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Review of University of Portsmouth Graduate Show 2...

Review of University of Portsmouth Graduate Show 2017

Graduate Show 2017 - Photography

GRADUATES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH FACULTY OF CREATIVE & CULTURAL INDUSTRIES EXHIBIT THEIR FINAL WORK

Each year the graduates from the University of Portsmouth’s Faculty for the Creative and Cultural Industries put together an incredible exhibition of their final year’s work. This Graduate Show highlights the work on courses such as Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Fashion & Textile Design, Creative Technologies & Media, Film & Media, Animation, Film Production, Music & Sound Technology, Computer Games Technology, Computer Animation, Digital Media, Architecture, and many more. Each floor and area of the university’s Eldon Building is used to showcase different courses’ work, and the graduate show normally means all the students & their friends and family are there to meet, chat about the work, have a drink and generally celebrate the completion of their studies and time at university.

As always, this is a key date in the city of Portsmouth’s creative diary, with hundreds of students’ work a huge source of inspiration for everyone that visits. The work often also links to Portsmouth itself, with photography of the places and people, graphic design with typefaces, content and layout about the city and even architecture looking at the city’s buildings and skyline. All in all it is an exciting, visual and creative explosion of talent from the latest students as they transition from study to their new lives out in the creative industries of Portsmouth and the UK.

…this is a key date in the city of Portsmouth’s creative diary, with hundreds of students’ work a huge source of inspiration for everyone that visits…

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics - Tom Shave

…each student designs a poster highlighting elements of their final work and these posters line the walls, creating a room giving you in seconds a real feel of the work created over the last academic year

Graphic Design

Tucked away in the basement of Eldon North, Graphic Design is always a great place to start exploring the Graduate Show. As per previous years, each student designs a poster highlighting elements of their final work and these posters line the walls, creating a room giving you in seconds a real feel of the work created over the last academic year. The work itself is within the many books the graduates have created, with them on show in cases and cabinets. The exhibition also includes working folders, the students’ own personal branding/business cards/logos and much more.

This year’s crop of creativity covered some fascinating areas of inspiration, from breeding of exotic birds to skinhead culture to spacecraft design to Portsmouth FC. Some students had created their own typefaces with some incredibly detailed creative processes. Of particular note was a typeface by Laura Ring that was formed by the shadows of 3D lettering that was then digitally captured and manipulated in to an entirely original font. Other work that caught the eye included Olympic infographics (always love flag work) by Tom Shave, plus the incredible font by James Morse (more on that soon).

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics

Graphic Design Posters

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics - Chloe Hunt

Graphics – Chloe Hunt

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics

Graphic Design Final Books on Show

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics - Gemma Kendall

Portsmouth FC book by Gemma Kendall

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics

Exploring Feathers

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics - Karen van Zyl

Book by Karen van Zyl

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics - Jemma Kendall

Book by Jemma Kendall

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics - Laura Ring

Original Type by Laura Ring

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics - Shaun Noble

Blueprint Style with Shaun Noble

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics

Halftone Details

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics

Poster Wall

Graduate Show 2017 - Graphics - James Morse

Typeface Alphabet Poster by James Morse

Illustration

The Illustration course takes up a whole top floor and as always in packed with stunning, engaging and diverse work. To nail down exactly what contemporary illustration is can be fun, beyond the 2D work of posters, prints and artwork you can find painting, books, photography, displays of 3D items ranging from mobiles to glass jars plus so much more in-between. The creative ideas on show also cover a huge range of inspirations, from clean digital design to intricate hand-drawn work. The Illustration pop-up store is always a must and each year plenty of people head home with armfuls of graduate work for their walls.

There was so much work to take in it is difficult to remember it all but the first display that really stuck in the mind is that of Wyman Babbage. There was a mix of work here but my favourite were the cycling illustrations, with both details of cyclist and frames, etc but also beautiful images of cyclists in richly coloured environments. There was a really clear sense of capturing the feeling of being out and about on your bike and these also really ticked some commercial buttons…so much so we all ended coming home with a print each. Also we really loved the work of John Lihou, mixing a playful design style with a flavour of the 80s with dense and brightly coloured prints. The complexity in his posters was immense, the thought and consideration in to his collection of work (including amazing VHS tapes) was something else and his attention to detail was off the charts. We’ll have more on John soon.

