School of Art – End of Year Online Exhibitions

The School of Art Degree Show at University Centre Colchester is always an important event for us and at this time of year, our graduating students would normally be going through the process of preparing to show their work in our studio spaces and other venues, such as Firstsite, New Designers and Free Range.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we had to at least suspend this event until the autumn, when it is hoped that students will be able to display their work, but even then we have to be prepared to accept that it might not be safe to proceed with these plans at that point.

In the meantime, we have endeavoured to present as much of the work of our art and design students as we can here via an online platform.

A message from the Head of School

Before saying anything about this online collection of our graduating students work I would like to begin by reflecting on the particular circumstances under which it was produced: a global pandemic. As a result of this crisis in our world, many will have received the sad news that a friend, colleague or family member has passed away after contracting the virus. The UCC School of Art has been no exception in this respect, and I extend my deepest condolences to them and to all those people that have been similarly affected.

Like countless others, as well as experiencing personal loss, our staff and students have spent the past few months working under considerably different circumstances to those they were accustomed to. Working online and at home has not only meant a lack of access to college studios, workshops and other resources, but has also resulted in a working environment that has variously meant, working in confinement; coping with a lack of space; loss of income; managing child care responsibilities and so on. Many of them have also been involved in working to protect others, by giving up their time to make PPE for hospitals, working in care homes and looking after or supporting vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours.

From my own correspondence with them, there is no doubt that this has tested their fortitude at times, but I can also say that I have been deeply affected and immensely impressed at the extent to which they have risen to the challenge before them. Problem solving and accommodating, adapting and responding to change are central to art and design study and practice, and from the work they have produced and my (albeit remote) contact with them over the past few months, it is evident that they have not only developed those skills, but have also put them to good use.

Amongst the sadness, at the loss of life as we knew it and the loss of lives of those we knew, I believe there is something we may celebrate here in the achievement of our students, and perhaps as much now as at any time, this is something we should hold onto. So for their efforts as students and members of society, I would like to pay tribute to our students for the tremendous effort they have made and to the staff who worked so hard to support them, as (once again) it fills me with pride to know and see what they have all achieved.

Mick Stubbs
Head of School
UCC School of Art

Please click or hover over the images below to discover our online exhibitions.

BA (Hons): 3D Design & Craft
BA (Hons): Art Level 0
BA (Hons): Fashion and Textiles
BA (Hons): Fine Art
BA (Hons): Graphic Design
BA (Hons): Photography