Gray's Degree Show '23

Gray's Degree Show '23 will again showcase the exceptional talents and accomplishments of final-year students at Gray's School of Art. A celebration of their creative journeys and marks a significant milestone in their academic careers.

The Degree Show provides a platform for students to present their final year projects in various disciplines, including Painting, Contemporary Art Practice, Fashion and Textiles, Communication Design, 3D Design, and Photography. As always, the entire school will be transformed into a gallery space, offering visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of these emerging artists and designers.

Admission to the Degree Show is free, allowing you to explore diverse artwork and creative endeavours. Much of the art showcased during the exhibition is available for purchase. A chance to own a unique piece created by these talented individuals.

If you're considering applying to Gray's School of Art, the Degree Show is an invaluable experience. It provides a glimpse into the innovative projects and concepts developed by the final-year students. It also offers an insight into the calibre of education and creative exploration at the institution.

Gray's Degree Show '23 is an invitation to witness the potential of the next generation of art and design leaders. It's a celebration of artistic excellence, inspiring both the artists and those who visit the exhibition to appreciate the power and beauty of the creative process.

Opening Times

Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 June, 10:00 - 17:00
Monday 12 - Friday 16 June, 10:00 - 20:00
Saturday 17 June, 10:00 - 17:00


Robert Gordon University's Gray's School of Art presents a multidisciplinary exhibition called aBROAD HORIZON, which celebrates the experiences of students who have studied overseas. Taking place in Gray's School of Art's upper and lower foyers, this is the first exhibition of its kind since Covid. The event begins at 5.30 p.m. on Monday, 14 November.

Grey's School of Art's 'Study Abroad' program allows students from RGU to study at one of its international partner schools for a semester. This allows them to develop their creative practice and expand their network of contacts. Over the years, these collaborations and partnerships have evolved into academic relationships that span the globe. 

aBROAD HORIZON brings together fifteen of these talented artists and designers from Gray's School of Art who have travelled abroad to develop their practice in different cultural settings around Europe and Canada, including Fashion & Textiles Design, Three-Dimensional Design, Communication Design, Painting and Contemporary Art Practice.

Marcus Murison | Paintwork

Paintwork is an interesting new show showcasing the new work that Marcus Murison created during his time as the Gray's School of Art Painting Graduate in Residence.

Marcus explained his thoughts about the residency and the work on show, telling us, "This exhibition is about my enquiry into the overlooked situations I encounter within our urban environments. Specifically, during my residency this past year, my research has focused on the spaces of building sites and the activity within them. I am interested in these sorts of spaces as I’m intrigued by their liminal and ephemeral qualities. This exhibition in a wider sense is talking about observation and how we observe the environments we find ourselves in, being open to explore and document our ever-changing landscapes."

The Graduate in Residence is an unpaid position at Gray's, where high-achieving graduates spend time with the school. An active member of the school, the GIR learns about education and in turn, brings fresh thinking and insights to the work of the school.

Gray's Degree Show bursts with colour

Three years have passed since the last Gray's Degree Show. Like many of us, this year's graduates have spent a good deal of their studies working from home. They've had to self-motivate and have missed out on social interaction and mutual inspiration.

You may think this might affect some of the quality of work, but I'm here to tell you that the artwork on display is some of the most spectacular, fully realised in the show's stellar history.

Over 100 graduating artists and designers have presented their projects at this year's event. Among the disciplines on display are painting, contemporary art practice, fashion and textiles, communication design, photography, and 3D design, many of which are actually on sale.

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

A highlight of the Gray's calendar each year, the Degree Show celebrates the talents and achievements of the final-year students. The work created by graduates at Gray's Degree show is of really high quality. But that isn't the whole story. It's also very accessible and entertaining.

This show is probably the best way in the city to see such a huge range of art styles all in one place.

A testament to the graduates drive

Show producer Sally Moir was keen to praise the work of the graduates. She told us, “The effort, ambition, thoughtfulness, criticality throughout the graduating student shows across fine art and design is an absolute testament to their drive to put on a physical show after such a challenging art school journey.

“Be sure to come along over the next week to immerse yourself in an array of creative practices, we promise it will not disappoint.”

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

Speaking personally, I haven't enjoyed viewing art in digital spaces through the pandemic years. It was an imperfect solution to a very real problem. It wasn't great way to engage with the work, but it must also have been extremely challenging for pupils to recreate their vision in digital.

It's clear that many of this year's final-year students have also been keen to ditch digital. The vast majority of the work on display is right there in the real world…and it's so much fun. As a result, the whole space has amazingly positive energy.

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

It's no surprise that organisers chose "Welcome to the real world" as this year's tagline. These artists are pushing forward to the future. There's a positivity and ambition on display that's infectious. Despite a busy schedule, I actually left feeling refreshed and inspired.

