Stars, vintage cameras and a 1940s bank robbery inspire UWE's art students

Issue date: 07 June 2011

University of the West of England Art Design and Media Degree Show 2011

Saturday 11 June, 10.00-18.00
Sunday 12 June, 10.00-16.00
Monday 13-Thursday 16 June, 10.00-20.00

Stargazing, a one hundred year old camera and a bank robber with a sleep disorder are among the inspirations behind the University of the West of England's 2011 Art, Design and Media Degree Show. The Show takes place at the Bower Ashton Campus and Spike Island, an international contemporary art centre on Bristol's harbourside. This year's MA Fine Art will show at the Bristol Diving School for the first time.

The Degree Show 2011 is the culmination of years of inspiration and hard work. The free show is open to the public and is a chance to discover a new generation of artists, designers and media practitioners.

The spectacular range of inspiring and original work featured is from fifteen undergraduate and postgraduate courses including Animation, Drawing and Applied Arts, Illustration, Graphic Design, Art and Visual Culture, and Media Practice.

Eight students from the Graphic Design course have been given awards for their graphic design and typography work from the prestigious International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD).

One student, Chris Nott was awarded a commendation, the highest accolade from the society. Three other students, Joe Allison, Tom Eves and James Somerfield, will receive merit awards and will be admitted as members of the Society along with fellow UWE students Heather Kendrick, Maxim McNair, Alex Smye-Rumsby and Yan Yeh Yine who have all gained the high level of expertise needed.

Animation students Charlie Miller, Constantinos Mavromichalis, Daisy Hynes, Dane Winn and Sophie Grimwood are a like-minded group of animation students who met at the Bristol School of Animation, UWE, and have formed A Foot Apart Productions. Their most recent film is a short computer generated animation called Unorganised Crime, about a 1940s bank robber called Frankie with a sleep disorder. They have high hopes of continuing to work collaboratively in the future.

Illustration student Joe Waldron's beautiful image of a constellation over the rooftops was inspired by the ideas of growth and development, or 'reaching for the stars.'

He says, “I decided to create an image of a lone constellation searching for a brighter star in order to better itself. But I also wanted to give an aspect of wonder and curiosity to the piece which was visualised through the key, which is meant to represent the idea that we all have the capabilities inside ourselves to reach our goals.”

Art and Visual Culture student Jess Bidmead explores ideas around time, and its implications on space or use for control. She uses video and installation to create sensual effects, and altered perceptions for the viewer, aiming to engage a critical awareness around her work with moving image and to encourage thinking on universal concepts in relation to current social or political situations.

Photographer Luke Archer has taken a series entitled 'Inheritance', including one of the Marquess of Bath. He was inspired by a 100 year-old camera inherited from his grandfather. Luke traced its lineage back to Bassano, the famous 19th century society portraitist. The work he has produced as a result examines the notion of inheritance through photographing descendants of the titled elite first captured using this same equipment.

Drawing and Applied Arts student Luke Agnew has worked on a series of eye-catching temporary buildings pasted with decorative wallpaper. He says, "The patterning was created to lure a line of sight, entangling and enticing the viewer to experience the journey of the piece. Interwoven Paste-up House is an attempt at achieving visual immersion within the print via instantly recognisable scale. It is also placing the two-dimensional print upon 3D planes, in the hope that the three dimensionality encourages the viewer to engage and enter the patterning. Placing the print upon the abandoned building also address the processes of urban rejuvenation and the canvas that is urban and industrial abandonment."

Drawing and Applied Arts student Natalie McGrorty's recent body of work began with the recording of shadows cast by objects in her possession. She says, “I used intricate mark-making techniques, resulting in a collection of curious forms, which have since taken on a life of their own. Through working in wood, cast iron, ceramic and plaster these two-dimensional drawings have been released into three dimensional objects, able to cast shadows of their own.”

Media Practice student Lisa Gaudion produced a multimedia installation in Bristol's Redcliffe Caves as part of her final project. Do Not Disturb was a collaboration by a group of final year Media Practice students, exploring the boundary between dreams and reality in a physical experience which includes motion activated audio, projected images on the cave walls, objects representing dreams lit up down long corridors, an interactive projection, live acting and music, set design and targeted lighting.

Lisa says. “We wanted to push the boundaries of our capabilities and explore a narrative in an unconventional way. Dreams are experiences which we commonly share with others but don't fully understand. We felt that by using the caves as a metaphor for something 'other' we would be able to submerge our audience in another world which can change and be altered - much like a dream does.”

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