“How work-ready and talented students are at the University of Central Lancashire”.  Our Creative Director Bev said, when she returned from judging this year’s DS16 Awards, which celebrates the talent being showcased at the 2016 Degree Shows.

It’s always difficult taking time out of the studio.  We are so busy all of the time.  However as a Board member of Creative Lancashire, Bev was delighted to stand-in for Chairman Charles Hadcock.

The judging day on 2nd June started bright and early, in order to get around the 33 students whose work had been shortlisted by the course tutors.  Every discipline was represented – Architecture, Foundation, Fine Art, Illustration, Interiors, Product Design, Fashion Promotion and Design, Textiles, Web Design, Media Production, Games Design, Screen Writing, Film, Photography, Dance Performance, Acting and Music.

Bev said “The standard of shortlisted projects was amazing, they could all walk into employment now”.

UCLan had prepared each of the judges with detailed notes about each student’s work, why they were selected and why the tutor felt the nominee deserved to win the DS16 Award.  At times it was really difficult to choose an outright winner from those shortlisted.  They were all fantastic!

Some of the ‘stand-out’ students for Bev, and her fellow judges, have been showcased in our images below.  Ben Hunter’s ‘Secret Room’ was so secret that the judges had to ask for help to find it!  A full-time painter and decorator studying the Foundation Level Entry (Interior Design), Ben had designed a room within a room.  Ben’s really innovative piece looks at space in a creative way.  The judges thought his piece was ambitious, complex in construction and had many applications.  Check out Ben’s ‘secret room’ below.

 

We loved Kerry Tenbey’s ‘Loving Hands’.  They were so realistic and the experimental approach and knowledge she has gained in fine art casting techniques will stand her in good stead for the future. If we could have offered a highly commended, we would have.

 

The Fine Art category was so diverse and as such very difficult to pick a winner, however Tina Dempsey really stood out.  The variety of techniques from intuitive mark-making, sculptural collage work to large scale drawings was so diverse.  Her tutors said Tina made the most of the campus facilities and her work certainly demonstrated this.

 

The tutors said the 2D Design category was difficult to judge as there was such a broad range of work.  The two shortlisted students – Amy Shankster – BA (Hons) Illustration and Neil Bennison – BA (Hons) Graphic Design were the two finally shortlisted.  Choosing between the two was tough!  We loved Amy’s drawing style and her student cook book was simply beautiful.  The judges gave the award to Neil as he had gone far beyond the discipline of graphic design and animated his final piece.  For all those old enough to remember Letraset, check out Neil’s video:

 

In the 3D Design category only two students were shortlisted – Wanjun Zhang and Freddie Vernon.  Both students had tackled their briefs in very innovative ways, however the judges felt that Wanjun’s re-purposing of the Greenwich Gas Holder was an imaginative way of how you can inhabit disused or derelict spaces.

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Of the six students shortlisted in Fashion (Promotion) and Fashion (Textiles/Design) the judges selected two students who they felt could walk into industry right now.  The standard of work produced by Isabelle Jordan on her ‘Venture’ project was stunning.  Starting with research about how consumers leading stressful lives want to escape the hustle and bustle, she cleverly fused the Farrow and Ball Brand and National Trust brands.  Her idea was to offer an ‘off-the-grid’ rural escape to satisfy the desire of discerning luxury-led consumers with a unique retreat option.  Check out her extremely polished showcase which is so well thought out and ready for market.  We hope #FarrowandBall and #NationalTrust read this post and snap up Isabelle!

 

The stand-out student from the Media (Tech) category was William Butterworth.  Wow, what a talented guy!  Will’s personal journey has been reflected in his work.  Will’s idea for customising prosthetic limbs with art and technology is superb!  His passion for drawing shines through; he has taken this analogue skill and transposed it into his detailed and realistic interactive game designs.  Will is certainly one to watch for the future.

 

We know that not all of the students have had a mention, however if you would like to see all of the winners go to the UCLan website.

Bev really enjoyed judging the work and looks forward to seeing next year’s cohort.

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