This week, the meandering labyrinth of Central Saint Martins at 107-109 Charing Cross Road engages with its immediate environment during what will be the final, Final Year Show. Floors are ripped up, detritus is piled high, filing cabinets are flattened and lockers lined with sumptuous red velvet.
A young artist spins on a turntable, while a manacled baby doll crawls in circles next to a shelf with a jellified vibrator, these movements appearing as metaphors for the agonisingly slow transfer of the Fine Art, Photography and Fashion departments to an amalgam of the separate sites being built in Kings Cross.
A corridor leads outside through the semi-sheltered torrential rain to the postgraduate photography show, hidden down corridors, behind black curtains and emerging into a well presented viewing room where student’s portfolios are in the drawers of an island planchest. This idea is developed around the corner where backlit 5×4” transparencies are set into the open levels of a smart piece of furniture.
Upstairs, fashion designs occupy three very different rooms, the first presenting a hypothetical magazine from each of the exhibitors, pages overflowing with ambition.
Next door in the central area, hang gorgeously crafted materials, surrounded by a worktop highlighting the thought process to achieving the finished pieces. Down the hall a sizeable room hosts a jungle of contrasting fabrics, with some classically executed tailoring next to avant-garde couture originating from the deeper recesses of the human imagination.
A visit to this show which runs until Thursday 23 June is recommended because of the high quality of the presentation, but also to experience the rich layers of creativity that ooze from the very structure of the building. From the bas-relief details of the facade on Charing Cross Road through to the tested functionality of the stairs and lifts, this is a last chance to soak in the years of practice that have made this school a world class destination for those who wished to continue the immersive processes facilitated by this unique site.
By Harry Urgent
Central St Martins Final Year Show is open today and tomorrow 12 noon to 8pm and on Thursday 12 noon to 6pm, 107-109 Charing Cross Road.