On Wednesday 16th June 2010, I visited the art buildings at Plymouth University. In these two buildings there were exhibitions on the students’ work. I thought a lot of work was absolutely incredible. My favourite though, was a picture by Alexander Lee, who did a piece of work based on a busker, who I see in Exeter most weekends. I particularly like this piece because the man he based it on is such a character, and he brought this out in his piece by using black and white colours to bring out the shine in his shoes.
Our tour guide was called Georgina Wilson, who was an excellent guide, and she showed us everything, and explained in immaculate detail, especially her own work. I thought her own work was very clever because she based her work on cooking products for children. She chose to make cooking utensils fun and interesting for the benefit of the children. She did this by making a simple, child friendly design, like an animal, and processing it into a finished utensil.
I also enjoyed the Scott Building, as this was where the Photography and Media exhibition was held. I thought some of the images were remarkable, and also inspiring. I am myself an aspiring photographer, so it was an honourable experience being there and seeing the studios, I also learnt a lot. I couldn’t pick my favourite artist, as I thought they were all so good, but I did pick up their information cards, so I will do further research and look at their work in more detail. Overall I had an amazing time on this trip, I learnt so much and I now have a much clearer idea as to what I want to do after college.
I found the pieces on display at the degree show very impressive, and got several ideas for my own GCSE art work. There were several sections of art work from different courses, and my favourites where the following;
I thought the illustrations drawn by the students were very good. Some were hand drawn, and then edited on a computer, while others had been painted. I especially liked some paintings of fish which had been put into a children’s story.
The fine art display was my favorite part of the whole degree show. There where many types of art on display, including paintings, such as a portrait of Margret Thatcher, and also models and other three dimensional pieces. My favourite piece in the fine art section was a world map which had been made by melting wax onto a canvas which had been painted blue, and shaped to a resemble the continents.
I also found the product design pieces very interesting and impressive. I was impressed at how the students had come up with ideas for products which could be used in everyday life. This included a lawnmower with a built in box to keep tools in, and some products designed for people who find it difficult to swallow aspirin tablets. These products included a jam with aspirin in it, so the aspirin could be taken on a piece of toast. My favourite pieces in the product design display were products designed to be use in poor countries. The student who made these products had lived in Madagascar, and had chosen to design products made from local materials such as bamboo to make useful products the locals could use. These products included an umbrella with built in solar panels and LED lights, so the umbrella could be carried around by the user in the day to collect solar energy, and then at night the umbrella was designed to be hung up to provide light in the user’s home.
After a pleasant train ride to Plymouth, past countless picturesque fields, we arrived and walked to the Plymouth University. As we entered, we could see some of the facilities available to the students like old machinery used for screen printing, and large stacks of colourful paints. These were only a sample of some of the media available to the students; the Apple Mac computers being favoured by most.
We were guided by an ambassador student who had studied a three year Product Design course. This was interesting as it gave us an insight into everyday student life and what we could expect from a similar course. We started in the illustration room, where the students had made intricate designs for making into products- children’s books being the main feature. My personal favourite was the shoebox, which had been customised with shoe laces on a printed design to give it a more creative, ‘fun’ side.
Another studio we visited was for Fine Arts. It held a number of designs, all which showed so much talent and creative planning. It was amazing to see the thought processes students went through in creating a final design, and how even at such a young age they were so good! I think that all the students had really thought about the public and how they might perceive their work in a gallery- a few ‘mere’ shapes and turns actually symbolising a lot. This was displayed particularly well with the use of a newspaper pigeon, which was dropped in random places with the caption ‘You’ve been pigeoned’ to engage people with their surroundings.
We walked through the Product Design room, which was my clear favourite. All designs were all very clever for their purposes- and all had been thoroughly researched. I thought the coconut fridge was very clever, especially as it helped the poorer population in Africa, where a seemingly insignificant invention could mean a lot. It was basically a large bin-like container which had been filled with coconut fibres to keep the insides cool. This feature of sustainability was also nice to see within the works- like recycled table tennis balls in a modern lamp.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip- which really broadened my view for the future. It was, indeed, an immense learning curve.