Creative Focus Week

This week the University of Central Lancashire opens its doors to the public for its Creative Focus Week from the 16th to the 21st June. A week long degree show exhibition of all its creative final year students individual work with courses stretching across a broad spectrum of subjects from Architecture, Media, Design, Fine art, Performance and fashion across the universities Preston campus.

The week features sculpture, design, paintings, sound instillations, animation, film and much more displayed in various studios located in the Hanover, Victoria and Harris buildings and the universities Media Factory. With the Hanover building also exhibiting work by the foundation year art and design students.

The week also features the Creative Focus Awards on Friday 13th June, with one student from each of the creative courses nominated and a student will be chosen from each area to receive the award. Friday the 20th of June will also see the catwalk exhibition of the UCLan Fashion Design students, many of which showcased their collections at this years Graduate Fashion week at London’s Truman Brewery.

The entire week long Creative Focus exhibition (10am-6pm )  is completely free and guided tours are available for businesses, schools and colleges. Staff and students can also be found throughout each building ready to discuss courses and individual work for any visitors wanting any more information. This highly anticipated event is a chance to see many important names of the creative future displaying their final major projects that their whole three academic years have been working up to.

Aimee Green – GFW 2014

 

Amiee Green, 23, from Liverpool, is an upcoming fashion design student from the University of Central Lancashire debuting her collection ‘Dressing Down Dior’ at this years Graduate Fashion Week, held in its new location of East London’s Truman Brewery.

The collection was developed through experimentation with silhouettes and influences from fashion in history. Aimee’s inspiration was everyday casual street style mixed with design aesthetics from Dior’s signature look. The collection also features a strong colour palette and range of prints, all influenced by the American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. Amiee is also using the Gola  Clasic’s, Women’s Spirit Jewel trainers to add the finishing touch to her look, with their classic sport shoe silhouette yet the added opulence of  small gems glittering with any movement.

With many previous students achieving promising careers in fashion after showcasing their collections at the event and the pressure to live up to UCLan’s huge success in 2012, with the fashion design students winning four awards and being shortlisted for seven, Aimee is feeling positive about the experience and feels it is a helpful steppingstone into the fashion industry.

Amiee’s collection ‘Dressed Down Dior’ was recently exhibited at Graduate Fashion Week.

Dennis Hlynsky’s bird paths

I’ve always looked at birds and marveled at how free they are, and how they can fly wherever they can in the world at any given second. Then I look at myself and think, I can do the same… So when I encountered Dennis Hlynsky’s work ‘small brains on mass’, I was incredibly excited, mesmerized and completely fascinated. Dennis Hlynsky, a US-based artist, designer and professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, has an insatiable desire to re-embed technology into the arts. For his recent project, he filmed various birds as they fly, tracing their deeply complex and intricate pathways in the sky like aero-dance choreographies.

He edits his videos so that each creature leaves a trail behind itself, showing where it has been and where it is going. His video clips show the beautiful and intricate labyrinth flight paths of birds. Hlynsky started filming birds with a small video recorder in 2005, recording ions of footage. The process involved stacking frames in sequences, then adding the darkest pixels together. Large flocks of birds become dense black trails, reminding us of paint brush strokes, making us wonder how much we have really learnt and appropriated from nature and animals.

Hlynsky was among the first students at the Rhodes Island School of Design video program, and has been committed to the digital since 1983. His interest in the celebration of technology as a form of art led him to design fireworks celebration for Providence for five year.

watch the video here

Kim Thome

How many times do you look at your reflection daily? The thirty-minute long standing-in-front-of-a-mirror session before going out just to finally convince yourself you have NOTHING TO WEAR, a quick glance at a shop window, to make sure your hair didn’t decide to start living its own life again, reflections seem to be something that just IS and you don’t need to question that, leave alone focusing on their meaning even for a minute. For some people though, mirrors and reflections are something more, a whole new mean of creative expression.  Meet Kim Thome, Norwegian designer, working and living in London.

Kim uses a reflective magic of mirrors to create a new, colourful world of patterns, shapes and colours that mesmerizes its viewer immediately. His artworks are not only interesting to look at; they question the established perception of reality, make the public think while not being pretentious or over the top. Simple and bold, they make a statement and present a coherent designer’s vision.

