Every year graduating students from Plymouth College of Art transform the college’s cutting-edge making spaces, workshops and studios into a dynamic, college-wide showcase for industry professionals and members of the public to explore and preview the new wave of innovators, activists and disruptors ready to take over the creative industries.
From Saturday 15 to Thursday 20 June 2019 visitors are invited to our Degree Shows to get an insight into what life is like at one of the UK’s last truly independent art schools. Plymouth College of Art provides a space where people come together, explore new horizons, and push the boundaries of creative practice. It starts with the people who come to work and study in the college - the optimists, activists, and makers.
Here we’ve picked some of the highlights of this year's shows...
BA (HONS) 3D DESIGN CRAFTS - School of Arts + Media
Specialising in sculptural glassware, Cavan’s recent work is inspired by the inner mechanics of the heart, amalgamated with drooping patterns seen in botany, particularly banana plants and fuchsia flowers. This combination represents Cavan’s thoughts and curiosity within hot glass. His sculptures emerge from the rhythm of glass-blowing processes and the effects of gravity, echoing similar processes that occur naturally in plants. Cavan’s installation for the Degree Shows 2019 is an imaginary cyclical system represented by an elaborate water feature installation that hangs from the studio ceiling.
“Glass for me is a dance, a dance where I feel connected to this material like it’s alive as I am. I don’t see myself as the maker, more of a guide for the glass. My inspirations are people like Martin Janecky, Dante Marioni, James Devereux and Rob Stern, artists who are pushing the limits of glassmaking. What inspires me more than anything in glass is the community and the people who have taught me. Plymouth College of Art has helped me find my flow and inner practitioner, now I want to show the world the possibilities of this magical medium and how far it can be pushed.”
BA (HONS) ANIMATION - School of Arts + Media
Elliot Rowe trained as a carpenter and boat builder before studying BA (Hons) Animation at Plymouth College of Art. Specialising in stop-motion animation, props, armatures and set-building, Elliot recently completed the Aardman Academy Finishing Touches Modelmaking Course with Senior Model Maker Jim Parkyn. For this year's Degree Shows Elliot has created a hand-built solid-oak galleon and worked in Fab Lab Plymouth to 3D print puppets for his upcoming film, ‘Victor Cross and the tale of Engine City’.
BA (HONS) COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR FASHION, ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL - School of Design + Communication
Representing adolescent females through her editorial style portraiture, Zephyre Rose has been photographing 10-19yrs olds during their key years of adolescence discovering who they are and experiencing the transition from childhood to womanhood.
For the Degree Shows, Zephyre presents ‘Siblings’, exploring the various gender roles, stereotypes, similarities and differences of siblings. Capturing the essence of who they are as individuals as well as what they mean to each other, ‘Siblings’ is a continuation of her exploration into youth and into the relationships we have with the closest people to us during our childhood.
BA (HONS) COSTUME PRODUCTION & ASSOCIATED CRAFTS - School of Design + Communication
Testing both her design and making skills, seamstress and costume maker Jess Nelson set herself the challenge of creating a new shape and structure for the Evil Queen from the Cedric Nicolas-Troyan film Snow White and the Huntsman 2. Inspired by Colleen Atwood’s golden cloak design for Queen Ravenna, Jess learned new skills, like metal work, and combined modern fabrics with historical construction methods throughout her final year to create the costume.
BA (HONS) FASHION MEDIA & MARKETING - School of Design + Communication
Georgia Gadsby is a digital marketer, writer, and content creator. Her final major project takes the form of a printed publication, website, and podcast titled Having A Nosey, which covers a broad range of subjects, from fashion to politics.
Georgia said: “I wanted to go to a platform in which I could find a broad range of articles about subjects I was interested in, as far apart as fashion and politics, that was digestible. I wanted somewhere I could access all of this in a way that spoke to me. After researching the market and consumers, I realised a platform like this hadn’t yet been created, so I decided to make it and that’s how Having a Nosey was born. I try to cater to a non-binary audience because I feel that inclusivity is the way forward. Many non-binary people still identify with female-focused issues such as abortion rights, intersectional feminism, rape culture, etc - so I think, why not include everyone?”
BA (HONS) FILM - School of Arts + Media
Alfie Goodwin is a Cinematographer and Camera Operator from Cambridgeshire, now currently based in the South West and about to graduate from our BA (Hons) Film programme.
He has recently worked alongside other filmmakers in order to develop a portfolio of work which emphasises his particular visual style whilst also delivering the director’s own creative vision. These include a narrative drama Polperro (Dir. Charlie Smith) titled after the Cornish seaside village it’s set in, Cotton Candy (Dir. Annie Deane) a retro-inspired music video that follows two femme fatale con artists, a short horror film Black Paint (Dir. Aria Tabatabai) in which a young artist battles his own demons after the death of his wife, and finally a documentary Who is Ed Tapper (Dir. Alice Sposito) which follows the processes and identity of an artist.
With a focus on visual storytelling, he looks at how elements of the frame can drive the narrative, as well as how certain compositions use space and lighting in order to draw the audience’s eye.
