During each year of my course, each student displayed their work at an end-of-year exhibition open to the public, improving our curation skills and allowing us to reach a wider audience. One of the best things about my course was the huge amount of opportunities to get your work out there and seen by potential employers or showing your art to the world.
For my first year, I created a photographic collage piece on the theme of graffiti that I called 'Defacement'. The idea was simple and easily executed using photographs mounted onto foamboard and arranged on top of each other to create a sort-of protruding effect. Looking back, it's strange to me that I decided to exhibit a photographic piece as I knew that was not where my skills lie! Nevertheless, I was happy with the project and the final exhibit.
In my second year, I decided to create an experimental video installation, much more in-line with my interests in videography and filmmaking. The theme of this exhibition was "regeneration", and so I explored the industrial areas of Plymouth with my camera for examples of the natural world mixed with the mechanical. If you're interested in reading more about 'Hedera', check out my website!
My Degree Show
Creating and displaying my exhibit for my degree show was the last part of my course and the culmination of all my work during the three years I spent studying. I was excited to showcase my work in the biggest exhibition I have ever been a part of - this time, it was not just Media Arts that were exhibiting their work, all of the other courses in the faculty also had their own shows. The show, called HOT'16, displayed work from courses like fine art, illustration, graphic design, photography and of course, media arts. Emily Barrett, one of the other alumni bloggers, wrote a post about her course's degree show - I recommend checking it out!
The Media Arts show was called '40 Frames', after the number of students who were exhibiting work at the show. For my piece, I decided to exhibit my final major project, a documentary on a local model railway club. However, I didn't want to just show my work on a TV screen - I wanted to make my work stand out and for the viewer to be interested in the subject.
I actually started planning my degree show months in advance, during the filming of the railway documentary. I asked one of the members of the club to create a small section of track for me to use as part of my exhibit.
My plan was to show my main documentary on a large TV screen in a built alcove space, with the small custom-made track on display below. On top of the track, I planned to fix a tablet that would show a looping video of a model train running through, as if it were part of the track below.
During the set up of the exhibition, I was in a team responsible for the production of all plinths for our show. This gave me access to the on-campus workshop, where I worked with the technicians to measure and cut down all wood to size, ready for the plinths and my own alcove.
Once the wood was cut down, I painted my back wall with a few coats of a nice steam engine green and waited for it to dry. Next, I put up the walls of my alcove using clamps and finally installed the shelf and tablet! You can see the finished exhibit below and if you want to watch my model railway documentary "On The Rails", it's at the bottom of this post!
I could not have created my exhibit without using the many facilities on offer at the university - from the edit suites where I created my video, to the workshops where I cut my wood and the open spaces where I painted my backdrop. Throughout my whole degree, I always had access to the facilities and equipment I needed to make the most of my studies... I used a huge range of camera equipment during my course, including cranes, dollies and steadicams to make sure I could always capture the shot I wanted.
The degree show was a great success! At the Media Arts show in particular, several local companies turned up to check out the new talent and recruit. It just goes to show that being involved in an exhibition is a great way for artists to meet other people in the industry.
To any budding artists out there, I fully recommend checking out the art scene in Plymouth! There are a number of galleries around, from Peninsula Arts to KARST and even an arty pub called the Bread and Roses that holds exhibitions every now and again.
Until next time!