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Final-year Creative Arts student vlogs

18 June 2021

8 mins

By Rosie Midwood, Sara Osman, Emma Sutherland and Mali Wheeler

Every year the final-year students in the School of Design and Creative Arts put together a final collection to be shown in the Design and Creative Arts Degree Shows. This is the culmination of their work throughout their degree course and a platform to raise their profile prior to graduating and starting their careers, as well as an opportunity to share their work with family and friends.

LU Arts commissioned four Creative Arts students to put together a short video charting their progress as they worked towards the installation of their collection in the exhibition for 2021. Theses videos give a fascinating insight into the processes involved and the range of skills and techniques the students have used to complete their collections.

Alongside their videos (which you can watch below), we asked each of the students to tell us a bit more about themselves and their art practice.

Rose Midwood (Textiles)

I have been at Loughborough for five amazing years. I first completed an art foundation before choosing to study textiles, specialising in print design in my second year. I have also completed a placement year working as an assistant graphic designer at Nutmeg, Morrisons Clothing.

At a time when the world has ground to a halt, the British countryside has re-emerged as a crucial space for relaxation, inspiration and exploration. Harking back to a simpler way of living, it hopes to encourage young people to step away from their indoor comforts and instead learn about, and engage with, nature. Full of colour and character, the prints hope to bring joy and interest into the lives of the young people they are designed for. Adopting an accurate, yet friendly, painting and drawing style has created charming prints that tell stories and immerse the viewer into woodland environments. Predominantly a screen printed collection, it celebrates the more hands on, tactile processes over digital design, again encouraging a more creative approach.

The textiles have been designed for interactive products, including tents, camping chairs, floor cushions and quilts that can be used indoors or out – they intentionally encourage adventures irrespective of the setting. Responsible design considerations is also at the heart of the brand, designing textiles that last, so our environment will last as well. Fundamental to this is challenging the increasing throwaway culture; making longevity desirable. The intention of my Curious Collection is to produce durable, timeless designs, encouraging a ‘buy less but better quality’ mentality. Curious is a collection that hopes to capture the nations rediscovered love of our local landscapes, designing uplifting prints to create environments for all children to play, learn and grow in.

You can follow Rosie on Instagram @rosie.midwood_design.

Sara Osman (Fine Art)

I am a Turkish Cypriot artist born in London, 1999 and I am a final year Fine Arts student at Loughborough University specialising in Installation Art.

The key themes of my practice are grief, examination, and self-development. I use the following psychoanalysis techniques: meditative texts, passages from journals and conversations with my healthy adult to support the anxious mind. I expose my struggles to not only strengthen and understand my psyche but to normalise everyday anxieties and challenges to ground and build a relationship with the viewer.

Using installation to present my work has emphasized the sense of poignancy and stillness which corresponds with the sensitive context and disastrous parts. The mind (the mindful text) and body (the disastrous parts produced by the body) are not aligned which suggests that further healing is required. Hence, I use the following materials: Latex, Plaster, Sand and Metal to physically see and feel the properties change over time. This allows me to become aware of my senses and bodily moment to further silence the anxious mind and ground myself in the present. Primarily, the materials, processes, and context collectively act as a form of therapy for myself, but I also aim to guide the viewer and provide them with a sense of hope.

I have exhibited in galleries across the UK including: The Manufacturing Technological centre in Coventry, The Bank of Cyprus in London for three consecutive years, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester for two consecutive years and I am currently curating my solo show in Martin Hall, Loughborough. More recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been featured in several virtual exhibitions and magazines, including: WAVE Press magazine that successfully marked International Woman’s Day 2021, The Holy Art’s virtual exhibition PHENOMENON that showcased the work of the brightest emerging and established artists on the international scene and The Spring Exhibition hosted by Shim Art Network and published on TDSA, Vane Gallery and Artsy.

After university I hope to continue to develop my arts practice, and exhibit further in physical/ virtual exhibitions and magazines.

You can follow Sara on Instagram @sara.kew

Emma Sutherland (Textiles)

I am a final year printed textile student that has chosen to concentrate on colour and storytelling in my final year of University. My collection is based around Rock, Cornwall and celebrates the people who live there through narrative and abstraction. A collection of 10 screen printed final pieces and 1 digital, all designed for lifestyle pieces that you would need down in Cornwall.

This is my 5th year at University having done an art foundation and a year in industry. During my placement I was lucky enough to work in Copenhagen, London and Sydney, in print and design studios. I have a love for screen printing that I want to pursue. I wish to grow in the fashion industry and continue my love for design and curation. With my passion for telling stories and design abilities I intend to be daring and innovative with the decisions I make.

My time at Loughborough has been incomparable and has enabled me to achieve my best potential. It has given me incredible possibilities and has encouraged me to push myself further at each stage of the design process. My work is designed to provoke positivity and happiness through colour and imagery. and hope the viewer finds as much joy in my work as I do.

You can follow Emma on Instagram

Mali Wheeler (Fine Art)

My practice is based on my favourite hobby: Irish Dancing. I noticed that historically dance is usually only observed by artists figuratively, I wanted to take my work in a different direction. I chose to view dance performance from a dancer’s perspective as opposed to the audience’s, this therefore involves the translation between mind and body. I view this from a substance dualist’s perspective, where the mental (non-physical) and the physical are two separate substances. For a dancer, in order for the body and mind to communicate they must read, learn, retain and translate the information into action, this is a continuous cycle between the mental the physical. I utilise Sol LeWitt’s definition of ‘Conceptual Art’ to present this dualism, I therefore only use what is necessary to present my concept. I had to strike a balance in my visual language to ensure that my outcomes were only informative. For this purity I focus on diagrammatic art and gestures.

As a dancer and teacher, I realise that there is a particular pressure on the performance aspect of dance (above practicing and other elements) and so I chose to use the moment a dancer steps out on stage to focus on. In this moment, time and space seem disassociated with a dancer’s sense of being, there is a concentration on the dance as a whole. I present this by mapping the movement of the dancer throughout a whole dance, through blocked shapes and lines I map either a bird-eye view or a mirror-view of the dance. When produced there remains an ambiguity of where these maps are situated in space and time, this is because they are outside of the physical being. I am turning the mental into the physical so that it can be read.

I also use performance painting to create a more direct trace of the movement to map a dancer’s steps. The use of paint on my feet removes the dancer even less and makes their presence closer. This is because the notion of an ordered reproduction is removed, and spontaneity preferred. My mediums vary throughout my works, from drawing to painting to sculpture to light boxes, all of these function as vehicles to represent my concept. This project has seen me try many different ideas in a quest to find clarity in something that is not physical, therefore, I have an abundance of different outcomes.

When presenting my work, I aim to create an emphasis on the hectic nature of a dancer’s mind, however, it will be ordered enough to exaggerate the repetitive learning aspect a dancer experiences when translating the mental into the physical. It will be an immersive experience and situate itself innovatively within contemporary art practice.

You can follow Mali on Instagram @maliwheelerart.

The Creative Arts Degree Show runs from 18-27 June at Loughborough University and is free to attend but booking is required. You can find out more including how to book on the Loughborough University website.

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