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News Art and design talent on show in virtual exhibition

Student creators and makers are inviting the public to view their work in an online exhibition

Claire Edwards' collection nods to environmental issues affecting the ocean.
Image: Claire Edwards' collection nods to environmental issues affecting the ocean.

My aim is to evoke emotion, for people to see the beauty that we have on our earth, to learn and understand how to protect it before it's gone forever

Claire Edwards, MA Surface Pattern Design

Hundreds of visitors usually attend the annual Art and Design Degree Show at Staffordshire University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus but this year friends, family, employers and the public can enjoy the showcase from the comfort of their own homes.

The online DigitalGradEX20 exhibition features final year projects from more than 450 students and features a range of creative degrees including Fine Art, Cartoon and Comic Arts and Animation. 

Surface Pattern Design student Claire Edwards is an award-winning hand embroiderer who went onto do a master’s after completing her undergraduate degree.

Her striking collection ALCYONEUM OCEANUS combines unconventional materials such as concrete, resin and recycled plastics with delicate embroidery. Much of the work gives a nod towards environmental issues affecting the ocean.

Claire won two first place prizes for her work in the Bradford Textiles Competition this year and her piece Devastated Coral, which features in GradEX, was awarded in the LAPA charitable trust category for a hand embroidered design.

She explained: “The inspiration for my latest collection is inspired by coral reefs and the damage being caused to them through pollution and climate change. My aim is to evoke emotion, for people to see the beauty that we have on our earth, to learn and understand how to protect it before it's gone forever.”

The 48-year-old, from Wem in Shropshire, now hopes to set up a business with her daughter through Staffordshire University’s Be Inspired scheme to develop resin art products with a twist.

The online exhibition also features the work of students from Computing, Digital Technologies, Engineering, Policing and Science courses.

Discover more in this video from Photojournalism student Nom Ncube, who talks us through GradEX and presents this year’s exhibition on behalf of the photojournalism 2020 graduating cohort.

Browse all student projects at

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