One of our highlights each year is the Plymouth College of Art ‘Ones to Watch’ from their degree shows.
And as the Plymouth College of Art degree shows come to an end, it’s worth pointing out that students have already exhibited at Graduate Fashion Week in London, the Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey and Neighbourhood for Change in Bristol.
This year for the first time the college has created a comprehensive catalogue of graduating students and their final major projects at Plymouth College of Art: https://www.pcadegreeshows.com/
Here are a selection of some of 2019’s most exciting graduates from across their range of undergraduate qualifications in art, craft, design and digital media, with a special mention for one of their MA students to look out for at New Designers.
(The feature image – see above- is from Amy Ottley, and for more on her and her work, see below)
Heléna Doré – BA (HONS) ILLUSTRATION – ‘My Forest’ and ‘Life on Earth’
Illustrator and designer Heléna Doré has been congratulated by Sir David Attenborough for her “elegant and beautiful” illustrations of 40 species discovered or declared extinct between 1979 and 2019. For the Degree Shows 2019 Helena has created ‘My Forest’, a children’s book based around deforestation, and an illustrated book cover for Sir David Attenborough’s 40th-anniversary edition of ‘Life on Earth’.
‘My Forest’ is a children’s book based around the deforestation of bamboo forests and the negative impact that this has on pandas and other endemic species in the area. Made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials, Heléna illustrated, wrote and hand-bound ‘My Forest’ using traditional Chinese binding techniques, with some bamboo illustrations contributed by friends and family to represent the need for collaboration to push for positive environmental change.
Illustrated using a standard Bic biro pen, Heléna’s ‘Life on Earth’ included illustrations of 19 living species that had been discovered and named after Sir David Attenborough in the last 40 years, alongside 20 species that have been declared extinct by the IUCN between 1979 and 2019.
Colin Wilkes – BA (Hons) 3D DESIGN CRAFTS – ‘Unify’
Artist Colin Wilkes’ previous career as a builder armed him with an enviable understanding of materials and traditional skills. His Unify collection sees him uniting rugged concrete with delicate blown glass to create mixed media sculptures.
He is influenced by the work of Luba Bakicova, for her use of concrete and Scott
Slagerman for his ideas on incorporating the mould as part of the final piece, and for the vibrant colours they both use in their sculptures.
Chantelle Brown – BA (HONS) FASHION – ‘Evolution’
Chantelle has built a sustainable fashion collection within our dedicated workshops, using materials such as Lycra made from plastic bottles and fishing nets. She also reused waste materials, reconstructing a discarded parachute into garments for her collection.
“The concept for my collection is to use materials and products which would have been disposed of in the ocean and re-work them into exciting, wearable garments which can be worn in the sea and around our coasts.
“My collection really reflects me and my desire to work with sustainable materials and my passion to change within the fashion industry, I enjoy working within the production and technical area of the industry and am proud of my creative and technical skills to be able to bring a project to life.”
Cavan Wright – BA (HONS) 3D DESIGN CRAFTS
Specialising in sculptural glassware, Cavan’s recent work is inspired by the inner mechanics of the heart, amalgamated with drooping patterns seen in botany, particularly banana plants and fuchsia flowers. This combination represents Cavan’s thoughts and curiosity within hot glass. His sculptures emerge from the rhythm of glass-blowing processes and the effects of gravity, echoing similar processes that occur naturally in plants. Cavan’s installation for the Degree Shows 2019 is an imaginary cyclical system represented by water running through glass.
“Glass for me is a dance, a dance where I feel connected to this material like it’s alive as I am. I don’t see myself as the maker, more of a guide for the glass. My inspirations are people like Martin Janecky, Dante Marioni, James Devereux and Rob Stern, artists who are pushing the limits of glassmaking. What inspires me more than anything in glass is the community and the people who have taught me. Plymouth College of Art has helped me find my flow and inner practitioner, now I want to show the world the possibilities of this magical medium and how far it can be pushed.”
Ella Light – BA (HONS) FASHION MEDIA AND MARKETING
Ella’s practice covers art, fashion and media. Her work has been accepted for the Candid Arts Trust Showcase and during her time at Plymouth College of Art she interned with Red or Dead.
Speaking of her work for the 2019 Degree Shows, Ella said: “The main inspiration behind my project is the surrealist art movement. My images all live within the same world – very camp, kitsch and extravagant. They have a bold colour palette and I always look for a comedic way to tell my story. The storytelling element shines through my editorials and I create images that are refreshing to the eye. I strive to create editorials that don’t just speak to a fashion audience.”