Apart from showing his installations in galleries (his recent exhibition, Work on Reflection II was held at William Benington Gallery), Kim is also a successful product designer. One of his furniture series, named Reflection Range, investigates the behaviour of reflection by using colours, shapes or mirrors.

To find out more about Kim and all of his latest projects, visit his website. All photographs by Kat Green.

Xenia Moseley

Design and craft has vigorously changed and adapted to the attitudes of the now and for this reason it has seen a current resurgence. Xenia Moseley is a designer/maker trained at Brighton University, who uses British skills and material as a cornerstone of her artistry. Her current project is entitled “Journey Women”, citing its inspiration from the word “Journeyman”. Which literally means an apprentice who moves from one town to another, gaining an experience of different workshops. Considered an original way to learn a trade whilst developing character, experiencing community, life and travelling. Xenia has done just that, travelling down the River Ouse, East Sussex, in search of the traditions that are still being practised today.

It’s all very good embarking on a journey like this a few hundred years, but to start it now, explore and export it through the ways of today, is something else. It is not only poetic to yearn for the handmade but it was once essential.

Xenia’s trip was fruitful, she visited and studied the skills of a wool spinner, cobbler, boat builder, basket weaver and upholster. Thus Xenia was able to create a boat that celebrated the crafts she had learnt and symbolises an on-going journey. Its a manifestation of the materials and craft methods encountered, transformed into a useful object that’s also a metaphor of collaboration and learning that is alternate to our entrenched, modern systems.

Xenia’s trip raises questions about our attachment to the objects that populate our habitats. The manner of buying attractive objects in comparison to making them with our bare hands or knowing who did, makes life today a fountain of choices. Xenia’s work projects a yearning for a milder way of life and a merit on making it yourself.

You can check out Xenia’a Links

www.xeniamoseley.co.uk

www.journeywoman.co.uk

Leon Eckert

Munich born Photographer Leon Eckert is studying design at Goldsmiths College London, a place where thought and intention is exalted over simple cosmetic. At sea on the east coast of Spain one moment, witnessing riots with fire bombers the next, wherever or whatever Leon always has his trusty camera on hand ready to capture. He has travelled through China, worked in advertising production in Barcelona, flown into Tokyo and strolled the harbour of Hong Kong to name but a few; It’s this awareness, an understanding of the culture he has experienced, that permeates the very purpose of his work. Leon believes that every time he puts his finger down to press the shutter, he is advancing his “eye” for imagery, whilst fulfilling his need to document his endeavours.

For one of his enquiries, Leon explored the notion of public transportation, questioning the experience gained in return for the price of a ticket. In this instance a day ticket was purchased, which enables the purchaser to a full 24 hours of transport, yet rarely is this ever fully exploited. Riding 60 different buses continuously over 1460 minutes, Leon nearing exhaustion managed to capture a couple embracing in front of the bus during the latter of his journey. This couples stolen moment of affection suddenly becomes a public event, much like the transport itself.

Leon’s photographs are determinedly direct; a gritty state that comes from examining the root of a situation. They’re hearty intention is tied with a vastness and stillness that becomes vibrant in its celebration. The focus on the events impact over their visual state is beauteous in design and admirable in content. Leon’s work emphasises the relevance of communal experience in the advent of social media living.

 

You can also check out Leon’s Website, Blog and Facebook page at the links below!

http://www.leoneckert.com/

http://leoneckert.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/leoneckertphotographer

Fung Yee Wai

Fung Yee is a recent graduate of Huddersfield University, with a bold passion and flair for Graphic design and paper craft. Her latest pieces are beautiful, intricate paper sculptures that will leave you in awe. Her work is not only clean and crisp, but also well thought out. She is able to communicate strong messages and concepts through her pieces, making them real show stoppers. With a string of awards already under her belt, this young designer is set to hit the ground running and take the design world by storm. I am totally in love with her pieces and I’m sure you will be too. Here’s what she had to say when I caught up with her recently:

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Tell me a little bit about yourself and your work

I am a british born chinese girl with a love for paper-craft. This love started off as a general hobby during my high school days, making some origami cranes. It wasn’t until my final year at University that I took this hobby further and developed it into a refined skill.

