Exhibition showcases artistic impact of students

Published: 31 May 2012 at 09:53

New Dynamics, the 2012 Anglia Ruskin Degree Show, runs from 8-14 June in Cambridge

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Anglia Ruskin University art students in Cambridge are busy preparing for the annual Degree Show, which runs from 8-14 June.

Traditionally seen as a launch pad for the careers of the art students who are about to graduate, the title of this year’s show, New Dynamics, refers to the impact the students are already making in the art, design and media world.

While the show still presents an opportunity for creative industries to snap up new talent and for art lovers to acquire the work of a future star, increasingly Anglia Ruskin art students are already working within the industry by the time they graduate. 

One example is BA (Hons) Computer Games and Visual Effects student James Avery who, having been head-hunted by Cambridge-based gaming company Frontier Developments last year, has just seen the release of his first video game, Kinect Disneyland Adventures, a collaboration with Microsoft Game Studios and Disney.

James’ dream career was launched after attending the annual Brains Eden Games Jam, an event where teams are given a brief and compete to make the best game in a short amount of time, held at Anglia Ruskin.

He said:

“Afterwards, industry professionals usually come and check out the results, and Frontier saw my work on display.  Next thing I know, I’m opening up an email from Frontier’s Director of Production, and being offered an interview for the role of Visual Effects Artist within the company. I couldn’t believe my eyes!”

Students often work on a number of real briefs during their time at Anglia Ruskin and there is a strong focus on preparing students for the diverse and varied careers of creative practitioners.

Students also learn how to develop and build on their unique strengths and how to carve a niche for themselves.  BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation student Jacobus Lowson explained:

“During my time here I’ve come to realise that the craftsmanship and storytelling skills required in animation provide a perfect fusion of my interests.
“Interesting and flexible briefs allow for lots of experimentation and encourage the development of strong ideas and inventiveness, eventually helping us to develop a personal visual language.
“I was lucky enough to have been screened at Exposures Festival, Cambridge Film Festival, Fete de l’anime (Lille, France) and was shortlisted for the British Animation Awards ‘Sting’ competition.  After trying various approaches, including a group project which was very useful, I now specialise in stop motion puppets.”

The project undertaken by BA (Hons) Graphic Design students Jack Sadler and Will Hemming, under the direction of course leader Jon Melton, is a perfect example of how student engage with live briefs. 

Will said:

“The brief for the University of Cambridge’s World Oral Literature Project was to develop a visual identity able to represent oral language in all its diversity and individuality. We developed a visual identity that resulted in the design of a typeface that in its own right attempts to question the relationships between oral language and the written word.  
“The design attempts to work visually within any culture by using a series of iconic symbols, a simplistic colour pallet and a tactile interface that can be utilised on a range of technological devices.  In the end we have developed a successful visual identity that does not connote the characteristics of any one particular culture over that of another, an outcome we felt to be a vital one as it perfectly matched the ethos of the project itself.”

BA (Hons) Photography student Loren McCarthy will be displaying images from her final project about consumerism and how we disregard items that we once considered precious.

She said:

“The final three images that I will be hanging in the gallery represent what we as a nation are doing to the world.  I did a series of shoots in different locations, including a landfill site in Pitsea, Essex, and they are images I am very passionate about.”

The Degree Show 2012 runs from 8-14 June in the Ruskin Gallery and surrounding studios on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus, and entry is free.  The exhibition is open 10am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

A screening of films and moving image from BA Film & TV Production and BA Illustration & Animation students can be seen on 11 June (5-7pm) at the Arts Picturehouse, St Andrews Street.

The Fashion and Costume show will be held on 14 June (entry by ticket only) along with an Open Day for those interested in meeting staff and students.  For further information about the Degree Show and accompanying events, please visit www.cambridgeschoolofart.com