I visited the MMU Degree Show - 'Alwaysallwaysland' being slightly biased.,.I mainly looked at just the illustration stuff. I didn't have a whole lot of time to get round the whole show (5 floors and another building) but did get plenty of photos.
See MMU has a special place in my heart for me as I studied Illustration with Animation there when I was a student. This degree really helped me hone my love for all things illustration and really taught me to think creatively outside the box. It also was a time when I wore skin tight white skinny jeans, guy liner and had a FRINGE. Yes people, that happened, a fringe. I'd put a photo up but I looked like the boy from The Grudge meets Russell Brand.
First things first, the MMU buildings are SPECTACULAR . These kids don't know how good they sodding have it. When I was there, for computer related tasks we had a computer room or a guy with trolley of old laptops he'd whip out for inductions. Now, they have huge screened Apple Macs lining the walls. All across the walls. Also, all the courses are on top of each other. There are 5 floors all with stairs down the middle and sides that inter connect each studio with one another. The kids in illustration can see the guys in art direction, there's a roof top terrace, a new café and POSH TOILETS.
Being an ex-student I was really excited to take a look around, so I slung my rucksack over my shoulder and walked in all like:
Image Credit: Quick Meme
Illustration with Animation did NOT disappoint, neither did Graphic Design. I got a wander round Fashion and quick perv at textiles. Take a look at the list below and make sure to follow these talented kids on all social media because they are very, very talented folks:
- CLICK EACH STUDENT TO GO TO THEIR SITE/BLOG.
1 - MATTHEW SCOTT - BA GRAPHIC DESIGN
'The sky lantern letters you see before you have been positioned in a way that you can only view the words from certain positions around the space. Each position is marked with a [+] on the floor. The phrase is a simple one, 'You Are Here', which reminds us that in order to truly enjoy the now we must actually live in the now and be truly present where and when we can' - Matthew Scott/ YOU ARE HERE
Matthew's paper lanterns are not done much justice on these photos. In 3D, in the space, they looked stunning. He'd also taken great time in placing [+] symbols around the studio floor at different angles. It was fun and when I went loads of people were following the symbols. We all know I love a bit of interactivity *cough* Map My Heart *cough*
2 - ABI WOODHOUSE - (BA ILLUSTRATION WITH ANIMATION)
Abi's prints were some of the first ones I saw when I entered the Illustration space. I love the face of her figure, she really reminds me of one of my illustration inspirations, Daisy De Villeneuve. Daisy inspired me like how Cher inspires me to wear fishnets with a leather jacket on a Friday night. I can see Abi going far, her work is very commercial and could easily work on book covers or editorial. Her patterns need to be on jumpers or wallpaper. I vote BOTH.
Ellie's work caught my eye straight away. It was along a wall of loads of different prints but I've got to say hers really stood out to me. She had 4 prints up all centred on street harassment, each using illustrated type spelling out some gross comment some prick has said at some point. I couldn't take my eyes off these, I was there for 20 minutes reading them and then I went back again and again. This girl got talent, she made me (and plenty of others on the day) stop, look and THINK.
4. NATALIE IZQUIERDO - COLLINS (BA ILLUSTRATION WITH ANIMATION)
I'm really gutted that I can't find Natalie anywhere on the web. There's some blog write ups about her but I can't find any site/blog/linked in on her. I loved this print of different sewing equipment, just like Abi, I can see Natalie's illustration work commercially in print and editorial!
I used to be one of those people that would go to degree shows and get really into it and take a ton of free postcards. C'mon we've all done it right?! You get home and you frame some and feel like you're super arty. However 3 degree shows later, I understand the cost of these postcards. This time round I took like 3, as I know when you exhibit you really want that big top London agent to take one and not some lad in denim shorts and a pink check shirt... However with Chloe Smart's horned satanic seductress I totally took a freebie. This illustration is so dark yet beautiful. Smart says she explores 'two contrasting concepts of printed textiles for women and illustration on 'Modern Surrealism'' thus creating a blurred line that questions what is illustration and what is surface pattern design... Whatever she is doing, keep doing it. I can't wait to see more from this talented babe!
I got about 10 mins in BA FASHION, which looked striking. The clothes were all hung on rails suspended from the ceiling with the designers' name printed onto swing tickets hanging from the garments. A video was projected onto the wall of the catwalk show. Loved it. You know what I love more though? An embellished, leather look, floral/tiki style biker jacket. It's like Natalie made this knowing I'd been dreaming of it. She has no site or twitter or instagram that I can find, but if she reads this, link me up love...
Now I actually know Fran personally, I work with her. And aside from having a fantastic piece at the degree show, the little sausage kept quiet that she'd been awarded the prestigious Ian McIntyre Alumni Award! Now, if I had won that award, I'd be announcing it via megaphone on top of a huge truck with my face painted on it cruising down the streets of Manchester. I'd maybe include some dancers too with some choreography. Just saying...
Fran's piece was titled 'The Bookless Future' and it I can see how it won. It's a piece that is current to now and also has a fantastic twist at the end. My photo does not do this piece justice and I'm gutted I didn't get time to get a full panoramic of the space. TBF is a piece told from the future, it's a reflection on how analog books (them ones with pages) are no longer available and very special collectors items and that the digital books have completely taken over. The whole 'story' is told through a timeline uniting a lot of different symbols, type and logos. I don't want to spoil it as I really hope Fran gets the chance to exhibit it in her own show one day for everyone to see as it truly is special.
Head to her site to find out more about the piece and the other work she has put together. She's right lovely.
Did you go to the degree show? Thinks anything I missed or should take a look at? Then hit me up in the comments!