Your work has such a clear and distinctive style. Has it been difficult developing this, since you are still a young designer?

Yes, it has been rather difficult discovering this skill and style but with the support and encouragement from my tutor, Mr Brent Hardy-Smith, I managed to really challenge myself and create something new.

What were the inspirations for your latest pieces?

My latest white models are each based on a real event around the world, so you have the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Montreal Jazz Festival, Day of the Dead, Cannes International Film Festival, Oktoberfest and Gion Matsuri (a Japanese summer festival).

Your work is always new, fresh and experimental. What can we expect to see from your next pieces?Will you be trying anything new in the future, or just perfecting your craft?

Haha, good question Katie, it will be a bit of both really. I would like to take on and learn new areas of design to build on my design skills but simultaneously, I would also like to continue crafting. It’s a difficult question to answer but we will see how things go!

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If you want to see more of fung yee’s work then visit her behance portfolio to see more of her stunning designs, and to also get in touch!

Behance: www.behance.net/fungyee

Iossie Ng Lei

Based at the heart of the sunny city, Iossie Ng le is a young and promising graphic designer. Studying at the University of Brighton, she is surrounded by a buzz of creativity and culture. As a visual communicator, Iossie has a pivotal role to play in the world of graphic design, a market where art meets functionality. Iossie not only has flair for editorial design and branding but an affection for illustration and painting. Her dedication to her craft takes her from a foundation at the UCA to an exchange in America this September. This goes some way to achieving her goal of reading reality, being able to represent and actually complete it.

Iossie’s catalogue of work is full of sleek designs and beautiful fonts. Elevating what you might consider informative graphics into clean and imaginative visuals. They are clever as they are witty, with a take on minimalism that has a lot to say for itself. Slick and hardy Iossie’s images radiate the vogue of today’s media. She exploits the language of the public service and information for the purposes of irony. The combination of random dolls and animals create a part fantasy feel, which is diluted by matter-of-fact information. It is this overlapping, building up of images that leads to a slightly off center destination. Keeping a strong emphasis on hierarchy of text, cool layouts, and use of her own tailored imagery. The act of analyzing a daily subject and making it a focus of her study is something that fascinates this young graphic designer. Iossie relies on a subject’s history, texture and symbolism to compose and process new ways of reasoning.

For Iossie’s Links – http://ingleiwork.tumblr.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/76396544@N08/sets/

Lisan Ly

“It could be autumn leaves in a park, reflections in a lake or walking past a skyscraper. I believe beauty can exist anywhere, when you look.” The unmissable Lisan Ly and her global explorations are the foundation for similarly global ambitions. Flying the flag – or should I say flying her scarf designs – proudly in the air for all to see. One would perhaps need an atlas to explain the sources of inspiration behind the beauteous creations of the British born designer. Malaysia and Thailand are a few of the many pins in her map.

Lisan painted a picture for me, describing how ‘temple tiles, vibrant florals and beautiful insects’ played a role in shaping her explosive colour pallete. Chinese and Vietnamese heritage are another ingredient confidently stitched into the surfaces designs of the London College of Communication graduate, who makes reference to England’s Kew Gardens and Japanese kimonos as research points for the delicately balanced designs of her impressive debut October 2012 collection. “I absolutely love travelling and try to see as much of the world as I can. It’s an amazing source of creative inspiration.”

Lisan’s work displays a considerable level of technical excellence, perhaps stemming from previous studies at Kingston University; not in design, but computing. To this day innovative techniques and quality craftsmanship such as (deep breath) hand illustration, computer aided design, screen printing, pattern cutting, laser cutting and embroidery, all contribute to the elegance. Much labour and attention to detail has been woven into the fibres of this ‘wearable art.’ There is certainly much more than meets the eye.