“Linus Sandgren is a definite inspiration. I admire his attention to detail to human interactions, especially in First Man. As well as the relationship between the Coen Bros. and Roger Deakins, it’s a great example of directors and DOP’s working in harmony with each other. Working on these varied projects as a cinematographer has not only shaped my technical skill set but has also opened my eyes to how important it is to open up a dialogue with the director.”
BA (HONS) FINE ART - School of Arts + Media
Olivia Jones is an interdisciplinary artist creating work from a concept of place, non-tourist attractions and the relationships that people form with these. “As my course has progressed my work has become more ambitious. I’ve been encouraged to push myself, to experiment with scale and use more challenging mediums.”
Plymouth is a place made complex with issues around its post-war heritage and now tourism. Olivia’s practice has become outdoor and location-based, including working with sound and geotagging software, to remap Plymouth and explore how audiences can interact with their city.
“My degree show will include an installation and performative ‘tourist/information’ counter, offering my audio tour in the form of headphones and maps with QR codes. I’m interested in neglected or forgotten sites and hope my work will make the audience – whether Plymouth residents or visitors – look at and think about the city differently."
BA (HONS) GRAPHIC DESIGN - School of Design + Communication
BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Thyra Bankole has created Melanated Magazine, a print publication designed to showcase and highlight women of colour in the UK creative industry. 21-year-old Thyra, who grew up in Greenwich, London, hopes that Melanated Magazine can act as a catalyst for change by creating exposure that leads to more work being commissioned from women of colour, as well as giving young women of colour access to a wider range of role models in the creative industries.
Speaking of the genesis of the idea, Thyra said: “Until we’re more visible at every level of the creative industries, there’ll always be a need for more work to showcase women of colour. Melanated Magazine is my contribution to the national conversation that we need to have about valuing the hard work of black woman and showing role models for the next generation hoping to enter the industry.”
BA (HONS) ILLUSTRATION - School of Design + Communication
Illustrator and designer Heléna Doré has been congratulated by Sir David Attenborough for her "elegant and beautiful" illustrations of 40 species discovered or declared extinct between 1979 and 2019. For the Degree Shows 2019 Helena has created ‘My Forest’, a children's book based around deforestation, and an illustrated book cover for Sir David Attenborough's 40th-anniversary edition of ‘Life on Earth’.
‘My Forest’ is a children's book based around the deforestation of bamboo forests and the negative impact that this has on pandas and other endemic species in the area. Made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials, Heléna illustrated, wrote and hand-bound ‘My Forest’ using traditional Chinese binding techniques, with some bamboo illustrations contributed by friends and family to represent the need for collaboration to push for positive environmental change.
Illustrated using a standard Bic biro pen, Heléna’s ‘Life on Earth’ included illustrations of 19 living species that had been discovered and named after Sir David Attenborough in the last 40 years, alongside 20 species that have been declared extinct by the IUCN between 1979 and 2019.
BA (HONS) INTERIOR DECORATION, DESIGN & STYLING - School of Design + Communication
Anna’s designs for an accessible home for the elderly are carefully considered and delicately subtle, with a focus on design for social impact. With the aim to allow the older generation to age with dignity in their own homes, her thorough research and case studies have allowed her to discreetly integrate solutions to anticipated issues such as deteriorating sight and mobility.
By designing a bespoke product for one of her case study subjects, allowing him to indulge in his love of reading despite no longer being able to hold a book, Anna’s passion for designing to improve quality of life shines through.
BA (HONS) TEXTILE PRACTICES - School of Design + Communication
Stacey’s graduate collection, titled ‘Q U I E T’, is a collection of soft, tactile and sensory knit samples which have been designed to create a sense of calm and wellbeing in an interior space. Passionate about ensuring her work is ethical and sustainable, Stacey has used recycled lambswool, combined with a variety of British wool, peace silk and banana yarn.
To create these feelings of calm and tranquility she’s utilised a colour palette based on the colours found to be most calming. Also employing research into aromatherapy, including essential oils to promote sleep, wellbeing and feelings of calm, she has infused her knit samples with the scent of Lavender, Chamomile and Ylang Ylang.
EXTENDED DEGREE - School of Arts + Media
An unspecified area, it has no particular meaning, it is no particular place. The exploration of cracks, crevices, the forgotten spaces and what can be discovered within them. The unusual and the unexpected. Collecting unwanted textiles and giving them a new life in a different form. Adding life my work links to abandoned islands and that if left long enough, nature finds a way to reclaim what once belonged to her. The viewer needs to take a journey around Unspecified Area and make their own decisions on the narrative.
SEE THE WORK FOR YOURSELF...
From digital to traditional skills and everything in between, the annual Degree Shows highlight work from across Plymouth College of Art’s undergraduate programmes. With open doors across the college, guests are invited to explore cutting-edge facilities such as Fab Lab Plymouth and the £8-million dedicated crafts workshops for ceramics, glass and metalwork. An eclectic range of mediums, both modern and traditional, will be exhibited across the college — including film, photography, fine art installation, fashion design, game arts, illustration, glassworks, ceramics, animation, 3D printing and so much more.
There will be artwork available to purchase, film screenings, and live presentations running throughout the show schedule. Additionally, on Thursday 20 June there will be late opening at the Degree Shows from 5pm to 8pm (last entry 7:30pm).
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