Tate Christmas cards by Arts University Plymouth graduates
For the third year running, three graduates from Arts University Plymouth were selected to join forces with Tate for Christmas, as part of the annual Tate Christmas card commission and competition.
BA (Hons) Illustration graduate Eleanor Andrews, BA (Hons) Textiles graduate Faye Bentley, and BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate Stella Olivier were selected from an open call to all undergraduate and postgraduate Arts University Plymouth students that saw over 120 entries submitted.
The three final designs selected are now on sale through Tate for Christmas 2022. The students whose designs were chosen are paid royalties for the sales of their Christmas cards and get to name Tate as a client when they’re pitching for future work, which will be invaluable for opening doors throughout their careers.
Eleanor Andrews’ ‘Christmas Time Mischief’ designs, Faye Bentley’s ‘Have a Holly Jolly Christmas’ designs, and Stella Olivier’s ‘Coniferous Forest’ designs are all now on sale at Tate galleries and shops across the UK, as well as online.
Eleanor Andrews said: “Having my design selected by Tate was a great opportunity and really helped me understand how I can create work that can be printed and sold. It also allowed me to explore a slightly different subject matter and avenue to my usual practice of drawing fantasy based artwork, such as mythical creatures. I expanded my use of colour and media during the creation of the design, pushing myself out of my comfort zone by using brighter colours outside of my usually muted colour palette.
'Christmas Time Mischief Fox' by Eleanor Andrews
“As a graduate I plan to carry on exploring the different possibilities of my work. Not only with the content but the final physical outcomes. I would also like to work on more commercial printable pieces, such as a set of book covers to further my knowledge in publishing."
This is the second time that Plymouth-based Italian-German visual artist Stella Olivier has won a Christmas card commission from Tate, after her ‘All that they could pick up on their screens was snow’ was put into production in 2020.
Stella said: “Receiving the opportunity to collaborate with such a renowned Institution feels surreal. I am so honoured and grateful. As a student I submitted Christmas designs to Tate every year and in hindsight, I am so appreciative that amongst the still-lifes and "traditionally festive" inspired designs I submitted, two landscapes were selected. The works show different stages of an ongoing research on the digital gaze and both originate from photographs I took while visiting home in the Venetian Prealps. So I also got to showcase and celebrate my heritage, in a glitchy and digitised format, but still!
“It feels immensely validating to have your work selected. I have been applying to art competitions since I was 16 and although 99.99% of it is getting rejected, this should not take away the joy you have in making art or influence you to think that your work is good or bad based on whether it was chosen or not. I have met so many immensely talented creatives at Arts University Plymouth and can’t wait to see what incredible work will come out of this collaboration in the future!”
'Coniferous Forest' by Stella Olivier
Faye Bentley said: “I never expected to be shortlisted, let alone picked as one of the designs to be put into production by Tate! By designing my card using collage, a process that I often use when coming up with ideas for my tufted pieces, it has given me confidence and belief to take my work in new directions.
“I’m going to continue creating collages of stacked shapes in vibrant shades. Having recently added a tufting gun to my textile kit, I intend to take my newly designed artworks and recreate them in woollen surfaces. With tufted accessories and small interior pieces in the making, I plan to launch a mini collection of unique tactile items, using leftover yarns and materials from my previous projects.”
Last year, cards put into production by Arts University Plymouth graduates included two designs by Gabe Monteiro (‘Ugh’ and ‘Paper Mistletoe’) two designs by Tianna Barnes (‘Cat Christmas’ and ‘Snowball Fight’) plus designs by Honor Jackson (‘Sheila Santa’), Milly Iris (‘Tis the Season’), Georgia Smelt (‘Beary Christmas’) and Savannah Dale (‘The Joy of Winter’).
Mel Brown, Principal Lecturer and Assistant Dean at Arts University Plymouth, said: “Once again, I’m thrilled for the students who were chosen this year. It's always a pleasure joining the Tate team to shortlist the designs. They have such a clear understanding of their customers and it's great to see where our students' work aligns with their vision.”
A representative from Tate said: ‘We are delighted to have worked with Arts University Plymouth for a third year, and were really pleased with the standard of the entries. Tate’s Christmas cards are really popular and we love being able to offer our customers new designs each year, whilst also giving students an opportunity to have their work published.”
'Have a Holly Jolly Christmas' by Faye Bentley