…To nail down exactly what contemporary illustration is can be fun

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration
Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration - Joseph Gardner

Grime Record Sleeves by Joseph Gardner

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration

Colour on Show

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration - John Lihou

Poster by John Lihou

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration

Beautiful 3D Book by Bethia Santi Wentworth

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration

Handdrawn Detail by Bethia Santi Wentworth

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration - Emma Bates

Illustration by Emma Bates

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration - Emma Bates

Illustration by Emma Bates

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration - Anna Tromop

Scroll by Ann Tromop

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration - Wyman Babbage

Design by Wyman Babbage

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration - Wyman Babbage

Frame Print by Wyman Babbage

Graduate Show 2017 - Illustration - Emma Bates

Book by Emma Bates

…there was a heavy emphasis on portraiture with different perspectives on a variety of subcultures, but also honest and engaging images of people’s friends and family too

Photography

This year’s photography exhibition also contained a rich and diverse mix of inspiration and subjects on show. More so than in previous years there was a heavy emphasis on portraiture with different perspectives on a variety of subcultures, but also honest and engaging images of people’s friends and family too. The first work that I stumbled upon was ‘Timeless’ by Steven St John, a triptych of monochrome rocks at low tide. ‘Mersey Paradise’ by Saesha Ward looked at identity with a wall of portraits exploring personal intimacy. Saesha won the Guildhall Graduate Show Award and this collection of work will be exhibited there (see HERE for details).

The exhibition contained some wonderful observational photography, the work that caught the eye there included ‘Through the Glass Darkly’ by Archie Munro with voyeuristic views of seemingly mundane spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. ‘Food and Liquor’ by Ollie Phillips captured late night views of Portsmouth takeaways, looking at the connection of these places with late night culture. A few people spotted friends in these photos and let them know they were part of the exhibition!

Capturing a glimpse in to different social groups and subcultures is always fascinating and many graduates looked to give honest and intriguing views in to different people and their lives. ‘I an a Drummer’ by Laura Reynolds looked at exploring non-stereotypical gender roles with images female drummers. ‘The Double Minority’ by Jodi-Ann Crossfield was a series of unencumbered and honest portraits of young, gay black men, investigation notions of gay blackness and oppression. Ryan Munday’s ‘The Undercroft’ was a mix of portraiture and documenting the space of ‘Southbank’ in London, arguably the spiritual home to UK skateboarding since the early 70s. The accompanying book on show contained loads more work and all of this was topped off with audio recordings captured during Ryan’s time at the Undercroft, with a mix of skateboarding and tricks and people’s voices echoing around the dark corners.

Graduate Show 2017 - Photography

A collection of personal work

Graduate Show 2017 - Photography - Leanne Edwards

Interesting use of the framing in the work by Leanne Edwards

Graduate Show 2017 - Photography - Ryan Munday

The Undercroft by Ryan Munday

Identity is always a rich view for creative discovery within photography and the Graduate Show photography exhibition had some incredible work tackling this difficult but revealing subject. ‘Manifestations of the Mind’ by Leanne Edwards looked at visually representations of mental health and the body. Lucy Cassidy’s ‘Dympna’ visually explored textiles and details of clothing and linking them to anticipatory grief and obsession. ’19 Years’ by Marsha Reilly visually explored complex sibling relationships, ‘All That Remains’ by Rhiannon Wiggs dug deep in to forgotten childhood and Louisa Harris’ ‘And The Rest is Drag’ looked at gender fluidity and attitude to societal rules, with photos of her best friend Michael. All of these inspired reflection and a personal response from the viewer.

Of real note was ‘Eros’ by Alisha Payer, a large, unique work exploring the loss of virginity. This single image is made from photographic paper exposed with Alisha in contact with the surface, both intimate and tactile as well as a difficult and complex creative process. This work is a one-off. All of these examples (and there were many more) really showcased the fantastic creative talent both to be found in Photography and the other courses that were involved in the Graduate Show this year.

…both intimate and tactile as well as a difficult and complex creative process

Graduate Show 2017 - Photography - Harry Murphy

Hope is the Thing with Feathers Harry Murphy

Graduate Show 2017 - Photography - Robbie Spotswood

Work by Robbie Spotswood

If you missed this year, be sure to put the date in the diary for 2018…

Sadly we ran out of time on the Friday night to visit the many other courses and graduate work on display, the evening flies by. Next time for sure.

The Graduate Show was only on for a week and then the individual courses then exhibited their work at different galleries and locations around London, as well as sharing the work at Young Designers, etc. If you missed this year, be sure to put the date in the diary for 2018, the show is an huge catalyst for your own personal creative inspiration, with both the work on the walls and the opportunity to talk with the artists/designers ensuring everyone walks away brimming with new ideas and ways of seeing Portsmouth and the World.

We’re looking forward to 2018 already, see you there.

Graduate Show 2017 - Photography - Alisha Payer

Detail of work by Alisha Payer


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