Static, kinetic, mimetic, floppy, brutal, large, discrete, small, sharp, soft, illuminated or illuminating, with sound, without sound, plugs and or networked - 21st century sculpture is brought to you from the RCA.
In our world of screen-based flatness, sculpture stands out as that most awkward of arts, with its bulk, its weight, its material substance, its insistence on volume and its persistently glorious maladroit character. In the drive towards sculpture, so visible in our busy studios and workshops, digital process has of course been co-opted as sculptural process, just as digital display may augment or stand in for more volumetric proposals, and our students embrace the new and old with ease to form fresh positions within the discipline. In 2023 we find exhibitions that celebrate magical thinking, expanded notions of sentience, and for some reason, this year water is quite present.
Here in the Sculpture programme, in this year of years, our students on the new one year MA join the students from the last of our two year courses in a double graduation held in one summer. The two year groups are as close as siblings, and share the energised familial relationship that all siblings do. You will find their work at separate sites and at slightly different times. 2023 has seen these year groups sharing studios, workshops, and getting to know one another in our sofa-based mobile social zone. Growing and learning in our smart new studios, they have benefitted from the rich sparky rivalries and the deep friendships that can only grow out of closeness. It has been our pleasure to work with you all and we wish you all the best of futures in which the solidarity of shared experience will continue to support you all going forward.
Sarah Staton, Head of Programme, Sculpture
All in Sculpture would like to thank our 2023 partners and sponsors for their support: Bermondsey Project Space, BuildHollywood, Chanel, Colab/Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Gilbert Bayes Trust, Koko, Kenneth Armitage Trust, Prussia Cove, Standpoint Gallery, Turf Projects.
Image credit: RCA Sculpture 2023