Graduate Show 2013 Photographs

It feels like an age since I have been able to blog without the nagging fear of time constraints hanging over me! But my internship at Dowling Jones Design has been going well since I last checked in. Aside from getting myself enrolled in the office corporate run around Battersea Park in a couple of weeks, my time has been mostly painless. Of course I say painless, but the last time I ran 5 kilometres was (near exactly) one year ago in July and I severely doubt my ability to this time around! Hopefully the weather will be reliable enough for some practice later on this weekend, and I shall make a special effort to shift myself in a respectable starting time.

So without further delay to my original intentions for this entry, I have uploaded some of my photographs from the UCA Maidstone, Graphic Design: VisCommunication Graduate Show at the Rag Factory in London. Although now a couple of weeks back, I thought it would be nice to still put up a fraction of the work on show… giving credit where credit is due, too!

The pieces I have included here are by (l to r approximately): Nejib Ben Ayed, Jenna Williams, Sarah Knight (x3), Caz Church (x2),  Laura Kennard, Caz Church (2 images portrait), Charlie Michael Whitehouse, Amy Clipsham, Danielle Homer, Daniel Forni, Connor Hudson, Debbie Caplan, Soumbul Qureshi (x2), Jack Witcomb, Sasha Giles (x2), with Specturm flyers and GD:VisComm/Graphic Media course Publication.

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Mixed Bag Updates

A micro update in the face of a busy weekend and unexpected sinusitis (not altogether a good combination!):

– Last week I dropped into the UCA Third Year GD show, at The Rag Factory. The display was fantastic, filling one of the largest spaces available, next to Illustration and Graphic Media students. Hopefully I shall be able to upload and sort through my photographs from the evening, where I also bumped into a couple of my old classmates and tutors. Suffice to say time really does fly, and it was lovely to speak to and compliment some of the creators. I know that given how grim I felt about life after graduation, a nice word about the work I had just slaved over for months, would have been very well received!
A small snapshot of the evening booklet to be going on with…

– I also received word from the art director on the the New Statesman, that the supplement I laid out and designed the cover for, is now in the shops! Very exciting of course, but I did notice an error present in an older version of my in backpage infographic. A shame, but the piece still retains its integrity in spite of it! I could not resist dropping into a WHSmith to see which cover the client had plumped for, but will be happy to wait for my copy to arrive in the post.

– My first week at DJD went very well, learning quickly, filling notebooks and discovering more CS shortcuts! Busy busy busy, I must remember to sleep when I can and soften the blow of The Dreaded Commuter Flu so until next update…

Outline: Illustration Exhibition, Maidstone

While enjoying my last few days of mid-week freedom, I have become decidedly retrospective and nostalgic for this time last year, when I was finishing University. This has not the least been helped by the influx of End of Year shows that I have noticed popping up on Facebook through my UCA connections. Luckily, I have found help to relieve this itch in the form of the 2nd Year Illustration show in Stepping Stones Studio.

Placed in the middle of town, within a supremely funky cafe by day/bar by night, it is great to see an independent arty hub not only opening but succeeding in Maidstone- especially with the controlled decline of Maidstone UCA.

As my first time visiting there was much to take in, but what I did see was an assault of colour, style, texture and talent. Large group shows always provide a feast for the eyes and the illustrators here were no exception, with individual styles placed deliberately to contrast and harmonise. With delicate, understated advertising, exhibition catalogues, contact cards and display ephemera, the work on display definitely took centre stage in the space (in a way in which I felt was more successful than my graduation exhibition in Free Range). That is of course subjective, but the location was certainly well chosen and sympathetic to the feel of the exhibition.

Pictures after the jump…
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Pick Me Up 2013: Midweek Wonderland

Having spent a promising morning commute wondering whether I would be able to fit in a visit to Pick Me Up this year, I was pleasantly surprised when I was encouraged to take a couple of hours out of the office around lunchtime and visit the graphic arts festival at Somerset House.

The walk from Blackfriars to Somerset House could not be faulted in the glorious weather, and I was confused to discover that contrary to my discovery last year, there was no queue of any kind at the entrance! As I was to discover, the galleries inside were just populated enough to create a good atmosphere but not so much that I couldn’t press my nose against a piece and worry whose view I was blocking. It was just as well that I could take my time to soak up the work however, as unfortunately, I had neither a notepad or  decent quality camera to document pieces that I liked! Luckily I rummaged long enough to find pen and note some artist/collective names on the back of some postcards.

