“The private view has already gone on almost an hour longer than it should have. The floor of the marquee is gluey with the stuff that we are calling champagne, but which is not, actually. The bottoms have fallen out of the paper cups for boxed wine; shy pink disks gather under the DJ booth and stick to the twinkly Jimmy Choos of somebody’s mother.
June has not committed itself to summer. It rained a little in the morning, but by evening it was mild, and cloudless enough for stars. Piles of coats make tents over the loose chairs pushed to corners for dancing.
The walls in the studio are scarred with layers of bright white emulsion after even just a few years of shows like these. First years are promised drinks for their labour, another time.
The exhibition went over very well; petal shakes from their congratulatory bouquets. A bunch of neatly outfitted twenty-year-olds share hand-rolled cigarettes in the road.
What is left of the crowd will disperse now to separate hotel beds, or to low-lit terraced houses where the sofas have been covered with bin liners and music is played over tinny bedroom speakers.
Adapted from ‘Acknowledgements’ in The Ruskin School of Art, Class of 2021, edited by Ezra Allen, Erika Cann, Elanor Ludlam, Joanna McClurg, Katie Morris and Beth Simcock, published by Oxford University Print.
We extend our gratitude:
To the following Oxford Colleges:
Lady Margaret Hall
St Anne’s College
St Catherine’s College
St Edmund Hall
St Hugh’s College
St John’s College
The Queen’s College
To our Ruskin tutors and staff, who have seen us through three years.
Notably, to Tom Woolner, Jost Münster and Jon Roome who have offered many hours of their time and support.
To our fellow members of the Digital Team, particularly Kirsty for making our digital dreaming-ups a reality.
To the co-ordinators, Max and Willow.
To the Ruskin Class of 2021, who all this is about.
To John Ruskin, whose school, now in its 150th year, is the place it all started.
Rubia Rose Southcott