Writtle School of Design holds its End of Year Exhibition

May 2013

Image for press release
(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

From sound art to pocket parks, from a harp which functions as a floor lamp to transcripts of mischievous conversations with national galleries, this year’s End of Year Exhibition from Writtle School of Design graduating students features a fascinating mix.

The next generation of artists and designers are preparing to showcase their work and it promises to be thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring.

This year’s exhibition, from 23 May to 25 May, features a charity silent auction, which gives visitors the chance to own a piece of work from a student who could be the next Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol or Tracey Emin!

Graduating students exhibiting this year are from Foundation degree, BA degree and Masters levels across the Writtle School of Design’s Landscape & Garden Design, Interior Design and Art & Design programmes.

Landscape & Garden Design students will show a blend of technical and creative work envisaging a range of landscape projects; from pocket parks and community gardens to mixed use developments and ecologically-driven waterside schemes.

Interior Design students are using creative interventions defining space and transforming it into place. The projects – which will be presented digitally on large projection screens alongside audio-visual material of the design process and a physical object or installation in the studio - provide innovative solutions to current challenges, including the decline of the high street, empty or under-used buildings, care and inclusion for the elderly and disabled, and employment during the financial recession.

The Art and Design students have created works inspired by a wide range of influences from the latest technology to the centuries-old practices of drawing, painting and printmaking, all of which meet and mix in unusual, exciting ways. The work includes a full-size functioning harp that is a floor lamp; intricately-patterned wallpaper exploring the idea of identity; sound art following the narrative of the book, A Beautiful Mind; a model replica of the artist’s childhood bedroom and books carved and transformed into sculptures.

Ruth Catlow, Head of WSD, said: “These are the interior designers, landscape designers, photographers, painters, graphic designers, sound artists, animators, sculptors, illustrators or filmmakers of the future. The students are busy preparing for the exhibition and it promises to be an inspiring showcase of what they have achieved while studying at Writtle College. There is a heady mix of genres, influences and styles as the students explore issues and ideas, in their own ways.”

The students have been talking about how their work is taking shape:

Estella Cumberford

BA (Hons) Art and Design Practice

21, from the United States

Estella is creating a full-size working harp that is also a floor lamp. She said: “I love constructing and this is a mix of instrument building, sculpture and design. I’ve played the harp for the last 14 years and I wanted to learn more about the history of the instrument, to understand it from the inside.”

Sophie Dear

FdA Digital Art And Design

20, from Sawbridgeworth

Sophie’s stunning and affecting portraits merge people and nature. She said: “I’m fascinated by how human and natural forms can interact, realistically depicting this, sometimes in painful ways.”

Charlene Roberts

BA (Hons) Art and Design Practice

29, from Ilford

Charlene, whose background is in printing fabrics, cushion covers and upholstery, is screenprinting wallpaper based on images representing one individual in her life. She said: “I am representing moments in the unnamed individual’s life or identifying features in her home and stripping them back to stark black and white images that appeal to the masses. I’m fascinated by identity and inspired by this woman. I’ve combined this with my love of wallpaper to create something that is about her but at the same time is universal and does not identify her.”

Nick Boyt

BA (Hons) Art and Design Practice

21, from Dunmow

As well as hearing the work of sound artist Nick, visitors to the exhibition will also be able to read the score on graph paper. Nick said: “My sound art project follows the narrative of A Beautiful Mind, about mathematician John Nash’s life. The pieces will have a mathematical feel to it and will be based on mathematical structures.”

Sam Humphreys

FdA Digital Art And Design

41, from Bocking

Sam’s work will continue to explore the theme of childhood. In the past, she has taken photographs of Barbie dolls – which she calls the ultimate ‘WAG’ – in unusual and sometimes extreme settings. For the exhibition, she has made a model replica of her bedroom from memory, which will feature a film projected onto one wall.

Naomi Bradshaw

FdA Digital Art And Design

19, from Chelmsford

A love of reading and pop-up books is behind Naomi’s work. She said: “I’m fascinated by transforming normal books into something altered. I’ve created houses and igloos out of the pages and then used lighting to create a landscape, as well as making sculptures by carving into the book.”