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Pompeii and Herculaneum

Black Coffee meet Caramel Waffle……its ‘Pressing time.

Over the last couple of weeks I have continued my interning at New Statesman, which continues to be interesting  as well as challenging in unexpected ways. Towards the end of this week I have been getting my teeth stuck into some graphic tasks to supplement my introduction to Quark. In addition to an in-magazine subscription renewal card (for which I have had the dubious honour of ‘breaking the mould’..!), I have been given the task of designing a small type/logo/graphic for use across a series of articles discussing ‘What Makes Us Human?’. An intriguing prospect. The more I think on it, the more angles I consider might need representing across the different contributing authors. At the moment my ideas are focussing around the scientific arena: DNA, double helix, molecules, brains, thumbprints etc, which can uniquely be described as human. Conversely I feel that this does not represent the spiritual or emotional side of this discussion that will inevitably raised at some point. The type arrangement I am favouring at the moment is distinctly Natural History Museum-esque and may be the source of my favouring this angle however, so I shall try re-imagining this on my notepad very soon.

On a more cultural note however, I was lucky enough to book tickets for the weekend just gone, to see The British Museum’s ‘Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum’. Being a little worse for wear with an inner ear disturbance, I had forgotten to pack my notebook which proved to be a fatal mistake! I am by no means an expert reviewer of exhibitions and this one certainly gives a lot to reflect on in life and death, so I shall stick to my preferences and instead focus on the design elements which most caught my eye.

It seemed to be an exhibition of 2 natures, with a recreation of a villa providing the layout and context for which objects could be displayed to the viewer. This really was a brilliant device that enabled visitors to immerse themselves in a familiar aspect of the past and brutally confront the consequences of the natural disaster that took place. The reconstruction itself was loose and airy, making the most of the blackout materials around the walls of the museum’s inner space and leaving visitors able to gaze up at the expansive dome far above. Perhaps the nicest touch in the heart of the exhibition was a reconstruction of a small columned atrium whose low walls to a projected water pool, served as a seamless point of rest for visitors. Continue reading

Vanishing from the ISOCULTURE

It is longer than I thought since my last blog post, which saw me in the middle of helping out artist duo Burton Nitta imagine the future where humans might become self sufficient by means of, well, themselves.

However, my time alongside the fusion of cutting edge science and speculative design came to an abrupt end, and just when things were getting interesting! The experience of this exhibition as I saw it last, really fed the emerging scientist in me. I have a natural curiosity for bio-science in particular and although one school of thought says we are all born scientists, the opportunity to hear lectures from respected professionals in the fields of stem cell research, horticulture, anthropology and behaviourists has been one I have not begrudged myself.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention the growing collection of isoculture experiments, playing with potential items and practices that might be used in such scenarios. But of course, since I last saw the exhibition it will have definitely developed into a fascinating set of objects and articles scattered across the walls and tables.

While I am hoping to return on its completion, I would urge anyone with a curious mind to head down to Watermans before the culture really vanishes forever!

ISOCULTURE homepage 
ISOCULTURE tumblr page (featuring latest updates on the communal creative projects that  are evolving to tell the story of one incarnation of this imaginary culture)

Isoculture photo update

Quick photo post between tasks today… volunteering and design… got to keep busy!

A French TV-magazine film crew were following the exhibition for the day, making us all a little self-conscious but was a pleasure to host international interest! Not to mention the morning lecture regarding stem cell application for targeted organ healing. Mind blowing! I must tap up my notes when I have more time, I would love to learn more about the field!

Filming the detailed and bizarre process of turning breast milk into a useable substitute for plastic. Collected interns couldn’t help but notice the similarity in process of cheese making..!

Aftermath of the filming process. When the artist is away, the interns will play! Note the strange texture of the milk/plastic. Poking is a must.

The growing collection of Isoculture objects and experiments. Recently added were human fat and caustic soda soap, as well as objects demonstrating a potential outcome in genetic random selection in hair colouring

Part of this weeks design task, preparing material for the big start of designing out isoculture