Image by Ivana Thomas.
This year the New Blood graduate talent show eschewed the lofty halls of Free Range at the Truman Brewery and relocated to a cramped custom built exhibition space in Spitalfields Market. I popped down to do a bit of talent spotting on the night the awards winners were announced so it was immensely busy, making it hard enough for the average punter to get around and doubly so for me since I had brought Snarfle in his pram. As usual this was a huge show so I have left out the work by colleges whose stand alone exhibitions I visited at a later date but this still leaves me with a huge amount to share… and it’s taking me forever to get these blogs online (Snarfle, again). It also takes ages to get everything together but I think it’s really important to include as much information about the designers and illustrators as possible, so that any prospective employers can track them down should they want to.
Because illustration and graphic design are becoming ever more entwined I’ve decided to blog about them together. Here we go….
The crafting influence on graphic design continues apace at this year’s shows: at Edinburgh Napier University graphic designer Melissa Preston embroidered Money Can’t Buy Me Love and other slogans on cotton.
Beautiful typography on old fashioned packaging by Alex Johnson.
There was some very promising artwork on display at Bath Spa University so I was very sad to see that I missed their stand alone show at the Rochelle School. Eliot Wyatt asked whether gangs are defined by what they do or the way they look? Delightful illustrations in very fashionable slightly off neon colours (the risograph influence).
Tess Redburn‘s colourful lithographic print also caught my eye.
I liked expressionistic portraits by Melissa Leiva at the American Intercontinental University.
More 3D paper cutting on a poster at Nottingham Trent by Ruth Wood.
Sussex Coast College Hastings showcased typographic interpretations of bird sounds by Maddy Crampton.
The Waitress by Kirsty Turpie at University of Dundee was a worthy winner of a Best New Blood award.
Megan Elizabeth Taylor painted these intriguing figures at Glasgow School of Art. So badly mounted though… tut tut.
Gabriella Marcella DiTano won Best New Blood with her outstanding display of 80s influenced artworks. Love that cassette tape packaging vibe she’s got going on.
At University College Falmouth Megan Brooks created a response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria – a decorative pattern that on closer inspection was revealed to bbe 10,000 hands raised in the V for Victory sign – each representing a protestor who has died in the crackdown. She has projected 10,000 Syrians onto buildings to raise awareness and is another Best New Blood winner. NB – I love a description next to a piece of work, makes it so much easier to understand (and to describe to my readers).
Joanna Halpin chose the decline of bees in Britain as the subject of her appealing graphic poster.
I was immediately drawn in by Kudzai Dyirakumunda‘s work, London Riots, on the stand from The Arts University College at Bournemouth – inspired by egalitarian commentary gleaned from twitter and featuring wooden blocks engraved with quotes, shattered glass, riot helmeted police, and stunning typography – another deserving New Blood winner.
Blaire Frame created this lovely graphic collaged poster at University of Wolverhampton.
Yet another one of my picks chimed with the New Blood judging panel: Juliet Bankes at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College (part of De Montfort University) displayed Memory and Preserving V. In these she deconstructed the meaning of simple objects – spatulas and serving spoons from a manor house are embedded with lives past: home produce grown on an allotment, the old village ways.
I also absolutely adored curvaceous illustrations by Ivana Thomas, who took inspiration from Slovak proverbs which have an equivalent in English such as ‘Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.’
- Best of D&AD New Blood Illustration & Graphic Design Graduates 2012: part two
- Free Range Graduate Shows 2012: Middlesex University Graphic Design Ba Hons Review
- Best of D&AD New Blood Illustration & Graphic Design Graduates 2012: part three
- D&AD New Blood 2014 Review
- Free Range Art & Design Show 2013: Middlesex University Illustration & Graphic Design Review