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Art Degree Show 2019 Review

13 June 2019

6 mins

As a first year Graphic Communication and Illustration student, I took the time to look around Loughborough’s annual Art Degree Show exhibition. I found this truly inspiring knowing that I’ll be up there in 2 years time.

The diversity of work on show across all the disciplines (Graphic Communication and Illustration, Textiles, Fine Art and the foundation course) was immense. The show is on everyday 10am-5pm until 16th June, don’t miss out on a beautiful display of young talent!

Below I have picked out a few pieces that inspired me from a range of disciplines, hopefully showing you the array of work Loughborough students produce.

Foundation Visual Communication Student – Iona Campbell

Having completed an Art and Design Foundation here at Loughborough last year, I found it interesting to have a look around at this year’s cohort of students’ work. The display of talent from a younger and less experienced group of students was very eye-opening. Iona Campbell’s, ‘Princess Artypants’ instantly caught my eye and made me chuckle. Her quirky illustration style, cleverly positioning of typography and bold use of vibrant colour created what I deemed a very professional piece of work.

As I understand that many people struggle deciding whether they should do a foundation or not, I thought I’d ask Iona to share her experience of her time on foundation. I would just like to echo with what Iona says below and express that if you’re lacking a bit of experience, a foundation course is incredibly beneficial. I loved that year of being free without the constraints experienced previously during A-Levels.

Q: How have you found the Foundation Course here at Loughborough?

“Loughborough’s Art and Design Foundation Programme has been extremely valuable in helping me discover where my passions lie. The diagnostic nature of the course has allowed me to explore all disciplines and uncover a great interest in Visual Communication. The specialist tutors are very supportive and encouraging. I have gained the confidence to express myself freely through illustration.

My final project, ‘Princess Artypants’, is a reflection on my first year at University and all the challenges it has brought me. I hope to continue exploring methods of working and improving my conceptual understanding in Loughborough’s Graphic Communication and Illustration Undergraduate Course.”

To see more of Iona’s work see her Instagram page:

Fine Art – Jessica Benham

As a Graphic Communication and Illustration student, I often find it difficult to understand the meaning behind Fine Art works, however Jessica’s display surrounding the topical issue of violence towards women instantly clicked with me. I found her controversial drawings of key political issues very engaging and felt she had taken on a really challenging topic.

Q: How would you summarise your work?

“My practice aims to educate and raise awareness around violence and abuse towards women. I have found this subject very challenging but at the same time rewarding.”

To see more of Jessica’s work see her website:

Textiles – Johanna Stubbs

Joanna is a textiles student who specialises in Print. As well as her eye-catching digital and hand screen-prints, Joanna likes to experiment with different media to find new, innovative ways of creating patterns, such as fabric manipulation and laser-cut. By using bold colours and statement designs, Joanna sees her work suitable for public spaces such as quirky bars or contemporary shops. It was her boldness and ability to take risks that caught my eye whilst walking around the diverse Textiles exhibition.

Q: How would you describe your vibrant collection?

“‘Call Me Crazy’ is a collection filled with colour and pattern, to try and bring the Dada movement into the 21st century. The collection creates a ‘tongue and cheek’ vibe, by including bold colour contrasts, graphic imagery and text. From headless figures to large-scale bananas, this collection screams utter madness”

Q: What career do you aspire to follow onto?

“I aspire to go into a creative job role, specifically looking into point-of-sale and visual merchandising”

To see more of Joanna’s work see her website:

Graphic Communication and Illustration – Anna D’Elia and Amy Bassi

Now onto the floor of my role models and my inspiration! The Graphics floor inspired me so much, as I know that in 2 years I will be tasked with producing a similar final piece for exhibition. Anna D’Elia and Amy Bassi’s PulpItUp campaign caught my eye. They were the winners of the live YCN brief for Dalston’s X Fedrigoni to ‘Create a physical, tactile campaign to super-size awareness for Dalston’s soda – with Fedrigoni Paper and the heart of it.’

As seen in the imaged above, they stripped back both companies right back to the bare bones, understanding their process and shared core company values, thus allowing for an exciting Summer co-brand activation. Whilst further drawing new interest into both companies and aligning their target audience with the products through this quirky brand.

See below a response from Anna herself, describing how the skills have now set her in good stead for the industry ahead of her.

Q: Now you’re at the end of your journey here at Loughborough, could you just reflect on how you have developed across your time here?

“I am inherently interested in how brands use creative immersive storytelling to communicate with audiences. My degree here at Loughborough has nurtured my design skill-set tenfold and I feel I know myself as a designer and my process has developed massively.”

To see more of Anna and Amy’s work see their websites:

Graphic Communication and Illustration – Angharad Davies

Angharad’s work surrounding illustrated web-comics predicting a world without Graphic design and also, ‘All aboard the struggle bus’ an illustrated self-help book tailored to millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) also caught my eye. I found her comical illustrations very relatable, particularly the one displaying Your Life vs Instagram Life. I found her work very individual and personal, whilst clearly illustrating key areas of interest for her young target audience.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a designer/illustrator and how has your degree developed your practice?

“I make humorous illustrations that shed light on contemporary social issues. I often personify animals, plants and inanimate objects to add a light-hearted or humorous touch and allow the audience to look at human behaviour from an unfamiliar perspective. My degree allowed me to interact with people who encouraged me to reject conventional design practices in favour of originality, imagination and holding true to my own values.”

To see more of Angharad’s work see her Instagram and website:

I could’ve picked out so many other pieces of work, as the array of talent across the exhibition was truly amazing. Please don’t miss out on seeing the new generation of creatives’ work on display here at Loughborough.

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