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It’s that time of year again when Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration students at UCS start preparing for their End of Year Show. This year’s cohort have titled their show Blink, and are showcasing their work and advertising the show with the launch of a website and Twitter feed.

The UCS Arts and Humanities End of Year Show also features work from Photography, Film, Fine Art, Interior Architecture and Design, Computer Games Design, Dance, History and English degree courses, as well as some collaborative work between second year Graphic Design and English students. The Private View is on 4 June, 18:00–21:00, with the Graphic Design course taking pride of place for the first time in the Waterfront Gallery alongside Photography in the Waterfront Building lobby. The rest of the course shows are housed in the Arts Building. The public view runs from 5–14 June, including weekends.

Below is a piece I wrote for the UCS website:
The Graphic Design show at UCS has developed a reputation for showcasing exciting and professionally realised work, demonstrating students’ ability to progress into employment straight from their degree. This year will be no different and students are proud to be displaying their work in the Waterfront Gallery for the first time.

Exhibited work will include final projects alongside their professional portfolios which demonstrate the skills and creativity students have been honing over the duration of their course. As well as this, there will be a showcase of work created for placement projects with BBC Worldwide and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Creative Directors from both organisations will be visiting UCS on the day of the Private View to look through the work and interview students before awarding placements. 

Course Leader Nigel Ball says: “On behalf of the course team, I can honestly say it has been a pleasure to work with this group of students over their time on the course. Every year it is highly rewarding to reflect on the individual and collective journeys of our students who are about to go out into the world and become the next wave of designers and illustrators shaping our visual environment. Year on year we see more of our graduates gaining employment within a very short period of time after finishing their degrees—the professionalism and creativity this year group have displayed throughout their time at UCS leads us to believe they will be no different. It was only 2 years ago as first year students that they designed the graphics for the End Of Year Show 2013, a very public arena for first year students to be working in. Now it is time for them to shine in their own exhibition. We wish them the greatest success for their futures.”

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University Campus Suffolk (UCS) Waterfront Gallery is currently hosting a retrospective of Bernard Reynolds, (1915–1997), to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Reynolds was an innovative sculptor and educator from East Anglia whose name is well established in Ipswich. However, wandering through the exhibition the other day I was struck by how much of an important review of his work this is, especially as he was overlooked in favour of many of his contemporaries who went on to be world-renowned. Reynolds’ website states: “…although Bernard is most widely known as a sculptor, he possessed the capacity to be an inspirational teacher as well as an artist, and he fulfilled both of these roles with his own particular kind of integrity. Far from flamboyantly ‘arty’, Bernard’s approach was no less passionate for the application of a quietly rigorous self-imposed discipline to every project he undertook—and his projects were many and varied.”

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Bird sculls feature heavily throughout the show in a variety of different mediums. It is also good to see his preliminary drawings and sketchbook work alongside finished outcomes.

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I noticed a sense of comic exploration in many of the pieces, alongside a strong mythical presence. I was reminded of headwear I’ve seen adorned by people in photographs or documentaries examining English folk-lore customs—particularly in that of the parrot and crows’ head sculptures. While a large aspect of this is due to the subject matter itself, it is as if Reynolds has accentuated these qualities in his work. While I was aware of Reynolds before I saw this exhibition, and had seen some of his public work in Ipswich, much of what is on show here was new to me. Despite this, I couldn’t help feeling very familiar with his approach to sculpture and artistic vocabulary.

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Although Reynolds was of the modern era of sculpture, some of his subject matter, as mentioned above, seems at odds with this austere movement. He clearly didn’t want to over-complicate his work with intellectual theories and as a result there is a real sense of joy in both subject matter and in Reynolds’ act of making. This is by no means a dour ‘serious’ exhibition, and his work is feels fresher and more immediate as a consequence.

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It is also great to see displayed a test piece for two large plinths that once formed an entrance piece to Ipswich’s Suffolk College. Built in 1961, the college became an extension of the now renowned Ipswich Arts School, and when UCS was established in 2007 from the degree courses run at the college, the old FE buildings were demolished. Thankfully Reynolds’ entrance pieces were left, but as they stretch into the sky they now feel lost of their original purpose. I’ve always admired the planners who decided not to demolish these plinths along with the brutalist 7-story Suffolk College tower, but they now stand largely ignored as they flank a new sports centre built on the old college grounds. Should you visit the exhibition, it is worth taking a short 5 minute walk, (across the UCS car park away from the quayside and under the library), to find these giant concrete totems.

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100 Years of Bernard Reynolds runs at UCS Waterfront Gallery until 6 May. Catch it while you can, it comes highly recommended.

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Third year Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration degree students at University Campus Suffolk, (UCS), are holding an online illustration auction in April. Work has been donated from international illustrators such as Alysha Dawn, Miles Cole, Büro Ufho, Anke Weckmann, and Jamie Mitchell with more coming in on a daily basis. You can view the lots received to date on their website blink.com.

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The auction will be hosted on their website, with bids being accepted from 30 March, concluding on 6 April. All money raised will go towards their end of year degree show, due to be held in early June at UCS’s Waterfront Building in Ipswich, (more details to follow).

The students are still open for donations if anyone has any work they would like to submit, and you can follow their progress via their Twitter feed and Facebook page, links below.

Auction website
@BlinkAuction2015
Blink on Facebook

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As 2015 approaches and I look back over the past year I can honestly say that one of my proudest achievements of 2014 was being awarded Shittest Tutor Of The Year by graduating UCS Graphic Design and Illustration students, (albeit via Mr Bingo’s Hate Mail project book ).

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Happy New Year to all Dubdog readers. Here’s to 2015.

