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Posted 11.06.18

Innovators & disruptors at Plymouth College of Art’s Degree Shows 2018

By Sarah Packer

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 Friday 8 to Thursday 21 June 2018 visitors are invited into the college 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.

Renovat Moody, BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts

Work to look out for includes eye-catching blown glass by BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts student and maker Renovat Moody, who specialises in creating unique pieces that reflect and protect his African heritage. Renovat donates half of every sale he makes to buy cows, which live on his family's land in Burundi and also provide much needed financial aid to families in the region.

Renovat said, “I gain a lot of pleasure in designing and creating something new and unique. Using my heritage from two African nations, Burundi and Rwanda, my aim is to transform traditional African arts into contemporary glass work, to further create a platform to encourage more Africans to enter the glassblowing scene.”

'Yahweh' series by Amy Dougan, BA (Hons) Photography

Filled with explorative and diverse subject matters, you'll find BA (Hons) Photography taking over our Gallery space. We recommend spending some time with Amy Dougan's ‘Yahweh’ photographic series, capturing a unique insight into the religious community of Armagh, and lose yourself in Zoe Friedrich's large blue Rothko-inspired print. 

Look out also for work from the college’s BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern students, including Katie Sheppard, whose innovative Dazzle camouflage-inspired design was chosen by Princess Yachts for their new R35 R Class yacht and which has been advertised in Rolling Stone Magazine and Wired, and for work by Hannah Partridge, whose vibrant summer-focused floral prints have been applied to women’s activewear and wetsuits.

Hannah Partridge, BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern

Don’t Shoot The Long Tailed Tiger is a new book with an activist environmental message from BA (Hons) Illustration student George Goodwin, who has previously designed tour merchandise for BRIT award-nominated musician Jack Garratt and Scottish band Prides, who played the 2014 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony to 7.5 million people on BBC1. His work has been featured in Brut, Rooted and Bedboat magazines, and is stocked by design and lifestyle store NoGutsNoGlory. 

George Goodwin, BA (Hons) Illustration

BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts student Jessica Moore, who has had industry placements at Glyndebourne Opera House and Royal Opera House during her time at the college, has created a 1920s-inspired Peaky Blinders three-piece suit that is on display at the Degree Shows and at Destinations, London.

Jess Moore, BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts

Aleksandra Sosonowska's portraiture will transport you to a surreal red-hued world in our BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking exhibition space. With visible influences from painters Lucian Freud, Benjamin Bjorklund and Rembrandt, Aleksandra's work was selected for The Royal Society of British Artists ‘Rising Star’ exhibition in London earlier this year.

Aleksandra says of her influences: “As a child, I lived in Poland where I was brought up by my grandfather from whom I learned a lot about the experiences and struggles of people living both during and after the war. Playing on land that was once German-occupied, I often encountered relics such as graves and old bullets which contributed to my interest in distortion, human skin tones, figures and existence.

Aleksandra Sosnowska, BA (Hon) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking

If digital art is more your thing, head to BA (Hons) Game Arts for concept art, games, character design and more. Keep an eye out for the work of James Blackwell, specialising in high-poly and low-poly assets, he has created a 3D interactive environment based around two narrative dioramas, ‘The Battle of Power’ and ‘The Dynasty of Ash’. The two dark fantasy dioramas tell the story of a royal dynasty and the return of a dragon that was banished under the reign of a new king but returns years later to avenge itself on the next generation.

Shannon Watson, BA (Hons) Fine Art, brings together wild swimming and the historic musical culture in Plymouth. She’s invited participants to wild swim and in doing so their movements will trigger music by ensemble, Imperfect Orchestra. Following on from this work in Studio 11, a live performance will be taking place during October 2018 as part of Atlantic Festival. This will translate The Immersive Musician into a physical event which will take place on the Hoe.

Having already had a successful solo exhibition in her homeland of Poland, BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising & Editorial student Margo Ryszczuk is producing social documentary and portraiture exploring identity, ethnicity, individuality and femininity – something that secured her a placement with renowned photographer Rankin last year.

Margo says of her work in the Degree Shows: “For ‘I know who I am & where I belong’, I am focusing on young women, who came to UK with little choice through family commitment, work or study. As a Polish woman and mother, my ethnic background and cross-cultural experiences inform my art, so for this series of work I have photographed women from different countries who live in the UK but are not of British origin. I seek to portray their identity, their individuality, but also their vulnerability and their fear of the unknown and how they feel in the place where they live now.”

'I know who I am & where I belong' series by Margo Ryszczuk

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 14 June there will be late opening at the Degree Shows from 5pm to 8pm (last entry 7:30pm).

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