Students at Writtle University College are preparing to showcase their innovative design ideas and artistic talent at this year's Design Degree Show.
The exhibition will feature inspiring works from more than 60 students from WUC's Art & Design, Landscape Architecture & Garden Design and Professional Floristry courses.
The creative showcase is the highlight of the students' undergraduate or postgraduate studies at WUC and many are using the opportunity to showcase their skills by engaging with political or social problems, re-imagining popular artwork or tackling design problems.
The event, at Writtle University College near Chelmsford, Essex, opens with a buzzing Private View on the evening of Wednesday 17 May followed by a free public opening from 10am to 4pm Thursday 18 May to Wednesday 24 May.
Successful alumni, industry representatives, and members of the artistic community are among the visitors to the fantastic event and every year the best are snapped up for jobs on the strength of their work.
Dr Anya Perera, Head of School for the design courses at WUC, said: “The Design Degree Show is always an impressive exhibition and showcases the exceptional work students achieve under the expert guidance of our staff. The pieces are imaginative, innovative and of an incredibly high standard, and this is endorsed by industry and sector visitors to the Show.
“The event allows our students to present their work professionally in a formal exhibition, inspiring visitors with their creativity, knowledge and hard work. It's also an opportunity for members of the public who are interested in design, as well as successful alumni and industry representatives, to see first-hand the quality of their exhibits. They can gain an insight into students' imaginative thinking and their passion for their subject by talking directly with them about the best of their work.
“I find it extremely exciting to think that these students will soon be working in the design and artistic industries and look forward to hearing of their continued success.”
The Design Degree Show invitation each year features cover artwork by a WUC student, with this year's winning image by Caroline Rust, BSc (Hons) Landscape and Garden Design.
Among those exhibiting are:
Steph Bannister, from Maldon
Studying for an MA by Dissertation in Art and Design
Steph has been working with the Salvation Army, using discarded clothing to create a largely sculptural installation. She has left a book in her local charity shop asking people who donate clothing to write a personal memory attached to it. She has cut panels from each item and sewed them together by hand to create large masses of fabric, which will be shaped with wire and suspended in her exhibition space alongside a scrapbook of handwritten notes.
Lisa Godfrey, from Benfleet
Studying for a BA (Hons) Contemporary Art and Design
Lisa is producing a series of work about her frustration at being judged in parenthood, in which she is portrayed, with humour, as a superhero alter ego.
Byoungsung Son, from South Korea
Studying for a Masters by Dissertation in Art and Design
Byoungsung draws on his Korean cultural heritage in his work and his piece for the Show uses the idea of the 'four gentlemen' of traditional Chinese and Korean art - the plum tree, the orchid, the chrysanthemum and bamboo - incorporating this into an installation using both live flower arrangements and woodblock prints.
Grace Walker, from Colchester
Studying for an MA Landscape Architecture
Grace's project looks at fostering the existing scarred industrial landscape tucked within Charnwood Forest's unique geo-diverse history and evokes experience that abandons preconceptions and connects with the natural atmosphere.
Delia Bittner, from Germany
Studying for a BSc (Hons) Landscape Architecture
WUC Students' Union President, Delia is proposing a redesign of Colchester Zoo and particularly the wolf enclosure. The concept considers animal welfare and the creation of a 'wild illusion' through naturalistic design. It proposes the use of native plants and green corridors for wildlife, the reduction of visible barriers between animals and humans, and recommends connecting species through sight lines to give them more stimuli.
Giedre Endzelyte, from Lithuania
Studying for a BA (Hons) Professional Floristry
Giedre is re-interpreting Pop Art and is using as her inspiration British Pop artist Allen Jones and his outdoor sculptures 'City Shadows'. She will be using fresh material to evoke his abstract forms and bold colours.
Hyunjung Kim, from South Korea
Studying for a BA (Hons) Professional Floristry
Hyunjung is re-imagining Van Gogh's Starry Night. She will be evoking the Prussian blue and yellow contrasting colours of his painting through fresh flowers and the bark or the cut surface of Cornus. Her work will suggest the style of the sky in the original, and visitors will be able to get inside the painting by taking a selfie of their face through an opening in the design.
• Private View
Wednesday 17 May, 5pm to 9pm
• Public Opening
Thursday 18 to Wednesday 24 May, 10am to 4pm