Dan Frangiamore

FdA Digital Art And Design

21, from Harlow

Dan has been making phone calls to galleries asking them impossible tasks. He has asked the Tate whether he can speak to Pablo Picasso, the Saatchi Gallery whether Damien Hirst ‘is about’ and the Louvre whether he can speak to Mona Lisa. After recording the conversations, he has transcribed them and they will feature QR codes that exhibition visitors can scan to hear the phone calls on the internet.

Sabrina Andrews

BSc (Hons) Landscape & Garden Design

21, from Brantham, near Manningtree

Sabrina’s project focuses on a public park in London. She said: “I’m looking at local water management by capturing and filtering water on-site through the use of water-sensitive urban design. I’m using features such as swales and introducing plants for water management like reed beds and wildflower meadows.”

Michael Vipond

BSc (Hons) Landscape Architecture

21, from south-west London

Michael is looking at the redevelopment of old field beds in Kingston. He said: “The site has lots of heritage and has recently been in the news as planning permission has been turned down for houses. I am focusing on the ecology of the site and looking at reintroducing people back onto it with boardwalks.”

Ryan Mills

BSc (Hons) Landscape Architecture

20, from Braintree

Ryan’s designs are based on the Royal Docks in London, an old derelict site from Millennium Mills. He said: “My designs aim to revitalise it as a mixed use development so I’m looking at the spatial reconfiguration of buildings and the relationship between landscape and architecture, and people and landscape.”

Keely Fifield

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture

34, from Wickford

“The Journey of the Cultural Ark is a story for children but a lesson for all. The barge travels to various locations along the River Thames harbouring both promenade and interactive performances, encouraging people to find beauty from within. With a keen interest in transformable and mobile architecture, I have demonstrated movement through a floating 3D model and a storyboard Flipbook.”

Dean Coates

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture

29, from Tiptree

“My project, INVASION, aims to reconnect the people of Colchester with their rich cultural heritage. The proposed intervention takes the form of a shimmering, snaking serpent installation, living inside Colchester Castle, catching the eye as it sits upon the castle wall. Through conscious observation, reflection or instinctive experience the sequence of spaces offer visitors a deeper understanding of Queen Boudicca’s story and become part of the installation.”

Jamie Poole

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture

24, from Witham

“Being a passive visual consumer of art and architecture, I was inspired by the visually impaired and how they engage within museums and galleries through touch. My project was developed through tactile experiences rather than views, to provide an environment for all users regardless of visual ability to engage physically with art.”

This year's exhibiting students have already begun to establish themselves in the art and design worlds both here and internationally:

• Sam Sheppard’s digitally-created art has been touring the world and earning him national recognition as part of the Lumen Prize Exhibition.

• Work by Toni-Marie Harrold and Tamsin Bartlett was selected for the Gallery Outside in central Chelmsford.

• Tracy Vine, who was awarded the University of Essex ‘Turner’ Prize for Innovation and Design, staged an exhibition, entitled ‘Movement of Life’, at the Ideas Hub in Chelmsford.

• Russell Broughton has undertaken a 20-panel site-specific commission for the frontage of the iconic Marconi building in Chelmsford, to mark the building's centenary.

• An installation by Liz Sterry, exploring social relations by reconstructing a stranger's bedroom from the images and videos posted on a blog, was recently exhibited at Furtherfield Gallery in London.

• Charlene Roberts, Sam Sheppard, Wes Tyler, Nick Boyt, Toni-Marie Harrold, and Estella Cumberford have produced innovative art concepts to encourage people to engage with the ecology of Finsbury Park in a new way.

• Sam Humphreys’s overlaid images of the hustle and bustle of a shopping centre won a Chelmsford photography prize.

• Third year landscape and garden design students presented their work to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow. The hospital is now fundraising to make the designs - which aim to enhance people’s experiences of the hospital and boost their wellbeing – a reality.

• Second year undergraduate and Masters conversion students of landscape and garden design worked with Furtherfield Gallery to establish new community and ecologically-driven inspired designs. The borough is now working toward implementing ideas.

The private view and silent auction opens on 22 May from 5pm to 9pm. The exhibition then opens to the public on:

• Thursday 23 May 10am - 4pm

• Friday 24 May 10am - 3pm

• Saturday 25 May 10am - 4pm

Admission to the exhibition is free.