a ‘British’ feel in my work like John Londei did and used the systematic approach found in the grid project to do this..

    Photograph. 46 x 31 cm.

  • Georgia Dochoda, 'Immanuel'

    Chosen by: Sam Phillips, RA Magazine Editor
    I was immediately drawn to this portrait for its unconventional composition – a close-up section of the subject’s face is framed rather than his entire head. And as I looked closer, I had the feeling that I was in front of a landscape as much as a portrait, so deftly have the contours of features been painted: ridges of nose and lips, valleys under the eyes and around the mouth, sediments of skin spreading out across the canvas, with highlights from a sun somewhere to the side. But the soft eyes remind us that this is human geography, and give an impression of a thoughtful, intelligent soul.

  • Georgia Dochoda, Immanuel

    Georgia Dochoda, Immanuel.

    Sevenoaks School
    The core idea behind my creations is Self and how it can be discovered, identified and explored. I explored aspects leading to the formation of an individual’s identity with portraiture, focusing on raw emotion through texture, aided by the study of Nick Ward. My aim is to portray the charisma and identity of my friend through the medium of oil, by focusing on his distinctive facial features, particularly his eyes.

    Oil on canvas. 100 x 100 cm.

  • Christopher Hoare, 'Buckingham Palace'

    Chosen by: Eliza Bonham-Carter, Curator of RA Schools
    Buckingham Palace is a brilliantly drawn and very funny piece of animation. Key to the success of this work is Christopher’s keen choices about what information he needs to give the viewer in order tell the story; he has edited it down to the minimum which means we are focused where he intends. He uses the weights and counterbalances of the body to extract the maximum humour - see the way he lets a leg lengthen, moving in advance of the rest of its owner. The immobility of the guard heightens the ridiculousness of the other man’s actions and the denouement is one that I did not predict, try as I might.

  • Buckingham Palace

    The Thomas Hardye School

    When I was younger I wondered how the Buckingham Palace guards managed to defend the palace when they weren’t allowed to move. I created a cartoon animation that explains why the guards of Buckingham Palace, despite their adorable facade, can be deadly when you get up close. I’m inspired by Bird Box animation studios, who produce beautifully drawn and hilariously timed cartoon animations and put brilliant twist endings at the end of their short films.

  • Nicole Cooper, 'Pablo Gonzalez'

    Chosen by: Nick Barrett, Visitor and Friends Experience Co-ordinator
    Nicole Cooper has created a very bold and confident image, which is made more striking by being monochrome. It’s interesting how even a few brush strokes can activate whatever instinctive cognitive processes occur when we look at such an image that tries to assemble recognisable facial features. In this case the image shifts and changes while our eye and brain creates a figurative image out of an abstract one.

  • Nicole Cooper, Pablo Gonzalez

    Nicole Cooper, Pablo Gonzalez.

    Tolworth Girls School
    I wanted to look at new ways to distort the faces to create an imperfection.

    True grain print. 59.4 x 84.1 cm.

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