First Impressions count at Degree Show

Published: 11 June 2014 at 09:53

Talented Anglia Ruskin students aim to make an impact with major exhibition

Over 200 rising stars in the world of art and design will be displaying their work at the annual Degree Show at Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge campus from 13-22 June.

This year’s show, called First Impressions, is an opportunity to promote the artistic talent, creativity and employability of Cambridge School of Art students, and is open to businesses, friends and family, as well as the general public.

The pieces on display are all by students about to graduate from a range of creative courses taught at Anglia Ruskin’s East Road campus, including Computer Games Art, Fashion Design, Film and Television Production, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Illustration and Animation, Film Theatre and TV Design, Interior Design and Photography.

Chris Owen, Head of the Cambridge School of Art, said:

“With the UK’s creative industries now worth £71.4billion per year to the UK economy, it is important to recognise the growing number of job opportunities available to graduates in this sector and the impact that art and design can have on everyday lives.
“While the Degree Show 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 and design students are already experiencing work within the industry by the time they graduate.
“In fact it was students from the Graphic Design course who designed the advertising being used to promote the Degree Show.  They have been inspired by what it means to make a ‘first impression’, which may sometimes be the main opportunity to make an impression.”

Tom Street is one of the many final-year students exhibiting at this year’s show.  The Graphic Design student has already received praise from Macmillan Cancer Support and Norfolk charity BigC for his ingenuity in creating an interactive eBook on Bowel Cancer

Describing his work, Tom said:

“It provides all the information from diagnosis to full health and gives the user the ability to make the content they read personal to them.  
“Its calm and relaxed graphic style makes it the first of its kind to show all content in a much more friendly way.  It has the potential to be developed into a series of cancer help applications.”

Fine Art student David Testill’s ‘electroacoustics’ installation examines the way that user-generated sound relates the viewer to their environment.  He said:

“My work aims to create new ways of engaging with art in the gallery environment.
“Thanks to the on-going advice and support of both Fine Art tutors and the university’s Media Technicians, I have been able to create work that challenges the conventionality of the contemporary art exhibition.” 

Fellow Fine Art student Suzie Earl will be exhibiting her ‘Twenty-one’ series, which consists of 21 painted portraits of leaders, dictators, revolutionaries, freedom fighters and terrorists, all captured in their youth.

Suzie said:

“The aim of my work is to ask the viewer to reconsider assumptions of power, culture and identity, rather than reinforce prejudices and preconceptions.”

Integrated creative agency KISS Communications (KISS) is supporting this year’s Degree Show as headline sponsor.  Richard Bland, Creative Director at KISS, said:

“Creativity is at the heart of all the work we do at KISS, so being able to support the Cambridge School of Art Degree Show, which both recognises and celebrates the exceptional level of creativity shown by these students, is a real pleasure.”

Entry to the Degree Show in the Ruskin building on Anglia Ruskin’s East Road campus is free of charge and opening hours are 10am- 8pm on week days and 10am-4.30pm at the weekend.  The graduation gala film screening will take place at the Arts Picture House on Monday, 16 June (4.30pm) while the fashion show will be held at the Cambridge Junction on Tuesday, 17 June (7.30pm).

Tickets for the fashion show (£6 and £4 concessions) are available from the Cambridge Junction box office (  For further information about the Degree Show, please visit