From glass trophies and mixed-media hybrids to paper installations and embroidered bugs, De Montfort University Leicester's (DMU) annual Design Crafts exhibition opens this Saturday (13 May).
This year showcases the unique work of 27 second-year Design Crafts students - across a range of materials including glass, textiles, plaster, paper, clay, fine metals, plastics, resin, foam and wood – and will take place in DMU’s historic Trinity House.
Organised by the students as part of their module in Professional Practice, the experience has given them a valuable opportunity to improve their professional skills such as developing their concepts and carefully curating pieces, as well as organising, setting up and marketing an exhibition.
Holly Harrison is showcasing a range of metal jewellery – seven rings and an arm-cuff – inspired by nature.
She said: “For my pieces I looked really closely at tree bark and the things that grow on it, like moss. I set myself the challenge of translating that detail into metal and then turning the texture and colour into something wearable.
“The first year of the course was really useful in discovering different materials and techniques, but it’s been really nice having the chance to specialise this year.”
Inspired by botanical illustrations, Lisa Peryer is displaying freehand machine embroidered flowers, which are sewn on to fabric she has dyed herself.
Much like a mood-board, they are presented in wooden trays alongside related items such as pressed flowers, fabric swatches, illustrations and dyeing instructions.
Lisa said: “It’s a really good feeling to be getting our work out there to people who don’t already know us.”
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For Nia Hoffmann, the exhibition presented an opportunity to develop her concept of an ‘everyday armour’ using unlikely household materials including duct tape.
“Some people have a lucky pair of socks that give them confidence, but I wanted to create a warrior queen style alter ego. The idea is that you put the ‘armour’ on and it translates into a positive feeling that you can carry around with you all day,” said Nia.
‘Obsessed’ with the colour green and inspired by a huge house plant at her parents’ home, Lara Davis is displaying large clay vessels finished with copper carbonate to create a speckled green/grey pattern.
“I’m really loving the second year of the course. Being able to come up with our own proposals and choose what we want to make has been great.”
Jane Prosser, Programme Leader for Design Crafts at DMU, said: “This exhibition is entirely organised by the second year students, it’s a real team effort and everyone is involved.
“It’s also the first time they have been able to showcase their developing skills and exhibit work that they have made in response to a self-initiated project.
“This opportunity provides them with invaluable professional experience and prepares them for the final year of the programme and their future careers.”
The exhibition is open to the public on Saturday (10am-4pm), Sunday (11am-3pm) and Monday (10am-4pm). All items on display are for sale and students will be accepting commissions. For a taster of what’s to come, head over to the group’s Instagram account @dmu.create.
Posted on Monday 8th May 2017