Class of 2023 - Ones to Watch from Arts University Plymouth’s 2023 Summer Shows
From cutting-edge fashion design and innovative material practices to timeless costume production and otherworldly concept art, creative graduates are showcasing the culmination of their work at Arts University Plymouth in the Summer Shows 2023.
Arts University Plymouth won Silver in the Small or Specialist Institution category of the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, the only annual awards for UK universities based entirely on student reviews, improving on its 2022 average student review score, when Arts University Plymouth won Gold. Arts University Plymouth was also voted by students as the top arts university in the UK for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2022. With limited places still available on courses starting in Autumn 2023, Clearing this year opens on Wednesday 5 July.
In no particular order, here’s a roundup of some of the standout graduates to look out for at the Summer Shows 2023 and beyond. For more information on this year’s graduates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BA (Hons) Fashion Design
20-year-old Molly Adlington is a fashion design graduate specialising in print and textiles, with a colourful, girly style. Bringing the fun back into fashion with bright, bold prints and colours, Molly creates eye-catching and joyful garments and outfits.
Molly’s final collection centres on making unique textiles, including a layered, quilted fabric, as well as print and knit using a punch card to create a pattern, emphasising on all the small details that bring a garment together. Using scraps of fabric from her own work and from fabric stores, Molly includes sustainability in her project with her quilted fabric. Inspired by minimalism, Molly’s final collection emphasises childish, cutesy and ultra feminine styles, shown through colour and silhouettes such as the classic babydoll shape and empire waist.
During Graduate Fashion Week 2023, Molly had her collection featured as part of the Talent of Tomorrow campaign, as well as being shortlisted for the Childrenswear award. Molly was included in Draper’s picks from Graduate Fashion Week 2023.
BA (Hons) Fashion Communication
Harry Langford is a 21-year-old fashion assistant and stylist, whose practice is underpinned by practical research and art-focussed narratives. Shape and form are at the forefront of his visual identity, informed by architectural and sculptural motifs, and how these influence both imagery and culture. Harry likes to push the boundaries of visual communication in his work, with his final major project examining unique ways to style garments, exploring how clothing can convey a story and how the human body can be used to enhance the narrative.
During his studies, Harry has assisted stylists such as Robbie Spencer, Beat Bolliger and Nathan Henry, as well as styling shoots for the likes of Design Scene and Glamcult. Harry won the Styling & Creative Direction Award at the inaugural ?syllabus awards earlier this year, impressing the judges with his ‘amazing styling and creative direction’ for Vans, the world-leading skateboarding shoes manufacturer and brand. At this year’s Graduate Fashion Week, Harry was selected to have his portfolio reviewed by INDITEX, the multinational clothing company responsible for household name clothing brands such as Zara, Bershka and Pull&Bear.
BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices
21-year-old Tyrone Vera’s work responds to the act of playing, interpreted through a variety of materials such as rubber, foam, jesmonite and fabric. His final major projects at Arts University Plymouth, ‘Play + Work = Plork’ and ‘A Playful Landscape’, were inspired by responses to the senses of sight, touch, smell and sound. Tyrone invites the audience to interact with the forms in ‘Plork’ by stacking and connecting using a variety of methods from magnets to velcro. His work is about the sensory experience when engaged in the act of play.
Originally from Gibraltar, Tyrone moved to the UK to study. He has created a series of large scale inflatable building blocks for ‘A Playful Landscape’. Inspired by buildings found in Plymouth’s city centre, through a series of abstraction and translation into ripstop fabric, these rigid forms have been softened so that they possess child-like distortions of geometry with similarities to Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures.
Tyrone’s eye-catching work has already been featured by Dezeen, Aesthetica and a-n, as well as being selected as one of the Director's Picks at New Designers 2023.
BA (Hons) Illustration
Lucy Hartman is an illustrator based in Devon who creates detailed artwork that is inspired by her passion for nature, specifically birds. Lucy spends most of her time painting and exploring new traditional techniques such as Riso printing, ink and watercolour.