Thyra Bankole – BA (HONS) GRAPHIC DESIGN – ‘Melanated Magazine’
BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Thyra Bankole has created Melanated Magazine, a print publication designed to showcase and highlight women of colour in the UK creative industry. 21-year-old Thyra, who grew up in Greenwich, London, hopes that Melanated Magazine can act as a catalyst for change by creating exposure that leads to more work being commissioned from women of colour, as well as giving young women of colour access to a wider range of role models in the creative industries.
Speaking of the genesis of the idea, Thyra said: “Until we’re more visible at every level of the creative industries, there’ll always be a need for more work to showcase women of colour. Melanated Magazine is my contribution to the national conversation that we need to have about valuing the hard work of black woman and showing role models for the next generation hoping to enter the industry.”
Amy Ottley – BA (HONS) ILLUSTRATION – ‘Ruby Box’
BA (Hons) Illustration student Amy Ottley has created ‘Ruby Box’ for the 2019 Degree Shows, a vibrant menstrual subscription service that would include a subscriber donation to the period poverty organisation Bloody Good Period. The overall project includes illustrations, packaging and branding for vitamins, herbal teas and chocolate, and a period friendly yoga guide.
Inspired by research into the severity and growing rates of period poverty in the UK, ‘Ruby Box’ is designed to deliver everything a woman would need for her period and is named after the girl who gave Amy her first sanitary pad when she found herself unprepared in their school bathroom. For every Ruby Box purchased, the concept includes funding for a secondary basic ‘Ruby Box’ that would be sent to Bloody Good Period for distribution in shelters across London and Leeds.
Elliot Rowe – BA (HONS) ANIMATION – ‘Victor Cross and the tale of Engine City’
Elliot Rowe trained as a carpenter and boat builder before studying BA (Hons) Animation at Plymouth College of Art. Specialising in stop-motion animation, props, armatures and set-building, Elliot recently completed the Aardman Academy Finishing Touches Modelmaking Course with Senior Model Maker Jim Parkyn. For this year’s Degree Shows Elliot has created a hand-built solid-oak galleon and worked in Fab Lab Plymouth to 3D print puppets for his upcoming film, ‘Victor Cross and the tale of Engine City’.
Angela Datseri – BA (HONS) ILLUSTRATION
Illustrator and designer Angela Datseri creates colorful and vibrant illustrations, working with a variety of subjects, gathering inspiration from everyday life, fashion, people and nature.
Following current trends in the market and combining traditional and digital working practices, she focuses on editorial illustration and design, in addition to recently finding a passion for surface pattern design and the application of her illustrations on physical products.
For the 2019 Degree Shows, Angela created a bespoke dress after printing her illustrations on fabric, working with photographers and filmmakers to model her own designs in a promotional shoot. To create and shoot the dress Angela collaborated in the studio and on location with BA (Hons) Fashion student Rose Garcia, BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial student Mi Kelly, and BA (Hons) Film students Joe Dunn and Luke Matthews.
Jessica Nelson – BA (HONS) COSTUME PRODUCTION & ASSOCIATED CRAFTS
Testing both her design and making skills, seamstress and costume maker Jess Nelson set herself the challenge of creating a new shape and structure for the Evil Queen from the Cedric Nicolas-Troyan film Snow White and the Huntsman 2. Inspired by Colleen Atwood’s golden cloak design for Queen Ravenna, Jess learned new skills, like metal work, and combined modern fabrics with historical construction methods throughout her final year to create the costume.
Laura Quinn – MA 3D Design Crafts
Laura Quinn is an Irish designer and glassblower. In 2015 she graduated from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin with a BA (hons) in Glass Design, as well as a BA (hons) in Art History and Design. Sisyphus was the body of work she created for her BA degree show. The inspiration for this body of work came from the myth of Sisyphus, and how it is in the human experience to complete repetitive actions or tasks in the hope that there is an overall greater meaning. This body of work was primarily wearable sculpture, combining glass with other materials such as rubber and metal.
After graduating she worked in the Corning Museum of Glass teaching the public how to make their own glass objects. By the end of 2015 she had also completed her internship in Olustvere Glass Studio in Estonia where she spent 3 months working as a glass blowing assistant.
In 2016 her journey brought her to Gloucestershire in England where she worked under a master glass blower in LoCo Glass Studio. Here she developed a love of making glass within the production setting.
Working in various studios around the world raised questions for Laura about the use of glass with other materials. In 2017 she began her MA in 3D Design Crafts in Plymouth College of Art, where she continues her research in developing a relationship between blown glass and 3D printing, as demonstrated in the accompanying video, and by posing the question, “How can new digital technologies be used with traditional handmade processes to create authentic glass products?”
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