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Monday, 11 June 2018

A Cabinet of Curiosities - Our End of Year Show

For those of you who couldn't make the end of year show, here's a little of what you missed...

Private View Night










Bronagh's hand-made, tasty treats at the start of the evening...


Bronagh's hand-made, tasty treats at the end of the evening...






The much admired 'wall of wonder' (or 'tableaux of tat')




A few exhibition stands:
Alex Stockwell 

 Sian Whitfield


 Schools visit day - most commonly asked question: "Is it a real swan?" Answer: "Yes, but it's dead."


Monday, 4 June 2018

Students crack beer brief


Regular readers will know that our illustration and graphic design students have been working with the Eden River Brew Co. brewery, and one of the county’s most successful family businesses, to create the artwork for a new range of beers. 

Eden River Brew Co., in Penrith, is running its Eden Student Design Project for a second time, in partnership with the Westmorland Family, which owns Tebay Services, on the M6, Gloucester Services on the M5 and the Rheged Centre. The new range of beers were launched on Friday 4th May at the Rheged Centre.



In January, the brewery’s managing director Jason Hill briefed design students at the University’s Brampton Road campus on the project - packaging for a limited edition range of fruit beers. Buyers and designers from Westmorland helped to shape the  brief and give insight into how to make products stand out in a crowded market.

Students worked on a design brief for 440ml cans, with designs from second year graphic design student Sam Mallard, 26, from Carlisle, chosen for use with the final products. The range will be on sale at Tebay Services, The Rheged Centre near Penrith and Gloucester Services on the M5.
Eden were so taken with another design concept by Jemma Ainsworth (19) that they’re using her designs for another range of beers.

Brewery managing director Jason Hill said: “The brewery has been doing extremely well and growing nicely over the last few years. This is obviously great news for us, but it’s also really important that as we grow we work with people in the area to make sure they feel some of the benefit as well. 
“This could be all our great local suppliers or, as in this case, youngsters looking to get some really valuable experience before starting their careers.
“It was really tough deciding which of the students’ designs to go with, because there were so many imaginative and striking designs on offer. But in the end we felt that Sam and Jemma had the right combination of flair and fun to do justice to the beers we’ve created.”

Grillust™Group Captain, Jim Millington, said: “The Eden Brewery project is fantastic for our students because it puts them in front of a live client, responding to a brief and delivering a finished design concept. The students were given free rein to be as creative as they liked but they also had commercial requirements to satisfy.”

Commenting on his designs being used for the limited edition fruit beers, student Sam Mallard said: “I’m excited and thrilled to have my designs out there on the shelf for people to buy. To be given the chance to work for a client has been fantastic and I am humbled that my designs were selected when standards were so high.”

Designers Lucien Xavier and Helena Davies, from Westmorland, briefed students and helped to choose the final designs.
“We wanted the design to be creative and unique in a market that is known for its individuality and flair. The students did a great job with the brief, working hard to produce fantastic and professional designs that stand out on the shelves.”

Friday, 25 May 2018

A Glimpse Behind the Scenes as We Prepare the End of Year Exhibition (1-8 June)

This year's exhibition has been titled 'A Cabinet of Curiosities' and has been styled accordingly.

Here's a video 'fly-through' of the exhibition space taking shape (sans work) - if you look carefully you can see that a convincing bar has already been installed for the opening night. 



Who'd have thought that students were such amazing 'tat' magnets!

You are all welcome to join us at the opening event next Friday evening, 6 June.

Full exhibition details are on the invitation below, designed by Year 3 Illustration student Hazel Mason.



HERO(ine)S – a New Exhibition on Gender and Comics


Since the early days of the comic genre, female protagonists have been few and far between. Approximately one in four female comic characters are female, and even those characters often have passive or minor roles. The Hero(ine)s exhibition (which we recently hosted in our Vallum Gallery) aims to challenge, question and subvert our perceptions of the comic hero. 

