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Exhibition highlights diversity of creative talent at City College Norwich

25th June 2018

Hundreds of visitors enjoyed the opening night of City College Norwich’s creative arts end of year show, with the work of 240 students going on display in the Creative Arts Building.

This year’s exhibition, which takes up all three floors of the award-winning arts building on the Ipswich Road campus, features work that is diverse, thought-provoking, celebratory and empowering.

It includes presentations from across the department, from Level 1 Art, Design and Media through to the full suite of Level 3 creative arts Extended Diplomas taught at the college, which are awarded by the University of the Arts London (UAL).

The show includes, for the first time, work from the new Fashion Communication and 3D Spatial Design courses, which form a key part of the exhibition. 

Head of School for Creative Arts, Guy Parkinson, said: “The CCN Creative Arts End of Year Show is always a very special moment for all of our students and staff. We expect our students to take creative risks, to create work that is both innovative and thought-provoking and tonight is the culmination and celebration of their hard work. Our students are now ready for the next chapter in their lives whether that is onto higher level study within the department, onto Higher Education and Apprenticeships or into the creative industries”.

Among the first cohort of students to complete the Extended Diploma Fashion Communication course is Alisha Kallarackal, whose final project fuses British and Indian fashion.  Alisha, who is going on to a degree in Fashion Communication at De Montfort University, has showcased this work in a magazine she created which features stunning fashion photography of her pieces.

In another first for the show, Media Learning Company (Foundation Diploma) student Ellie Bickerton-Jones organised a live indie music event in the college’s Platform Theatre as her final project. 

Ms Bickerton-Jones, 18, from Attleborough, would like to eventually become a film/television producer – a career direction which prompted her to put on the ‘One, Two, Groove’ show. 

“I wanted to follow the producer side of things a bit more, so I thought why not put on an event?  I’ve enjoyed all of it, even though I had a mad rush with one of the bands dropping out at the last minute, and then coming back in, but I guess that was good experience”, said Ellie.    

Keleigh Jones, who is completing the Level 3 / 4 Art Foundation course, has produced three large interactive pieces which combine texture and visual elements to engage people who are partially sighted in her colourful work, whilst enabling fully-sighted people to better understand what it is like to have a visual impairment through the incorporation of goggles that alter what you see. 

Nineteen-year-old Keleigh, from Norwich, who is going on to do a degree in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, said:

“My piece is inspired by the fact that I am partially sighted.  I wanted to produce a piece of art that blind people could enjoy, as well as people who can see.  That’s why it’s touchable and why it incorporates the goggles so you distort your sight while you draw. 

“The course has helped me to explore a wider variety of media and subject matter than I would have explored in A Levels. With this course we had so much freedom to do what we wanted.”     

Level 2 Art and Design student George Widdows has used the end of year show to launch his own clothing label, Flowers Die, featuring hoodies and shirts.  His striking designs – adding a dark twist to cheerful icons such as sunflowers, smiley faces and pet dogs – is proving popular amongst his peers and is already attracting commercial interest.        

The rapid development of George’s design skills and distinctive style is all the more remarkable because he didn’t enjoy studying art at GCSE.  Seventeen-year-old George, from Hainford, commented:

“The art and design course has helped me advance a lot in my drawing.  I felt trapped before, when it came to art, but with this it gives you an outlook, you can create what you want and you are a lot more free.  When I saw this course it had everything for me – it had animation, graphics, I could do a final project like this which is completely my idea. It gives you the inspiration and it makes you enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy art in high school, but I enjoy it now.”        

Another student who has developed his own distinct style is Extended Diploma Digital Arts student Jericho Posadas.  Jericho 21, from New Costessey, who has a short animation on show at the exhibition, said:

“Since the beginning I have always had an anime art style, but in my previous project I tried to challenge myself and go to realism and American cartoon anime, and my work now is a bit of a mixture. I love the process of designing characters, giving them a story and bringing them to life through animation.”  

Another eye-catching piece of work is Level 3 Fine Art student Katie Jenkins’s suspended installation of jellyfish and plastic bottles, inspired by recent campaigns highlighting the impact of plastic waste on the marine environment.  Katie, 17, from Diss, who is set to go on to a degree in Illustration at Norwich University of the Arts, said:

“One day we went to the beach, and there was rubbish everywhere, and that just sparked the idea to look into that more, which is what led on to my piece.  I’ve always wanted to do something art-wise about the issue and this project allowed me to do that.”            

The Creative Arts End of Year Show is open to the public from Monday 25th June to Thursday 5th July, 10am-3pm daily, excluding weekends.