Creative energy of the future goes on show

Published: 17 April 2009 at 15:48

Cambridge School of Art has a long tradition of drawing as the cornerstone of its art education dating back to the school’s foundation in 1858 by John Ruskin, the namesake of the modern day Anglia Ruskin University who believed that being taught to see was the essence of being taught to draw.

Cambridge School of Art’s forthcoming Degree Show offers visitors a unique opportunity to view and experience the creative energies that are unleashed by the art and design education he inspired.

The show is a culmination of a minimum of three years study and creative exploration by Cambridge School of Art students. For each of them the show represents – not a conclusion – but a point of departure for their future careers.   This year's Degree Show, based in and around the Ruskin Gallery, is the biggest yet showcasing graduates' work from a wide range of disciplines including, for the first time, work of students in emerging media such as Computer Games and Visual Effects, and Film and TV production.

Since the end of last year, final year students have been working hard to deliver a professional degree show worthy of their hard work and talents.  Students across a range of disciplines set themselves the joint task of raising the sum of £9000 through activities such as mobile photography studios and an art auction. The latter took them a long way toward reaching their target with the highest bid going to a painting by Monika Umba Sky ride III acrylics on canvas, 60x60cm, 2008. Monika, a soon-to-be graduate of the BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation course, has received much recognition of her emerging talents whilst at Cambridge School of Art including being awarded 1st prize in the Cambridgeshire Film Consortium ‘Grains of Sand’ animation competition (2008) and 1st prize in the Cambridge Drawing Society competition (2007). After graduating, Monika intends to work as a freelance animator (2D hand drawn animation) and as an illustrator in both editorial illustration and children’s book illustration.

Monika is one of three students exhibiting in this year’s degree show who are former winners of The Searle Award for Creativity, initiated by the great artist and Cambridge School of Art alumnus Ronald Searle to recognise excellence.

Also exhibiting at the exhibition is one of the first graduates from the BA (Hons) Computer Games and VFX degree programme, Cristian León, who was born in Ecuador, South America before studying in Spain and ultimately Cambridge.  He explains his passion for art. 

"For as long I can remember, I’ve been drawing. I used to draw on anything and everything even my old school chair.  This addiction to drawing led me to enter three art competitions while at school and high school in which I came first."

"Currently I’m living in Cambridge and I’m in my final year of the degree course which has taken my artistic skills to an entirely new level. I have learned a great deal about using new tools to produce digital art. I enjoy painting and experimenting with colour and this is reflected in my 3D work."

"On completion of this course I hope to exploit my talent and pursue a career within the game and film industry. I am also interested in continuing my studies and completing a Masters in computer animation. My love of drawing runs deep and I will continue creating art work throughout my life."

Kim Jones, joins another graduating year this year as she is one of the BA (Hons) Film and TV Production students soon to complete her degree course. Kim, from Colchester will be exhibiting a short film that she wrote and produced called Jack and Lola which focuses on a love story between two people who can’t communicate through normal means.

Speaking about her work, Kim says:

"I try to come up with unusual ideas that give alternative views; going against what you would immediately expect. Ultimately, I want to write films that people connect with, that one day they will make them say – that’s my favourite film."

"I know that in the film and television industry your first job is never what you want it to be, and you have to work your way up the ladder but until I reach the point where I can choose for myself."

Cambridge School of Art is newly launching a Master of Fine Art (MFA) for 2009 which it hopes will rival the success of MA Children’s Book Illustration and offer its graduates of BA(Hons) in Fine Art further opportunity to develop as artists. Internationally recognised as the highest taught award in the visual arts, the MFA is a guarantee of professional competence and helps to give graduates a competitive edge.

Cambridge School of Art Degree Show 2009 can be seen from 5 – 14 June 2009 at: Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT. It is open to all visitors and is free.The opening hours will be 9.00am-9.00pm Monday – Friday and 10.00am-5.00pm Saturdays.

Visit: or contact Sarah Jones,, 0845 196 2981