On the 9th of June the Leeds Metropolitan University Creative Arts Festival 2011 opened. It was a chance for all the art and design courses within the university to exhibit their Degree work to the public.
I didn’t quite know what to expect when I arrived at the exhibition (having skipped my own degree show at Newcastle) but what I found was an extremely well organised and creatively thought through exhibition that encouraged you to take your time and view all the work on display.
Walking across the entrance to the courtyard the first signs of the exhibit begin to appear. A sculpture made up of different colour and material cubes, representative of the departments building design displays the name of the exhibition. The piece is brilliant, eye catching and bold. Its concept fits well, reflecting the building as well as the exhibition.
The exhibition ticket (top image) featured a series of symbols, white patterns on a colour background. Each symbol represents a different exhibition and the symbols are used throughout the building to guide visitors to each of the exhibitions.
Floor guides feature the symbols alongside cubes mirroring the design of the outdoor sculpture. If you know which exhibition you want to go to you simply find your symbol and follow the prompts. This could be the coloured cubes dotted around outside, the stacked white cubes inside and then you know you are on the right floor as your symbol is featured on the stairwell. Excellent!
For the more spontaneous guests just there to have a nosy there was another option to pick where you wanted to go. The wooden object below is like a game. You drop a ball in at the top and it can land in a number of slots, each representing an exhibition, where it lands is where you go.
Each of the exhibitions featured their own little quirky additions. I hate to admit it but the architecture department looked like it hadn’t really made that much of an effort in comparison to some of the other courses displaying work.
The interior design exhibition had balloons in the entrance. Each with a tag tied to the string at the bottom of the balloon. They made you want to interact and pull down a balloon to find out what it was all about. Each tag had a persons name and details on one side and a very apt, considered quote on the other. A fabulous first impression that wasn’t let down by the quality of the work on display. The interior design room was the one that really got me excited. Some of the display ideas were fantastic.
The graphic design room had the best ideas for getting the designers details out to the public and for getting feedback to the students direct from the public (typical clever clogs!).
A notice board at the entrance of the exhibition featured a tear off block of plans. The plan was a floor plan of the exhibition space, numbered to show the different display areas of the artists. On the back of the sheet was a key, a list of the designers and their contact details, blogs and websites. I really like this idea! A concise way of getting a huge amount of information across and a memorable addition to the exhibition.
Alongside the plans was a series of hooks, on each of the hooks was a little tag with phrases such as ‘this got us chatting’, ‘this touched me’, ‘this required skill’ and ‘this got on my tits!’ Visitors could take a tag or two and hang it on a hook next to each designers work. This was my favourite part of the exhibition. The students who created the work were around the exhibition and the look of delight on their faces when they walked in and saw that people had liked their work was fantastic. After all the hard work that had gone into the production this simple feedback technique was fun for visitors and exciting for the students.
I visited the exhibition to see my sisters degree work and finding a ‘this got us chatting’ tag on her work made mine and her day!