The exhibition features original artworks where comic artists have been challenged to reinvent their chosen male superhero in female form and contribute a narrative to explain their choice of heroine and their perceptions of how women are represented in the comic genre. Artists include Steven Appleby, Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, Finnish artist Kaisa Leka, Swiss artist Hélène Becquelin and Belgian comic artist Brecht Vandenbroucke.

Don't worry if you missed it, the exhibition  will return again as part of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, Cumbria 12–14 October. 



Nick Dodds, Senior Lecturer at The University of Cumbria, said, “The opportunity to host Hero(ine)s is a fantastic coup for the university. The theme of the exhibition, exploring gender roles through the eye of the comic artist, appears timely and pertinent given recent news stories. The 'alternate' take on the typically male comic-hero by the artists featured in the exhibition is done with wit, humour and a certain knowingness - asking the viewer to question cultural attitudes to gender representation, myth and narrative.”


As part of the Hero(ine)s exhibition, there was an opportunity for students to take part in creator workshops led by international comic artists Steven Appleby and Kaisa Leka.

Here are some photos of the workshops, lectures and exhibition all taken by Rachel Miller (R. Miller - Copyright: creative commons)









An Instagram campaign #heroinesproject encourages comic enthusiasts to draw and share their own heroines. A selection of these drawings will be displayed at the Lakes International Comics Arts Festival in October. You'd best get drawing!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Tuesday 24 April - Another Busy Day

Monday, 16 April 2018

The power of hair


Ever mindful of the Samson and Delilah debacle, the Grillust™ machine has always recognised the strategic importance of a decent 'short back and sides', key knowledge we're keen to pass onto students.

That's why, each year we aim to take on at least one prospect who's got some experience of creating a decent bouffant... this year it's Marc Noble (21).

Here he is demonstrating the barber's art on fellow 1st year, Tim Stewart (21). Tim's ambition is to become a top flight graphic designer.

But with that haircut!?! No way!

Marc to the rescue.

Here we see Marc sizing up the task at hand while the rest of the studio look on... 'Measure twice, cut once' is Marc's mantra.

After briefly visiting the barbers standard repertoire, along the lines of 'Going anywhere nice this year?' and 'Would Sir like something for the weekend?', Marc gets down to the serious business of cutting and styling. It reminds him of his training in the shearing sheds of outback Australia he says. Note the use of safety scissors. 

And five minutes later...



The transformed Tim Stewart (still 21), tonsorially prepared for the cut and thrust life of graphic excellence. 

Friday, 13 April 2018

Beamish Open Air Museum - A Grand Day Out


On Wednesday we went back in time to that top visitor attraction Beamish 'The Living Museum of the North', to experience the past for ourselves. Obviously all images taken in the past are sepia coloured (as demonstrated above) so we've used Photoshop trickery to 'modernise' them by digitally adding a rich palette of colour...

 That's much better isn't it?

 Here's a charabanc to take us to the pit village (or "downt pit" as they say "oop North")

 Some students decided to take the tram (sort of like a bus with wires) to "gan tashin' on the toon".

Here's 'Puffing Billy' (the locomotive not the man) - Puffing Billy is a replica of he world's oldest, surviving steam train, built in 1833 and now on display in the Science Museum in a small town to the south called London.

Coal can not only be used to power steam trains but also cook fish and chips, fried in beef dripping...


and believe us, the results are delicious!

The main reason we went to Beamish was to look at examples of period graphic design and illustration. We were granted privileged access to the museums extensive store to examine the delights hidden there.

A large ledger held an impressive collection of period advertising including:

 TEETH! TEETH! TEETH!


YOU DIRTY BOY!

Lot's of samples were laid out for inspection in a study room...



...before we ventured into the darkest depths of the collection store.



 ... an 'Aladin's cave' of wonder and delight.


Gorgeous enamel advertising signs are everywhere...
 

 Later on there was time to visit the Victorian fun fair which included the opportunity to partake in coconut shying, Hoopla hooping and a quick spin on the 'Speedway' (see below).


Thank to Beamish Museum for giving us 'behind the scenes access', we all had a 'grand day out'!