Across the spectrum: Art and Design Degree Show 2016

Three artworks by Rachael Fletcher on a wall
Rachael Fletcher’s Existential Threats

LJMU’s Corporate Communications Department has taken on two student interns this summer. Their first job was to cover the Degree Show at the Liverpool School of Art and Design: here’s what second year creative writing student Hazel Clarke thought of the final year show

The Art and Design Degree Show showcases the works of final year students, featuring a wide range of subjects, including architecture, fashion, fine art, history of art, spatial design and graphic design and illustration.

In the Architecture exhibit, there was a running theme of spherical designs. First, there was an innovative model for a house with a spherical outdoor decoration by Michalis Malekkidis. The two innovative designs that struck me the most however were Lewys Taylor’s People Feed the People and Aimee Cornelius’ New Brighton Nirvana: From Fragments to Harmony.

Illustration of high-rise tower in a field
Lewys Taylor's People Feed the People

Taylor’s design featured a cylindrical tower block with sections jutting out, purpose-built to address the need to increase food production within urban areas. Cornelius’ structure was similar in design but was used as a building that was the last resort in a poor seaside town, a shadow of its former self. These two complementary designs exhibit different ideas for the future of humanity’s survival through architectural design. Taylor’s model conveys optimism for the future of the human race, whereas Cornelius’ interpretation of the same theme conveys a contrasting pessimism.

The spherical structure was carried through into the Graphic Design and Illustration exhibit with Andy Broken’s Experimental Pattern piece and Abigail Scott’s New Scientist design, which featured a circle that highlighted evolution and colour perception within humans and animals, through the rainbow spectrum; multicolours were also used in Jamie Monkman’s Scratching the Surface, which explored the impact of visual inspiration that can be found by looking a little closer at immediate and familiar surroundings.

Painting comprising several colourful squares
Jamie Monkman’s Scratching the Surface (detail)

The Graphic Design and Illustration exhibit also had a parallel theme of politics. In Liv Foster’s Big A Little A, the pieces designed were intended to be an accompaniment to the song of the same name criticising Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister, as well as Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Roslyn Crossley’s typographic pieces, titled Oh Jeremy, were a direct opposition to Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, as Crossley sided with the junior doctors. Another political piece was exhibited by Rachael Fletcher, Existential Threats, which explored the negative effects of global warming on the world’s most stunning environments, beautifully executed with laser-cut card and foam board. 

The entire show also took a lot of inspiration from other cultures, including Japanese. One set that stood out were Abigail Scott’s illustrations Kawaii Desu, which featured her own designs inspired by the Japanese subculture of Lolita fashion. Other exhibitors looked at South Korean and Chinese influences on present day fashion.

Illustrations of Japanese dresses
Abigail Scott’s Kawaii Desu

Beautiful exhibits, well displayed, showing a wealth of both research and experimentalism, suggests an overall positive future for the students from the Liverpool School of Art and Design.


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