Students go 'all out to impress' at art shows

Published: 21 May 2008 at 14:59

Over 100 students from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University are to showcase their talents in two forthcoming exhibitions. The first is devoted to work created by final year students of the Fine Art and BA Photography courses which began three years ago. The second of the two shows features work from students of Illustration, Printmaking, Graphic Design and Professional Photography. The exhibitions will take place from 29 May - 11 June and 19 June - 3 July respectively. The shows, at the Ruskin Galley, East Road, are open to members of the public and free of charge.

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The undergraduate students from the regionally and nationally acclaimed School will be following in the footsteps of the scholar and founder of the School, John Ruskin, when they help to set up the displays of their very own art practice.

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.

Caroline Hyde, Business Development Manager for Creative and Cultural Industries explained:

“Cambridge School of Art provides an important focal point in the creative culture of the City and region and has built a reputation for exhibiting strong works across a variety of visual arts disciplines including fine art, sculpture, illustration, animation, graphic design and photography.  Our exhibition programme culminates in two high profile exhibitions featuring our final year students’ work.”

“Providing a unique opportunity to view and experience the creative energies that are unleashed by art and design education, the shows are the product of three years study and creative exploration by our students.  For each of them, the show represents, not a conclusion, but a point of departure for their future careers. For visitors to the show, it is an opportunity to celebrate our students’ achievements and to appreciate the dedication, creative thinking and personal commitment unique to each exhibitor.”

“The students have gone all out to impress, by pulling together their most outstanding and revealing work, and this will be displayed at one of the largest and finest exhibition spaces in the East of England.”

“It is fitting that this special two part exhibition falls during the 150th anniversary celebration of the University, at a time when students are looking back in history and towards a fresh start for art-oriented and photographic study at Cambridge.”

These diverse shows provide an insight into each student’s personal artistic journey experienced while studying at the University. Anna Salamon, who studied BA Fine Art, was very excited to be presenting her work in the historic Ruskin Gallery.  She said:

“I'm interested in how painting creates meaning, it appears, differently than other visual images. I don't use photographic sources for painting. The images emerge through the process, according to their internal logic and rhythm. Colour is very important in creating resemblances, and so are the notions of 'form' and 'formlessness', which are also most puzzling, somewhere in between representation and abstraction. My inspirations are varied, often from literature and philosophy. The most important to mention would probably be Henri Michaux, Georges Bataille, as well as Mark Rothko and Francis Bacon, both engaged in the logic of figure-ground but in different way.”

“Further on, I would like to continue with some sort of research that combines painting with analytical activity.”

“This degree show is obviously an important event as it marks the end of a phase of development.”

“The course enabled me to start developing a practice, by developing ideas through asking questions and evaluating what has been done, in a broader context, which in return generated more ideas and more questions.”

“It's interesting that even though there was no pressure regarding the choice of medium, most people ended up painting.”

Seth Mulcahey Banks, a BA Illustration student, who will be exhibiting at the second show said,

“I wanted to use art to express my feelings about climate change, and inspire a fresh way of thinking, without preaching at people. This image inspired an animation based around nature having a voice.”

“So, every day without fail someone opens the door to your home and fills it with rubbish, toxic gases etc, you wouldn’t be very happy. Nature lives through that door and has a plan for us, if nature decided to fix our beautiful world things could look a little like this.”

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.

Cambridge School of Art offer a range of art, media and design courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. A new BA (Hons) Fine Art course is running at their Chelmsford Campus from September 2008.

At this fast-developing site state of the art computer and video facilities will complement painting, printmaking and drawing that will form the core of modules offered in the Fine Art studio.

The course will make full use of Chelmsford's proximity to London, both through regularly bringing in talented and inspirational tutors to teach, and through organised trips to experience at first hand, world-leading artists' work in a range of London galleries.

For further information on courses at the Cambridge School of Art visit

The degree show is free of charge and open to all members of the public.  Weekday opening times are 10.00-9.00pm, Saturdays 10-5pm.

For further details contact Sarah Jones at the Ruskin Gallery on 0845 196 2981 or email