Lucy’s motivation is found within limited colour palettes, patterns and detailed textures, and she is currently creating a series of non-fiction picture books, educating readers about Devonshire birds, ornithology and the importance of rewilding.
Earlier this year, Lucy took part in a Green Minds project, supporting National Trust property, Saltram House, to create a range of displays to educate visitors about the benefits of helping nature. Lucy used her keen interest in ornithology to create bird illustrations for physical display boards around the country house grounds.
BA (Hons) Digital Media Production
Eleanor Isaac is a video editor and visual artist based in Plymouth. Eleanor joined the BA (Hons) Digital Media Production course after studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design: Film, Animation and Media Production at Arts University Plymouth. Her lifelong love of technology has led her to create exciting visual art and to collaborate with creatives from various disciplines in formats such as music videos, short films, documentaries and promotional shorts for social media. Eleanor has experience in broadcast and news media, interning with ITV as a junior camera operator and broadcast editor.
Her personal practice explores the human themes of memory and nostalgia, through the lens of obsolete technology such as camcorders and film with psychedelic imagery and textures. Her final major project, a music video titled ‘Morality’, found her in collaboration with her coursemates, where Eleanor worked as a Director of Photography and Editor. She also edited 'Alison and Thalia', and has been selected for the Film & Screen Arts Best Post Production Award 2023, winning a placement at Twofour, Plymouth.
Morality BTS - Eleanor Isaac, Willow Whatley, Radina Dimitrova - photo by Faith Mackenzie
BA (Hons) Film
23-year-old Willow Whatley is an experienced filmmaker who has worked in a multitude of roles, from set designer to producer. Also a qualified make-up artist, Willow is attentive to detail and enjoys collaborating with others on film projects.
Willow has worked on a number of films this year and is intending to set up a film production company with her BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts peers after graduating. Willow worked with her coursemates on the music video ‘Morality’, acting as Producer and Director of Photography. She was Producer on 'Magic', 'More Than Friends' and 'Cornubia', as well as writing, directing and producing her own short film 'Alison and Thalia'. She has been selected for the Film & Screen Arts Audience Choice Award 2023 and her short film will be screened at Chagford Film Festival 2023.
BA (Hons) Costume Production
Teryl McCarthy-Reid is a costume maker and interpreter who translates two-dimensional designs into 3D functional costumes. Her passions lie in fabric manipulation and decoration, taking inspiration from designers such as Catherine Martin and Bob Mackie. With a background in dance and musical theatre, Teryl intends to work in costume for film and television.
Teryl’s final major project is centred around the Vamps sketches from ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’, which were infamous for bringing historical women to life in a sultry yet comical setting. Teryl has interpreted the redesign of Cher’s Empress Josephine costume. Using beads, gems and motifs to create an ‘over the top’ narrative to the design, she also created appliques and worked with fun to create a costume fit for both an Empress and a pop culture icon.
BA (Hons) Animation
Hel Bone is a 28-year-old animator and character designer graduate with a strong passion for telling stories that reflect the queer experience through the medium of animation, especially using monsters and animals as allegories for such topics. Inspired by the likes of Lorne Lanning, Felix Colgrave and Tomm Moore, Hel’s final major project at Arts University Plymouth showcases their skills as a character animator.
Since 2021, Hel and their partner Maxine have been working on an animated show concept under the name of Wannabe Bounty Hunter. Their final major project acts as a showreel for proof of concept, developing a pitch bible to approach larger animation studios to see the project fully realised.
BA (Hons) Commercial Photography
Katy Johnson is a 22-year-old wedding, family, portraiture, interior and pet photographer. Living on a farm in a remote village in Devon, Katy had a fascination with capturing and reminiscing on her life memories, which fuels her interest in photography and helping to capture the memories of others.
In 2021, Katy won an IPA 2021 Honourable Mention in the International Photography Awards in the category of Editorial/Press - Environment’ for her image ‘The farmer, the tractor and his land’, which was selected out of over 13,000 entries from 120 different countries worldwide.
