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…
…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
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).
Graphic Design Posters
Graphics – Chloe Hunt
Graphic Design Final Books on Show
Portsmouth FC book by Gemma Kendall
Book by Karen van Zyl
Book by Jemma Kendall
Original Type by Laura Ring
Blueprint Style with Shaun Noble
Typeface Alphabet Poster by James Morse
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
Grime Record Sleeves by Joseph Gardner
Colour on Show
Poster by John Lihou
Beautiful 3D Book by Bethia Santi Wentworth
Handdrawn Detail by Bethia Santi Wentworth
Illustration by Emma Bates
Illustration by Emma Bates
Scroll by Ann Tromop
Design by Wyman Babbage
Frame Print by Wyman Babbage
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
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.
A collection of personal work
Interesting use of the framing in the work by Leanne Edwards
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
Hope is the Thing with Feathers Harry Murphy
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.
Detail of work by Alisha Payer