l ROSS MURRAY (Final year student at Napier) Many photography graduates go on to assist

' established commercial photographers as general dogsbodies in a studio. They often end up in advertising. I‘m not interested in that. My interests are with people, I like to indulge myself in the way they live their lives. Recently I did a project on alternative communities and I spent some time with ‘New Age’ travellers. I’m interested in making documentary projects dealing with human issues and perhaps selling them to photographic agencies with a view to publication in magazines.

I’m also suspicious and somewhat cynical of mainstream media. Socio-documentary photography is all too often used to hit the emotion ofthe viewer. I believe there is a place for photography which is questioning and

informative rather than appealing to raw emotion. But I think I‘d almost rather work in a factory than take big colour photographs of babies.

I KANE RUTHERFORD (Ex-Napier, freelance photographer) I suppose I specialize in ‘people in locations" photographs although the photographs I do for Scotland on Sunday tend to be stranger than that: a couple ofweeks ago I did one ofthe only sealing wax maker in the world.

At Napier I started off with a clear idea of what I wanted to do and some of it‘s come true. At college you’re encouraged to think that you‘re rather special. that photographers are the best people in the world doing only the most noble of jobs. So you come out with an inflated idea of I what the job’s all about. I

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In these years of market economy the war between ideology and artistic compromise has never been more virulent. Miranda France visits the 1990 Degree Exhibitions and finds out from the students and graduates of Scotland’s art colleges just how bad the battles got.


t‘s flaming June again and everything is lavatories smell of paint and look half-decorated.


a-buzz in Scotland‘s art colleges as another year comes to an end and another degree exhibition gets underway.

In Glasgow an anxious final year student. turpentine bottle in hand. leads me through an underworld of brightly coloured paintings and fabrics. We plunge down dark corridors into big

Possibly the job had to be abandoned in favour of a more pressing concern: an unfinished Van (iogh .. . or perhapsjust a full bladder. And all around is tremendously decorative Art-for-Art‘s-sake graffiti.

But not all ofthis year‘s final year students are resigning themselves to a life of languishing in

white rooms where pictures are being hung and some are already being most loathsome of words ‘assessed’. No sign of tears yet, but nerves are so highly strung you can almost hear them twang.

Down in Edinburgh‘s dusty basement the


garret flats with only a bowl of fruit to eat on completion ofthe still life.

Here are five students and. from the same departments. five graduates who intend to makc a living out oftheir skills. Who can prove that it is possible. J

6mm 15 -24; June-199i)