Regeneration runs through it

Matt McCafferty

Clay and mud sourced from regeneration sites around North Staffordshire is to feature in Staffordshire University’s Arts Media and Design degree show which opens on Friday June 6.

BA (Hons) Fine Art student Kate Lynch has used the material to colour wash the gallery walls for her final year work Painted History which also touches on the recurring colours and pattern of wallpaper and paintwork seen on the exposed interiors of derelict homes.

Kate, who also exhibited as part of the recent Axis festival, said: “The use of natural colour also highlights the aesthetic value of the gallery walls which undergoes a constant process of renewal and concealment.”

Regeneration is an underlying theme for a number of artists who will be exhibiting their final year work as part of the degree show. Matt McCafferty, 23, of Tunstall has produced a series of oil paintings which looks at Stoke-on-Trent’s post-industrial present.

He said: “I’ve focused on the North Staffs Hospital site which is in a state of flux and the maternity block which is something of a monolith and due to be demolished. The painting has glorified it and changed its context as a building.”

Another of the students, Elizabeth Norman, uses sound recordings to tell the story of Bothomes Hall near Buxton which was compulsory purchased for a road building scheme that was never completed.

Elizabeth, whose installation features an interview with the Hall’s former occupant, also reveals a fascination for old buildings, peeling paint and layers of wallpaper.

She added: “I feel as though there are so many secrets and stories hidden in these walls and every mark or scratch in the wall gives a little more of the story away.”

Fine Art tutor Stephen Boyd said: “We’re delighted with the way that the show has taken shape. There’s a natural flow which collectively makes for a very strong body of work.”

Other exhibiting artists include:

 Joanne Moston who has sculpted alpine landscapes out of the common cardboard box which, by itself, is representative of everyday drudgery.

Jemma Clayton, a fine art photographer, who creates interest by deliberately obscuring large sections of her large-scale landscapes.

Andrew Sexton’s video installations deal with the artist’s own experience of Turretts and also with the obsession he has with television static.

Holly Burgess uses Disney-style animation to raise awareness about animal suffering and exploitation.

Joseph Booker who creates illustrations inspired by snippets of conversation he hears in public  and accompanies each with a sculpture made from scraps of paper and wire.  

The annual degree show features the work of over 350 final year students from a diverse suite of awards including fine art, photography, ceramics, animation, graphics, product design, surface pattern and media production.  It is open to the public daily from June 7-14 at Staffordshire University’s Stoke campus in College Road.


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