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Actors, artists, creators and makers show off their work at exhibition

Posted: 01 July 2024

A festival of arts, culture and creativity has been served-up by talented students at West Nottinghamshire College to celebrate the end of the academic year.

The Create Exhibition kicked off with a gala open evening on Monday 17 June, which brought together the final major projects produced by students studying art and design, image making, photography, commercial design, fashion and interiors, digital arts and games design, Esports, and film and television studies.

A range of artwork in the form of paintings, collages, photography and digitally created images, interactive stalls and feature film were all showcased to proud family members, friends and staff from the college, covering two floors of the Nottingham Trent University’s Mansfield hub on Derby Road.

National Extended Diploma in Art and Design Practice Image Making student Holly Sykes, 19, worked on her experience of visiting Nottingham’s Wollaton Hall for her piece which was exhibited at the show.

Holly said: “I took my inspiration from a well-known, historical building. I’ve always been drawn to visiting old buildings. We visited Wollaton Hall on a college trip and I took my photographs of the hall in the dark.

“I then made my own ‘gestural’ art style with large brush strokes, creating a gritty texture to highlight the bricks and the front door. I think it’s very tactile – I want people to touch it.”

Holly is off to the University of York next academic year to study fine art. Holly explained her excitement at moving away to university, saying: “I never ever thought I’d get to university. I really took my Level 3 work more seriously – even last year I didn’t think I’d be heading to university in 2024.”.

Clothing, vinyl furniture and fashion house logos produced by students on the National Extended Diploma in Art and Design Practice Commercial Design (Fashion, Interiors and 3D) were on display on the second floor. An area was dedicated to the project work that students had created for top fashion brand AllSaints earlier in the academic year.

Nikole Voltova was one of those students. She produced an acrylic and vinyl logo on wood. She originally created this as a display piece for the AllSaints concept stall in Manchester.

Nikole said: “I chose to look at the Rolls Royce logo and the overlapping letter R. I did the same for the AllSaints logo and I’ve developed it to be kind of 3D to bring the customer’s eye towards the product. We presented our artwork and designs to AllSaints over video call recently and the feedback from them was brilliant.

“I was planning to go to university to study architecture, but I needed to have A-Levels first, so I will be doing two years of A-Levels next year. After that my ambition is to go to Cambridge University.”

Matipa Munyanradzi, 17, a student on the Advanced Art and Design Practice Image Making course, brought her parents along to the end-of-year exhibition to impress them with her work which incorporated her photographic skills.

Matipa said: “I wanted to create something reflecting my Zimbabwean heritage. The photograph of me shows me wearing a traditional robe. I then used Photoshop to create artefacts around my head like a crown.

“These are everyday Zimbabwean things such as the pot, a traditional instrument, a tapestry heirloom and beads and the doll is from my cousin, the bird is the national bird of Zimbabwe. I then printed a green background which complemented the colours in my robe.”

Matipa’s dad Tichaoona was absolutely amazed by it. He said: “I wasn’t expecting her to put a piece together quite like this – I’m so proud and we’re overwhelmed with her progress. She’s really embraced and expressed her heritage and has looked at things that are very relevant to the culture. We recognise lots of things on her print from our home!”

Digital arts and games design students created video games which visitors could have a go with, enabling them to see the work and techniques which go into creating a digital game, while Esports learners set up a room for guests to see how Esports matches are run.

This included an area staged by IT students for visitors to try on a virtual reality headset where they could interact with a game scenario.

Advanced National Diploma in IT student Peter Buckby welcomed guests to try out this piece of technology.

Peter said: “In my games development unit I’ve worked on a VR based project where I created a virtual shopping space. The player picks up items, puts them in a zone and gets points. There’s a certain amount of time to select as many items as possible without hitting obstacles on the floor.

“We had a few people stop by to have a go with the game which has been good to show them.”

Film and television students welcomed guests into the main lecture hall where they could watch a documentary based on pollution.

Performing arts and musical theatre students had the spotlight shone on them in a range of stage productions which were held in the college’s Create Theatre. Parents, friends and members of staff were able to take seats in the theatre’s audience as students showed off their acting, choreography, singing and dancing techniques acquired over the past few years.

Pupils from Quarrydale Academy came along to visit the exhibition which remained a showpiece throughout the remainder of the week at the university centre. Those who are considering attending college after their GCSEs were able to have a tour of the creative arts classrooms for inspiration.

Principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley said: “What strikes me this year is the sheer diversity of artwork on display. Our students have been very brave in what they’ve produced and I’ve seen some outstanding and courageous pieces across the creative curriculum. 

“I’ve loved hearing some of the individual stories of students who’ve overcome challenges in and out of college to progress on their course and into a great future.

“Everybody should be very proud of their achievements – teachers included – as they have ensured they’ve gradually moved the students outside of their comfort zones. They’ve encouraged them to expand their creativity and ambitions and it’s been brilliant to see their work.”

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