Our 4 highlights from the Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art degree show

The Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art degree show is so prolific that art lovers come from far and wide to see it, boosting the creative scene in this pocket of south London immeasurably. This year saw the annual showcase split between Fine Art and Artists’ Film and Moving Image, two separate courses yet the former also includes some film and video, just to be confusing. Here are my highlights…

Written by: Issey Scott a freelance art writer and SouthEast15 contributor

Xavier Robles de Medina (@xavierroblesdemedina)

Xavier Robles de Medina,  In the realm of translation , 2014-2018. Graphite and plaster, 44 x 33 x 8 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Xavier Robles de Medina, In the realm of translation, 2014-2018. Graphite and plaster, 44 x 33 x 8 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

My first pick is Xavier Robles de Medina, a Surinamean artist working in sculpture and drawing. At Goldsmiths it is easy to be sidetracked by large-scale, gimmicky works, but Robles de Medina’s intricate drawings of cartoon film stills in graphite are stunning. Aside from the flat works, one particular piece, ‘In the realm of translation’, caught my eye with its incredible textures, bordering on the hypnotic. I am very interested to see where this artist’s work goes next. 


Avril Corroon (@avcorroon)

Avril Corroon, installation view, Goldsmiths degree show 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.

Avril Corroon, installation view, Goldsmiths degree show 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.


There was an unprecedented array of smells at this year’s show, yet rarely were they more potent than in Avril Corroon’s space in the Ben Pimlott Building, where several refrigerators were placed with a range of cheeses made from toxic mould sourced from rental accommodation in London. It’s so important to tackle real issues affecting the artists and the viewing public alike, and Corroon has done it in a way that is inviting, despite the awful smell in the hot weather, and innovative. 

Camilla Hanney (@camilla.hanney)

Camilla Hanney,  Domestic Pleasure,  2019. Broom, hair, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.

Camilla Hanney, Domestic Pleasure, 2019. Broom, hair, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.

Much like Robles de Medina, the beauty of Irish artist Camilla Hanney’s work is in the detail. Located in the St James Hatcham Building amidst a flurry of both visually and aurally noisy works, the respite found in her deceptively simple and rather meditative sculptures was refreshing. One particular piece with Rapunzel-style hair being dragged across the floor attached to a broom is reminiscent of women’s domestic labour, while a shell with a yonic design reflects women’s art history, alluding to the likes of Georgia O’Keefe and the natural world as influences. 

Lydia Blakeley (@lydiablakeley)

Lydia Blakeley,  The winner's enclosure,  2019. Oil on linen, 40cm x 30cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Lydia Blakeley, The winner's enclosure, 2019. Oil on linen, 40cm x 30cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Lydia Blakeley has turned out to be a firm favourite amongst visitors to the show, at least if social media is to be believed, thanks to her fun and accessible paintings. She has also featured in several exhibitions in London prior to her degree show, so many were awaiting her showcase to see what topical elements have made it to her newest work. Focusing on animals and pop culture, often both, her space in the degree show was probably the only one that had the power to make you laugh, as well as marvel at her somehow familiar but impressive style of painting.


Issey Scott is a freelance art writer based in south-east London. Her writing on art, culture and architecture has appeared in a range of publications including Candid Magazine, RIBA, The Big Issue, South East London Journal, LOBBY, Floorr and GDC Interiors Journal. She has also had essays published in exhibitions at Castor Projects and Seager Gallery.

She also blogs regularly about London's art scene at letsmakelotsofmonet.com