DMU hosts one of Leicester's biggest art and design shows


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Boasting award-winning student work, one of Leicester’s biggest art and design exhibitions opens at De Montfort University (DMU) this Saturday.

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Nanyoung's award-winning collection

Each year, DMU’s Degree Show highlights spectacular work by hundreds of final-year undergraduates across architecture, art, design and media courses. 

Free to attend, the annual week-long event attracts more than 4,000 visitors, which this year will include talent scouts from leading brands Sainsbury’s, ASOS, Next, Pick Everard and more, as well as VIPs such as the High Sheriff of Leicestershire.

South Korean Fashion Textile Design student Nanyoung Kim is showing a collection of fashionable bags that has earned her The Leathersellers’ Company Designer of the Year award. 

Inspired by a 1973 French animation called Fantastic Planet, Nanyoung’s designs combine different materials and colours with curved lines and 3D-printed miniature human forms to create something that is ‘conceptually grotesque but visually pleasing’.

She said: “My time at DMU has been very productive and valuable to me. The art and design facilities are great, with lots of workshops and technicians to help your creative process. They allowed me to try new things and develop new skills that were not directly related to my course.”

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Inspirational products by Millie 

Millie Neal’s distinctive style has already landed her a job as a graduate designer for kids’ fragrances with clothing and homewares giant Next. Among her work on display will be a zine about type 1 diabetes, inspired by her own diagnosis at 18 years old.

“I wanted to create something which inspires people to take control of their diabetes, rather than letting the condition control their lives,” said the Graphic Design (Illustration) student from Kibworth Beauchamp in Leicestershire.

“Every single designer is different, no two are the same. Somebody you will see at the Degree Show will make you realise you that you don’t have to fit into a particular aesthetic – you can do you and you’re good enough.”

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Art or tableware? Jack's ceramics are both decorative and functional

Design Crafts student Jack Casey is showing a collection of wall-mounted ceramic art which can double up as functional tableware. He uses a process called slip casting, where liquid clay or ‘slip’ is poured into moulds that he has handmade.

“My course has provided me with a craft, which in itself is invaluable and will stay with me for the rest of my life. It has given me the designing, making and business skills I needed to establish my own creative practice as an independent designer and maker,” said Jack from Camden, London.

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A still from Wiktoria's powerful animation

Wiktoria Kocan’s two-minute animation is driven by the #MeToo and body positivity movements, highlighting the struggles of body dysmorphia through a surreal journey of a girl’s morning routine.

The Animation student from Poland said: “What we present at the Degree Show is the work we are proudest of as we are about to enter the professional world. Come along to get inspired, or to see what the newest graduates will bring to the industry - it’s a really breathtaking show.”

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Fakir (left) and his son Irfan (right) photographed by Gianluca. Their family business on Leicester's Gipsy Road, Gheewala Butchers & General Stores, was set up by Fakir's father in 1970. 

Among other work, Photography and Video student Gianluca Misso is displaying a fascinating photographic portrait of the diverse retail community along Leicester’s multicultural Golden Mile.

His series of photographs was shot on film using a 1970s Hasselblad camera, scanned in and digitally manipulated.

“Being from an Italian family, culture is a big thing for me. I wanted to do something about my home city and its diversity. This project has taught me a lot about photo journalism, especially that a photograph is often only as good as the relationship you build with your subject,” said Gianluca. 

The DMU Degree Show is open to the public from Saturday 15 to Thursday 20 June (excluding Sunday). An inspiring array of work from art and design students, as well as students from the Leicester Media School, is exhibited across a number of campus venues, including the landmark Vijay Patel Building.

Posted on Thursday 13th June 2019

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