For our Talent Spotters series of guest reviews of this year’s degree shows, David Moody of Thirty9 Design takes in UWE Bristol and Bath Spa
The University of West England campus (UWE) at Bristol, not only has one of the UK’s largest print centres but also has, in my opinion, one of the best annual Degree shows.
As well as Graphics, Photography, Textiles and Fine Art, personally I love seeing the exhibition of Illustration, which never fails to amaze and inspire. Some of the standout pieces this year were Jess Large and The Inconvenient Truth. Jess has a very approachable and commercial style to her illustrations, using a consistent palette enforces her individual approach.
Gabriela Romagna describes herself as an Illustrator with a curious mind with a passion for animals, nature and architecture. Her work has a three dimensional effect with amazing results. Some are quite literally a “pop up” whilst others have a dioramic effectiveness to them.
Justukas Pond is another illustrator with a great commercial style and a bright future. With a background in Interior Design and Sculpture, he has acquired a real feel for form and function which has translated into his work.
Animation has always been strong at UWE, Bristol and this year was no exception. Whilst digital has in recent years, taken over from a lot of the more traditional approaches, I still appreciate and favour the stop motion technique, especially when the models are made of paper and are exquisitely made. Sophie Marsh has established an interest in a more documentary feel to her work and her studies of the human form is evident in her creations. Go here to watch her film, Strudel
The Bath Spa University campus on Sion Hill is in a marvellous location right near the centre of Bath and also next to the fabulous Royal Victoria Park. There are some great exhibits from Graphics, Photography and fine Art but I always visit Bath Spa for the always impressive Textile Design exhibition. The standard of work is breathtakingly beautiful and inspirational that you always come away feeling uplifted and full of admiration.
There are always so many that could be featured but for me the ones that stood out this year were firstly, Stephanie Ellen whose range of knitted accessories stood out with great commercial awareness and a considered approach to the textural composition.
Albert Harvey uses time honoured traditions of printmaking onto fabrics using linocut plates with great effect. This approach has been a successful technique for years because it gives you a lot more freedom of expression and a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.
Mary Goodman is a textile and knit designer who believes in making quality products that are made to last, repair and keep. Her display of foot stools come seats, were beautifully made and as invited, very comfortable! From a commercial viewpoint, they are perfectly suited to any home, great sculptural pieces to look at, perfectly useable and above all, great fun…
If you’d like to volunteer to be one of CR’s Talent Spotters at this year’s degree shows, please sign up here