Fine Artists Show and Tell at annual exhibition

"The basic question of 'what is news?' drives my work. The frequent juxtaposition of the serious and the banal interests me."

Keri Jayne, BA (Hons) Fine Art

Fake news, fidget spinners, and forgotten artefacts have inspired fine art exhibits at Staffordshire University's annual Art and Design degree show.

Show and Tell 2017, which opens on Friday 2 June, celebrates the work of more than 300 Art and Design students from 20 courses including photography, crafts, graphics, animation and surface pattern.

In the Fine Art gallery space, 148 framed line-drawings cover the walls. The pictures illustrate news stories from the front pages of national newspapers, Twitter and Facebook feeds. The work of student Keri Jayne explores how information is consumed, calling into question the validity of news in a digital world.

She explained: “The basic question of 'what is news?' drives my work. The frequent juxtaposition of the serious and the banal interests me. On social media you now get a mix of personal news feed with international news, again frequently creating a clash.

“The stories I used are all from April 1st when legitimate news reports sit alongside deliberately fake stories but this is something that we now face on a daily basis. It's becoming more and more difficult to know what's real and what's not.”

Lauren Robinson's installation explores her ongoing battle with anxiety through a series of films, which play out simultaneously on 14 television screens.

In the videos she interacts with items intentionally made for stress relief including fidget spinners, cubes and worry rings. In others she turns lights switches on and off, clicks pens and pops bubble wrap.

“The objects in the videos are personal to me and what I find comforting. Since the videos are on a loop, there's something quite interesting and frustrating about it never-ending.” she explained.
Joe Berrisford's exhibit celebrates the industrial age, incorporating redundant machinery and artefacts collected from antiques shops.

The work draws on the Vanitas art movement, which traditionally uses symbolic items like skulls and candles to evoke emotion in the audience, and features air raid sirens, a Singer sewing machine and a vintage box camera.

Trained in electronics, joinery and upholstery, Joe works as a chef alongside his studies and has a love of the practical. He said: “I often feel like I was born in the wrong age! With advances in technology, there's less need for mechanical items like these and for the skilled workers to use them. I wanted to honour that heritage and show these items the respect they still deserve.”

Show and Tell is open to the public from 3 – 10 June at Staffordshire University's College Rd site, ST4 2DE. Find the full list of opening times here.