BA (Hons) Fine Art
Richie Johnson is a visual artist whose work is involved in the creation of alien worlds. At the core of his practice is an attempt to understand our uncanny relationships with objects, particularly the chair. Taking influence from chrome-coated sci-fi worlds, mediaeval weapons, crop circles, and biomorphic forms, the chair is transformed through dream-like processes, becoming a strange, living creature.
Richie’s current work, ‘The Host’, imagines a fictional parasitic fungus that is armed with the ability to infect and transform the chairs inhabiting its undiscovered world. Through these fictional processes, the chair’s creatureness, its capacity for life, is expanded, alongside the entities that exist in its orbit. The harsh spike plains and misted rock hills of The Planet are home to these specimens, their grotesque life cycles brought into existence through sculpture, drawing and sound.
BA (Hons) Game Arts
Nathan Hardy is a concept artist for video games who specialises in using creative and detailed design theories to visually bring concepts to life. His passion for designing the foundation of ideas allows his viewers to take a visual journey, introducing them to vast worlds filled with atmosphere and narrative.
As an environment concept artist at heart, Nathan gathers information, collects images, watches videos and discusses the basis of his ideas with other creatives. Next, Nathan sketches, laying the foundation for the artwork, implementing essential characteristics and composition. Values and colours are added to help the environment express character and emotion, before developing the ideas into endless possibilities for locations for the player to explore.
BA (Hons) Interior Design & Styling
Molly Wood is passionate about textiles, graphic design, interior design and styling as well as photography and interior journalism. Throughout her degree, Molly has immersed herself in every opportunity, working on design for hospitality, retail design, graphic design, styling, photography and a plethora of textile techniques such as screen printing and dyeing.
For her final major project, Molly created a concept design scheme for a library and co-working space called ‘Collab’, in the beautiful St Luke’s Church building in Plymouth’s city centre. With prominent themes of biophilic and human-centric design, ‘Collab’ aims to encourage mental and physical wellbeing, providing a range of working spaces to meet everybody’s individual preferences.
BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking
Cate Rogers’ practice is focused around her interest in colour, line and rhythm that flows from their interaction. Creating vibrant abstractions on wooden panels and paper is her response to the chaotic, disordered events of everyday life. By adopting techniques that include precision, order and repetition, this facilitates a meditative state of flow both in herself and the viewer.
Inspired by the likes of Agnes Martin and Bridget Riley, Cate creates intersecting lines to form a grid, providing a framework for her paintings. Nature and her countryside continue to influence her paintings. The changing hues, tints and shades of the land together with hedgerows and trees are observed through the seasons and broken down into simplistic marks to represent the experience of being present in that moment.
Cate’s work has been shortlisted for prestigious art competitions such as the Freelands Painting Prize and has been featured in exhibitions across the South West as well as at Alfred University, New York.
BA (Hons) Photography
Megan Selway, aged 20, is a photographer living between Somerset and Plymouth. First developing her love for photography at the age of 13, Megan travelled around Somerset, where she captured wildlife, landscape and architectural images. With a focus on documentary photography, she seeks a deep dialogue between herself, the audience and the photography. Her current body of work is a series of documentary images, focusing on self-healing from childhood trauma that continues to play on her mind. Her work relates to emotions that an audience can connect with personally, feeling a sense of safety through the images.
Megan’s final major project at Arts University Plymouth, ‘The Way Starlings Move’, is a visual exploration of her emotions as she delves into themes of grief. The work surrounds the loss of her father at age 9, who never contacted her again, and works through the years of felt absence, addressing her grief and allowing her to move forward with a deeper resolution and sense of healing.
Foundation Diploma in Art & Design
22-year-old Dino Squara is a multidisciplinary artist, working with mediums including acting, painting and drawing. His painting moves between abstract expressionism pieces that take the form of murals and large scale canvases, figurative pastel pieces and oil paintings. His large-scale abstract work has been inspired by ‘sonder’, the realisation that each stranger we meet has their own life, as complex as our own, and we will never know it. Most recently, Dino completed a mural inspired by sonder outside of Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard.
Having grown up in Plymouth, Dino will move to London this September to study European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College.