Making reference to two of my favorite words – ‘organized chaos’, Lisan explains how her creations “aim to reflect beauty in the world and embody the simple pleasures in life” and I think she is successful in her intentions. Her luxurious but playful designs breath a level of sophistication that would make a perfect gift for the perfect woman. Lisan has great admiration for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Yohji yamamoto, Elie Saab and the prints of Basso & Brooke, Erdem and Peter Pilotto – but keep your eye on the catwalks, and listen out for the alliterate brand name – ‘Lisan Ly’ that will hopefully one day stand alongside the work of such well-known designers.

Emily May

Emily May’s illustrations are simply lovely and adorable in every way, with a sweet style that suits any kind of commercial brief. Having done work for ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Cath Kidston among many others whilst even helping redesign an entire PDSA shop in Leeds, she’s got an impressively full portfolio for someone who only graduated in 2010 (that’s from Leeds Met with first in Graphic Design).

My favourite pieces of her work have got to be her cat and dog print designs (the dog one you can see on the left here), which are intricate and cute in equal amounts. Her style is mainly based on her detailed line penwork, but she also uses a fair bit of digital colour to add variety and tone, which works very well.

She was also lovely enough to answer some quick questions for me, so here’s a little interview for you:

What part of your career or portfolio so far are you most proud of?
Supporting myself as a Freelance Illustrator for nearly 2 and a half years has been a massive achievement for me. Its a terrifying prospect for any young creative to come out of University and try to make it on their own in the real world. I’m proud of myself for having the guts and determination to stick it through and get to where I am now. In regards to my portfolio, though its pretty awesome seeing my illustrations printed in magazines or on peoples sweatshirts, I think I get more of an overwhelming sense of gratitude when I sell a print in my shop; knowing that a person wants to hang my drawing in their home is the loveliest feeling.


Do you have a dream commission, or do you simply enjoy the act of creating in general?
I don’t know if I have a dream commission really, I just love any work that comes my way where I can put my own creative twist on things. For anybody that has seen my work, its probably quite clear that I’m somewhat obsessed with animals and working for the PDSA was probably the most rewarding project I’ve ever done; so getting commissioned by the RSPCA or WWF would be beyond amazing. I could easily spend all hours of the day drawing kittens, so to avoid this I prefer working to a brief, that way I keep myself challenged.


All your animal drawings, but the cats in particular, have such a great sense of character- but are you a cat or a dog person?
I have 100% belief that my dogs love me more than anybody ever will in the whole entire world, and I also believe that the only reason my cat is rubbing up against my ankles right now is because he wants to be fed. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t live without either and I find them equally as hilarious with buckets of personality – and that’s what makes for a great drawing.


What  does the immediate future hold for you and your work?
I’ve got a few things on my plate right now. I’m currently working on an illustration for Cath Kidston and I’m very excited for when that goes to print, and I’m also working on an animation project which is scary new territory for me but something I’m really enjoying. 


And lastly: what or who is the biggest influence on your life and work?
If I had to choose one person it would be my granddad. I remember from a very young age sitting on his lap whilst he looked at my drawings and showed me how to improve them, I believe I have inherited his perfectionist ways. He worked at Gaumont British Animation as an animator and created the more than beautiful series ‘Animaland’. He is such a skilled illustrator and painter and he’ll forever be my biggest inspiration.

 

LINKS

Website

Etsy Shop

Blog

Twitter

Sylvia Moritz

Sylvia Moritz has never strayed from artistic disciplines, having studied Graphic Communication from an early age at Die Graphische in Vienna. Encouraged by her college tutors to cross borders, the multi-media artist and designer flew the nest at 19 en route to America. Here she discovered a lot about herself and her discipline, studying Illustration in Boston, and partaking in a six-month printmaking course in San Francisco.

On the back of a range of practical and industrial skills acquired from her travels, Sylvia enrolled at the University of the Arts London. In 2012, she found herself back in America on an erasmus exchange programme, this time showing The Big Apple what she was made of, in a six-month intensive at The Parsons New School for Design. She made the most of state of the art facilities, gaining advanced knowledge in branding and packaging design from peers such as Lance Wyman (Mexico ’68) as well as honing her illustrative expertise, mentored by reportage fanatic Veronica Lawlor.

