Issue date: 25 June 2001

Bower Ashton Campus Saturday 30 June – Wednesday 4 July

Private viewing Saturday 30 June, 12.00noon – 6.00pm
Public viewing Sunday 1 July – Wednesday 4 July, 10.00am – 6.00pm

The annual degree show exhibiting the work of final year students from the Faculty of Art, Media and Design at the University of the West of England will be held at the Bower Ashton Campus from 30 June to 4 July.

An exciting range of techniques will be displayed ranging from examples of work using traditional disciplines such as painting, ceramics, printmaking and illustration to more recent art forms such as Fine Art in Context and time-based-media.

Paul Gough, Dean of the Faculty of Art, Media and Design said that this year included some remarkable exhibits and was one of the best shows ever, "As always the Degree Show is an enjoyable and lively event with a wide range of artwork, objects and moving images. Make sure you see the animation which is especially strong this year.

"We had a great Fashion Show in town over the weekend, with original music generated by our media students. But the shows at Bower Ashton are not to be missed!"

Three profiles follow of final year students who will show their work at this year’s show.

Martha van der Laan Year three – textiles design

Martha van der Laan is in her third year studying textile design. She uses rubbish and discarded plastic and fabric as the starting point for her inspiration. “ I went into the centre of Bristol, took photographs of things that had been thrown away and made these the starting point for my work”, she says, “I am particularly interested in distorting and
manipulating fabrics and materials to create something new. Often I combine new and old or found materials in unusual ways to create textiles.” Martha’s ‘fabrics’ include woven cottons sandwiched between plastic which have been burned with template shapes to create patterns. “The plastic is often layered which can produce very interesting effects as each layer burns to create translucent patterns.” Martha is planning to start her own business making fashion accessories. “I think some of the plastic fabrics will work very well made up into bags or lampshades. Accessory making and designing is very satisfying and has become something of a passion for me.”

Kate Tanner - Graphic Design

Kate came to UWE after taking her Foundation Year at Kingston. Her special interest is in typographic design. Communicating by relying on the treatment of typography has been applied by Kate in a complete redesign brief she undertook for a bar in her home town. “This was a fantastic opportunity for me”, she said, “I had worked in the bar during one of the holidays and by the end of the time there I had been offered the job of completely rebranding the bar. My brief was to appeal to a young clientele but to keep to a low budget. It was a brilliant project to work on as I had to create an entire design concept which included a logo, signage, menus, matchboxes, even the toilet signs! The resulting design is based on lime green circles used to make each letter which were inspired by night lights and bubbles rising in a glass.”

Kate says that she is very aware of the commercial demands on graphic designers and has used her time at UWE wisely by taking the opportunity to learn all of the skills she will need to secure work. “It’s very much a toss up between being creative and learning all the skills. The new generation of design agencies need people who can work across all media and this means I have to be able to work on print, screen and interactive technology. I have had a number of work placements whilst studying which has been useful in keeping me in touch with the industry needs. Although my main interest is typographic design I am aware that I need to show the ability to work in the areas demanded by future employers.”

Kate has already secured work with a large London agency Williams and Phoa.

Paul Brown ~ Illustration

Paul Brown works almost entirely from sketchbooks crammed with drawings which are made up in his head. His most recent work is a series of ten illustrations based on an album by American singer, Will Oldham. “I make all of my pictures up in my head but the emotional content that I am trying to convey is very real. A lot of my work concentrates on emotions like dislocation, loss and loneliness. I am particularly interested in the act of drawing. So much illustration has become computer generated and I think this is a great shame. Drawing is a physical activity and mark making transfers something of the artist to the page in a way that a machine cannot do. I enjoy the rough edges and never erase anything. My sketchbooks are as important as the finished paintings – they go some way towards explaining the finished item.

Paul was a civil servant for 7 years and spent some years as a self-employed cartoonist. At 37 he says he feels that he knows what he want s to do and that the course has been a great opportunity to work in a environment where others share the same interest. At an exhibition earlier this year Paul sold 4 out 5 paintings displayed to a curator of the Tate Gallery. “I intend to work as an illustrator when I leave – it’s the reason I took the course and I’m sure that initially some of us in this year group will hold exhibitions together as we try to establish our careers as illustrators.”

Paul will show work at the Conningsby Gallery in London on 16 July 2001 at the annual UWE organised illustration exhibition.


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