UCS graduate Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration students are hosting an exhibition at London’s Coningsby Gallery next week.

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The money to put on the show came from the very successful International Design Auction held at UCS that was organised by the students in 2013, their final year. On display will be work created both on the course and since.

Check out the This is… website with links to the exhibitors personal sites.

Check out This is… on Twitter: @this_is_2014

September is a busy month for me in the run-up to the start of a new academic year, hence no new posts here for a month. However, I’ve been far from idle and I’m proud to announce one particular project is about to come to fruition. ‘This is us’ is something I’ve been working on with colleagues at University Campus Suffolk for a few months now, with the launch set for Tuesday 29 September and press ads to hit the news-stands from 1 October.

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3 of the 11 portraits in the UCS Waterfront Building lobby

The campaign was envisaged by UCS Provost Richard Lister who wanted to celebrate the individual stories of both students and staff at the institution as it turns seven years old this September. After initial idea sessions between Richard, Graphic Design Senior Lecturer Russell Walker, UCS Head of Marketing Michelle Wootton, Photography Lecturer Matthew Andrew and myself, we decided large portraits of some of the individuals who have been involved in the UCS story over the last seven years would be appropriately fitting.

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UCS Librarian Becky Blunk—Becky is American, before anyone comments on the spelling

After Michelle selected some initial candidates for the project, Matthew set about shooting them in-house at UCS over the summer. Michelle then copy-wrote the text based on interviews with all the sitters while I worked on handwriting samples, scanning them in at ridiculously high resolutions and cutting them about to compliment Matthew’s stunning portraits.

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Course Leader and Senior Lecturer for Photography, Mark Edwards

After Matthew had finished the post-production, we worked closely with printing and hanging the images, using a low tack and re-positional adhesive paper that was completely new to us. The scale creates a dramatic statement as you enter the UCS Waterfront Building lobby, where the 11 images are currently hung.

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Esther Faniyan, current BSc (Hons) Bioscience student

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UCS receptionist, Jon Coy

It is hoped that this project will develop into more portraits and stories over the coming years, but in the meantime, the full scale images can be seen in the UCS Waterfront Building until the end of October, and over the coming weeks will be run as press ads, one-a-week, in the East Anglian Daily Times which will expand upon the sitters’ stories. Alongside this, postcard packs will provide further information about the individuals’ accounts of their time at UCS.

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It has been an honour to work alongside my colleagues on ‘This is us’ and it has been a mark of pride to be able to help showcase the difference UCS is making not just to Ipswich and East Anglia, but to the individuals involved; from students to academic and support staff.

For more information, go to: ucs.ac.uk/thisisus

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I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with Eddie Duggan of the BA (Hons) Computer Games Design course at UCS. Eddie has been organising From Cardboard to Keyboard and Back, the XVII Annual Colloquium for the International Board Game Studies Association, due to be hosted at UCS’s Ipswich campus later this month. It is a major conference with papers being presented from academics, historians, archaeologists and students from around the world.

I agreed to design and artwork the conference programme last year, and after a hectic few weeks of work on the contents over Easter, the artwork was finally sent to print this week. Eddie and I involved second year UCS graphic design and illustration students in the process, who in small teams had to pitch concepts for a cover illustration and delegate maps, with Eddie acting as an external client who they had never met before. The activity provided them with a chance to hone their professional skills by presenting their concepts to someone who wasn’t a peer or a lecturer they were familiar with.

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Colloquium programme cover with the winning illustration by second year graphic design student team comprised of: Jamie Bird, Tatjana Gecmane and Georgina Warden; who won a ‘client pitching’ activity to have their work featured in the publication.

It has been an honour to be involved in some small way with this conference, and great to have been able to give graphic design students a chance to have their work showcased to an international audience.

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An exhibition of work created by third year Graphic Design students at UCS themed on English culture. This exhibition will also feature work by graphic design students from Edith Cowen University in Australia, who answered a brief in tandem with UCS students looking at Australian culture.

The exhibition is being curated by second year UCS Graphic Design students as part of a professional practice module. Second year students are creating the visuals that support and publicise the exhibition, deciding how to hang the work on display, as well as blog and tweet about their experiences in hosting an exhibition for the first time.

The Private View is 20 May at 17:30, Public View weekdays 21–26 May 10:00–17:00, (email graphics@ucs.ac.uk in advance for access).

Room 1, University Campus Suffolk, Arts Building, Ipswich

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@OurEnglandUCS

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I’m proud to have recently finished working on the third edition of Childhood Remixed, a University Campus Suffolk (UCS) online interdisciplinary academic journal themed on childhood. The journal, published annually, has previously only featured papers from staff and students at UCS. However, this year much of the publication has been made up of submissions to the international Children and Childhoods Conference held at UCS in July of last year.

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The international flavour of this edition demonstrates not just how much the journal has grown in three years, but how much UCS has developed in that time as well. First launched in 2012, Childhood Remixed was intended as a ‘stepping stone’ into the world of being peer-reviewed and published. For third year undergraduate and postgraduate students, and for lecturers who hadn’t been published before, this was an excellent opportunity for a safe trial into the daunting world of academic publishing. The journal still provides this platform, but now allows those same students and staff to be featured alongside academics and researchers from across the globe.

ChildhoodRemixed_pagesIt is hoped with this international issue, that the journal will be available to the wider public soon as a download rather than just internally within UCS as the previous two editions have been. More details will be posted here when it is available.

Thanks to Dr Alison Boggis, Senior Lecturer in Early Years at UCS, who has tirelessly pushed this publication forward since its first inception three years ago.  Read a report of the launch of the first edition here on Blogger.

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