The Grays Degree Shows are always brilliant in their own ways, but this year's iteration was one of my favourites. I'll definitely be taking the time to visit again. You should get down to see it before it ends on Saturday 18 June 2022.

It's free and it's fun so take a friend along with you. You might find it gives you a lot to talk about.

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Gray’s School of Art Graduate Degree Show 2021

The Gray's School of Art Graduate Degree Show launches on 9 July. Sustainability is the focus of many of the students' final year projects. The show, named Onwards, is the second that the school will hold online due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

With expectations high for another year of high quality, inspiring work, Gray's reached out to tell us about some of the graduates who's work will be on display.

Tom Andrew

One of those exhibiting, is 21-year-old product designer 3D design student, Tom Andrew from Torphins. With a keen interest in the future of transport and an environmental consciousness, Tom has created ‘TEXTAM’. This is a light-weight and highly functionable skateboard that reduces the reliance on private cars.

Tom says: “I want to challenge current modes of transport. Currently, mobility in urban locations is environmentally unfriendly, congested, and unsustainable. I have created a compact and sustainable skateboard that tackles short but important journeys.  I want to challenge urban transport issues and to push micro-mobility into the future.

'Textam’ provides a practical solution to the first and last mile often needed at the beginning and end of a trip made on public transport.  While you may take a bus or train for most of your journey, your final destination maybe too far to walk onto. Microbility products such as my lightweight skateboard, Textam, plug the gaps often found in public transport routes. In turn, this will reduce the need for private cars in city centres. As a result it will make cities such as Aberdeen, greener and cleaner places to live.”

Leanne Daphne

Another student with an environmental ethos at this year’s degree show, is Communication Design graduate, Leanne Daphne Goodall. 26-year-old Leanne-Daphne recently won the Scottish Kelpie Illustration Award. In addition, Penguin Books put her in the shortlist for their Student Design Award 2021. She uses illustration to tackle the effects of climate change through a fantasy adventure story, Hollow as she explains:

“The story for ‘Hollow’ is heavily influenced by the issues we face today. For example, global warming, pollution and over consumption.  My project had to appeal and educate young audiences in a fun and engaging way. Hollow embodies the concept of a living planet and plays with the question of how we would treat Earth if we could see it as a living creature instead of a resource? I want people to see the world in a way where we can empathise with it instead of just seeing it as a resource to harvest.”

Digital 3D art with a pink background and strange insect-like objects filling the space.

Maria Laidlaw

Jewellery designer and 3D design student, Maria Laidlaw showcases a collection of jewellery. She created her work from repurposed scrap metal to make intricate jewellery. With a rich cultural heritage, Canadian born, Maria hopes to inspire other creatives to embrace sustainability in their own work. She is passionate about addressing our throw-away society.

Maria said: “I have always been quite practical and dislike waste of any kind. As a result of our times and a desire to work more sustainably and ethically, it only seemed right to me that we use materials that could be repurposed in some way. I feel very passionate about this and believe that artists and makers can be pivotal in changing social perceptions. I adore old things and take inspiration from their stories. That’s whether it's material, architectural or historical. I hope people who view my work will consider its material legacy.”

Other Highlights

Other highlights from Gray’s Digital Degree Show, Onwards, include Fashion & Textile design student, Cameron Lyall who is showcasing a unisex collection of clothing called ‘NO-PLACE’. His work was inspired by a trip to a desolate spot at Balmedie beach, north of Aberdeen. He invites viewers to go on their own reflective journey as they watch a 3-minute screening, set in a dimly-lit atrium, where they can find their own ‘NO-PLACE’.

Head of Gray’s School of Art, Libby Curtis, said: “Our students have created an exceptional body of work for this year’s digital degree show, Onwards, which we look forward to unveiling to a global audience at our launch event, on July 9. Sustainability underpins a number of our graduate projects and demonstrate how forward-thinking our creatives are.”

What you need to know

Gray’s School of Art graduate degree show, ‘Onwards’, officially launches online to the public on Friday 9 July and runs for ten days. Throughout the show, there will be a mix of talks, interactive workshops, fashion shows and music.

Visitors will be able to explore a traditional archive of artists, with a simple click through of art works, featuring audio descriptions and visual images. Organisers will give attendees the option to explore the exhibition in a more experimental way. Visitors will take part in an immersive journey, as they navigate their way through a series of 3D virtual spaces.

Robert Gordon University, Gray’s School of Art, Digital Degree Show, ‘Onwards’, has been developed in partnership with Gray’s students, Gray’s School of Art’s creative unit Look Again, which hosts a biennial festival in Aberdeen, and Aberdeen-based design agency Design and Code.

Read About Gray’s graduate Indie McCue. His gallery of animations in partnership with Look Again added a touch of couloir to Aberdeen City Centre.