The Austrian is an advocate of both the use of traditional and digital techniques that work hand-in-hand with one another, and such an ideal is conveyed in a lot of her work. Observations of Moritz’s surroundings play a vital role in shaping the direction of her practice. Usually with underlying environmentalist attitudes, her stunning mark-making qualities display a meticulous attention to detail and an enviable dedication to the creative arts. She continues to develop her style and relentlessly pushes herself to improve with every project she participates in. And the hard work has paid off, recently winning a Best of Year award with the D&AD for a project with the V&A.

Sylvia must be congratulated on her immaculate level of craft, her delicately balanced tone and liberating colour combinations. In the main image we capture an insight into her exotic amalgamation of geometric elements that satisfy the eye hypnotically – a feat of technical excellence comparable to that of the late and respected Escher. One can only hope that Sylvia continues to lead us on inspiring journeys through her labyrinthian creations. I have full confidence that she will.

 

 

 

Sarah Kilkenny Design

It’s often the case that creative types draw a lot from their childhood, after all we are each one of us products of our upbringing. It was natural then for Sarah Kilkenny to make the move from embroidering with her grandmother in Manchester to studying fashion design full time at the Edinburgh College of Art. Following a slew of fashion opportunities in sixth form, including the Fashion Awareness Directive and the Vauxhall Fashion Scout programme, the latter of which granted Sarah the research award, the young designer gathered enough confidence and experience to continue her passion into higher education. She is now entering her fourth and final year of study.

Often cited as the fashion capital of the North, Manchester plays host to a number of creatives, many of whom have been featured as part of the ‘Born in Britain’ project. Between the experience her home town has leant her, and those which she has learnt in Edinburgh, Sarah’s style is one that is comfortable and cool. Growing up around many artistic influences has allowed her to broaden her own repertoire and she cites illustration and writing as areas of interest to be explored, as well as photography, film, and design and the impact and relationship they share with fashion design. As well as this, the designer talks about the merging of fashion and academia as a growing trend, alluding to Anja Aronowsky Cronberg and her work at Vestoj, and with such a multifaceted nature to her work, Sarah imbues creation with meaning, drive, and interest.

Currently, her work is largely fashion design with a focus on surfaces. Studying at the ECA has lead to an endless number of awesome opportunities, including the chance to work with high-end designers Duchamp and Michael Kors, both of whom selected Sarah as a finalist in their design competitions. The accolades don’t stop there, either, she also made it to the finals of the British Alpaca Society Student Knitwear Designer of the Year Competition and the Mackintosh Competition, narrowly missing out on the top spots. The latter two competitions were of great importance to Sarah because of their positions as forerunners in a long line of British heritage brands, which, alongside Gola, support and sustain the tradition and economy of Great Britain. That’s why, when a young Scottish brand announced her as winner of their design competition, she was so enthusiastic to see her designs realised. That’s all under wraps for now, but watch this space.

Inspiration comes from many areas, but Sarah stresses that they are mainly visual ones. Feelings and characters play into her ‘imaginary muse’, but the main theme is a focus on perception through vision. Work with other creatives is also impactive, and she describes working on a collaborative sketchbook project that involved sharing visual illustration ideas and building upon them as a group of artists.

This summer, Sarah has embarked on an internship with another heritage brand, Pringle of Scotland. Living and working in London, Sarah tells me that she will be ‘assisting with all areas within the design team, knitwear and wovens but predominantly knitwear as this is where I have been specialising this year. Also research, colour palettes, fittings and working with the lookbook shoot’. The formal part of her training begins here, but she is no stranger to the hard-faced world of the fashion industry, and has previously worked with clients such as Chanel on their 2013 Metier D’Arts show in Edinburgh.

Sarah admits that the future is anyone’s guess. She’d like to do an MA in Womenswear, but with such an extensive and impressive CV already, the sky really is the limit for this impressive young designer.

Top Photo: Coat, Sarah Kilkenny; Hat, Emma Lawrie; Top, Catrina Murphy; Trousers, Birgit Saviauk. Model: Marju Kaps.

Sarah may be contacted at: sarahkilkenny91@gmail.com

sarah-kilkenny.tumblr.com