21 June 2017
Budding artists, designers, performers and computing experts at West Nottinghamshire College have showcased their creativity to proud family members and industry experts.
Students from its school of creative industries and digital technologies came together to unveil items from their portfolios at an evening exhibition of their work.
Among those exhibiting were those studying art and design, fashion, graphic design, media, multi-media, computer science, music and performing arts.
The event, on Wednesday 14 June, was the centrepiece of their end-of-year show, giving students an opportunity to professionally exhibit their designs and creations – many of which were interactive – and speak to visitors about what inspired them.
Held in the college’s flagship Create building and state-of-the-art visual art and design centre at the Derby Road campus, the bustling exhibition was attended by staff, governors, friends, families, and employers.
Projects on display ranged from contemporary and fine art, to fashion, textiles, photography and multi-media work, while visitors could also enjoy retro video-gaming and see computer technology re-invented into modern, quirky inventions.
Music students entertained guests with a live DJ set, while performing arts students staged an engaging mask performance in the college’s 150-seat Create Theatre.
Georgia Jean Warman, 18, from Bilsthorpe, exhibited a piece called ‘split personalities’, incorporating a bespoke garment surrounded by photographs to create ‘imagery that reflects some of the issues experienced by people living with Bipolar or personality disorder’.
The teenager, who has completed her final year on the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design, specialising in fashion, explained:
“My project was about creating an obsession over someone and forming a split personality; showing how admiring a person can lead to actually wanting to be them. People looked at it very curiously but when I’ve explained the concept, they’ve understood and found it very interesting.”
Georgia is now set to study a BA (hons) in fashion buying with marketing at De Montfort University, Leicester, and added:
“Because ours isn’t a written piece, you have to speak to the creators to truly understand it. That’s why it is so important to engage with people and increase awareness of what art and design is about.”
Computing students Stepan Romanovs, Jacob Gill and Gavin Walsh demonstrated an offbeat project that involved wiring together six floppy disk drives to a Raspberry Pi – a credit card-sized computer originally designed for education – in order to play the Star Wars Imperial March theme tune on a loop.
Stepan, 17, from Mansfield, who studies the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in IT (networking and systems support), said:
“We used the noise generated by the motor inside each disk drive to create the music, which was more complicated that it sounds.
“We haven’t used anything new or expensive; just things we found in the college storerooms. People even younger than us might not know what a floppy disk drive is, so instead of using it for what it’s actually intended, we’ve revamped it to do something completely different. Essentially, we’ve used our computer science skills to create something artistic.”
Paul Hughes, marketing manager at Abacus Lighting, Sutton-in-Ashfield, which recently won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2017, visited the exhibition to talent-scout potential new recruits.
“Coming here has made me want to be young again and go back to college! It seems to be a real centre of excellence. When you’re looking for local talent, I think the way to find it is by coming to events like these and seeing what’s out there. You discover people with qualities you didn’t even know you wanted until you’ve seen what they’re capable of producing.
“The students have a real hunger and excitement. I’ve been very impressed.”
Steve McAlone, head of creative industries and digital technologies, said:
“This was another highly-fitting celebration of students’ hard work and success. The exhibition was extremely professional and the quality of work on display was fantastic. The pride and enthusiasm of our students, together with the amazing reaction from visitors, made for a real buzz.
“It’s always wonderful to see students develop and grow, both as people and artists, and this was an opportunity for them to share this with their families while also showing industry professionals how talented and creative they are.
“Many will now go to university, including prestigious institutions such as Central Saint Martin’s, straight into employment or launch their own enterprises, so the future of our creative industries is very bright indeed.”
West Nottinghamshire College provides education and training to some 30,000 full- and part-time students across all major industry sectors and at pre-GCSE to university level.
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