105 students showcase artistic talents in major show

Published: 31 March 2006 at 10:57

Over 100 gifted and free-thinking students from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University are to showcase their talents in a forthcoming exhibition (23 June–2 July) which will be open to members of the public at the newly refurbished and renamed Ruskin Gallery at East Road, Cambridge.

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The undergraduate students from the regionally and nationally acclaimed School will be showing a vibrant selection of art practice in the perfectly-proportioned and restored gallery, named after the Victorian scholar and founder of the School, John Ruskin.

The exhibition will be launched with a Private Viewing (22 June) on the evening before the start of the event.

Work displayed in the main gallery and surrounding art studios at ground floor and balcony level will represent the creative outpourings of student illustrators, fine artists, fine art printmakers, photographers and graphic designers.

Craig Langton of the Ruskin Gallery explains:

“This show is truly inspirational in terms of its conceptual art themes and many interrelated references to life and life-experience. These are maverick students who challenge the boundaries of art and education; and for this reason the show is a must-have for anyone with an interest in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, advertising, film production, fashion, the media and photography.”

“We now have one of the largest and finest exhibition spaces in the Eastern Region and this exhibition is going to show it off at its best.”

Fine Art BA (Hons) student Sue Curtis, (45) from Cambridge is exhibiting an installation called Potential Energy/The Future. This work combines her work as an instigator, enabler and artistic director.It features an exclusive collection of patchwork squares created by children at St Matthews Primary School, Norfolk Street, Cambridge which is sewn together to form the fabric of a tented structure reminiscent of a child’s Wendy house. 

The ‘play’ tent, according to Sue, is ‘a representation of a childhood structure, the site of imaginary games and whispered secrets’. Each square represents one individual personal identity and the collective object of the community at the time of making. The Calico-based piece is a celebration of individuality and diversity. Sue’s plan for the immediate future is to apply for funding for specialised art projects in schools. 

She is hoping to set up future collective projects that result in large groups realising end results that will enhance their environment and enrich their creative development.

Philippa Cornell (22) from Coggeshall in Essex, is another student from the Cambridge School of Art who is also participating in the show. She joined the University after taking an art foundation course at Colchester Institute. 

She is studying BA (Hons) Illustration and her showpiece images include Music Lovers and Lonely Hearts which have been created by scanning in original drawings to a computer and then enhancing them with vibrant colour using a leading illustration software package. Philippa explains:

“I love using flat colour and simple lines to create my work and recently I have become interested in text and creating my own handwritten type to feature alongside my work. I feel that my constant need to people watch has helped me in creating my work. People are an endless source of inspiration to me.”

After graduating Philippa intends to travel abroad to gain some valuable ‘life experience’ and then hopes to work within the media enhancing the artistic and design elements of editorials within magazines and newspapers.

By way of a stark contrast in style, BA (Hons) Fine Art Printmaking student Suzann Kundi (24) of Cambridge, is exhibiting two digital images entitled Monster One and Two created through photographed staged performances and instillations and computer enhancement. The image is an ongoing work based on the artist’s real life story. The hand drawn autobiography has been painstakingly penned by Suzann onto a light, flowing fabric which is wrapped around a human form.

“The words become your own creating thoughts and feelings, that manipulate your own personality and become larger than yourself”,

says Suzann candidly.

“The words weave in and out to become a suffocating blanket of emotions and memory. My work is connected to the family, society and feminism.”

Suzann is looking to continue her studies after graduating by undertaking a Master of Arts degree at Camberwell School of Arts or the Royal College of Arts in London. Studying at Anglia Ruskin has empowered Suzann as a student.

“Cambridge is an excellent city in which to study art as it is culturally rich and steeped in ideas and creativity. I have been able to take advantage of the nearness of London to visit some of the world’s most outstanding art galleries and these visits have helped to shape some of my best work.”

Flyn Vibert (21), from Cambridge, is a BA (Hons) Photography student who intuitively started his passion for creative photography at the age of 16. Since then he has developed his own style, deciding to reject ‘taught’ technique. 

Working with a 35mm SLR camera exclusively with a wide range of lenses – spanning from 17mm to 90mm – he rarely ever takes more than one picture of any particular subject which helps to create the uniqueness of his photography.

Flyn said:

“I see myself more as an artist working in the field of photography – more often relating my work to the world of painting rather than that of photography. The work I am showing at the exhibition is the body of my work that interests me most. It is a kind of appropriation/collage, built on the concept of deconstruction.”

“The work involves the appropriation of tired/used imagery that we have become too accustomed to seeing in a certain way. By removing these existing photographic images from their ‘familiar’ context, and putting them in an entirely new context, I am leading the spectator to re-evaluate these images – now both contextually and visually re-energised.”

Anglia Ruskin University has a 150 year art tradition.  The degree level courses offered within the Cambridge School of Art offer all the flexibility of modular based programmes. There are currently 500 students participating in the diverse range of courses available at the School.

In 1858, John Ruskin, the great Victorian artist and philosopher opened the Cambridge School of Art in Sydney Street in the heart of the city.

It was in 2003 that the name of Cambridge School of Art was revived by the University and the project to restore the school’s Collier Road building began. Refurbishment work in and around the central hall of this historic building has created the new Ruskin Gallery.

New undergraduate courses available for 2006/7 include Film and TV Production, Film, TV and Theatre Design, Games Design and VFX, Graphic and Typographic Design, Graphic and Web Design, Illustration and Animation and Interior Design. Post-graduate courses available span Children’s Book Illustration, Printmaking and Typographic Design.

For further information on courses at the Cambridge School of Art visit www.anglia.ac.uk/csa.