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Westminster University: Ba Hons Illustration and Graphic Information Design Graduate Show 2011 Review

A look at some of the best talent I discovered at the Westminster University degree shows, running at the AMBIKA P3 gallery until Tuesday 14th June 2011. Stand out work from Seb Chaloner, Elisabeth Lee, Ailish Sullivan, Rosalie Hoskins and Nick Gray.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Seb Chaloner Westminster invite
Westminster degree show invite by Seb Chaloner.

This year I shall attempt to review as many graduate shows as possible, decease particularly the illustration ones. That’s not to say that I will make them all, recipe especially if I haven’t been invited and don’t know when or where your show takes place. Plus I may actually have to do some proper, you know, paid work at some point, which could actually get in the way of my plan (in fact I’m very much hoping that it will). Still, for now my stated aim is to cover what I can so that I can introduce as much new creative talent to the world as possible.

Beauty and Beasts by Clemency Tarrant
Beauty and Beasts by Clemency Tarrant.

Last night I swooped down on the final degree shows for Westminster illustration Ba Honours and Graphic Information Design at the AMBIKA P3 gallery on Marylebone Road, where I discovered that the boundaries of illustration and other forms of design seem to be blurring ever more rapidly – one illustrator even showed a range of puppets for their show rather than any drawn work.

Much of the illustration was not to my taste, which doesn’t mean to say that it was bad, it’s just that liking illustration is a very subjective thing and I have very specific ideas about what appeals to me. In this blog post I shall concentrate on the work that did immediately inspire me: I have no doubt that the work that didn’t will have been heartily enjoyed by many other people. Such is the nature of a review.

Sebastian Chaloner created the lovely image that is being used to advertise the show. He’s also contacted me before with this great little movie that looks at the use of non biodegradable plastics in the sea. And now would be a great time to show it to the world: watch What’s in Your Tuna above.

Sarah Kirk Isolated CitiesSarah Kirk Isolated Cities
Sarah Kirk showed a series of atmospheric textured images of London named Isolated City, bubble cars from the London Eye apparently sailing off into the stratosphere.

Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Izabela WilkIzabela Wilk familiada
I loved Izabela Wilk‘s scary clown man. Would love to have seen more of this bright style. Ferreting around on her website I also turned up these crazy photomontages of ape people, which are just brilliant aren’t they?

Ailish Sullivan skull stichtingAilish Sullivan buttercup
Ailish Sullivan showed a series of three beautiful works, of which Bone and Buttercup were especially lovely. She focuses on science for the inspiration behind these delicate pieces, which are made up of textures found at a microscopic level. The reproductions above don’t really do these pieces justice at all.

Elizabeth Eisen scarf
Elizabeth Eisen uses energetic shapes and colour to create her artwork.

Pauline Singh
I loved Paulette Singh‘s wall montages in the shape of musical instruments with faux naive portraits of old time musicians on them.

Sarah Leeves animalsWestminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Sarah Leeves
Sarah Leeves showed a fun patchwork collage of animals.

Mandy Urban strawberryMandy Urban mushrooms
Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Mandy Urban
I wasn’t sure Mandy Urban‘s children’s nature paintings were supposed to have such a naive feel but this definitely lent them a certain charm.

Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Elisabeth Lee's MomentsWestminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Elisabeth Lee's MomentsWestminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Elisabeth Lee's Moments
I loved Elisabeth Lee‘s Moments. Her final project captured ‘the little moments that can go unnoticed in busy London life’ on bits of old cardboard. Everything from ‘a sneaky kiss on a crowded road crossing, to the bored looking person at the Eros fountain maybe waiting for a friend, or perhaps a date‘ are recorded as carefully crafted little vignettes that had a truly intimate feel.

Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Rebecca Kathryn Gray
Rebecca Kathryn Gray has drawn a scarily accurate vision of Lady Gaga clutching her breasts.

Clemency Tarrant Beauty PuppetClemency Tarrant Beast-Beast
Clemency Tarrant showed puppets inspired by the use of art as a tool for communication in therapy. Clemency has recently renounced Wix for Cargo, an interesting fact for all of those who might be following my ramblings about which is the best website platform to use.

Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Rosalie HoskinsWestminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Rosalie HoskinsWestminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Rosalie Hoskins
Rosalie Hoskins has created some wonderful work for Amelia’s Magazine in the past and I loved her Le Grand Cirque collection of characters on the covers of books, all drawn in her inimitable style using strong decorative black lines with bold colour. Just gorgeous.

Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Nick GrayWestminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Nick GrayWestminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Nick Gray body
From Graphic Information Design I loved the work of Nick Gray, who merged neon spot colour with curvilinear and geometric patterning to illustrate the human body.

Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Anisha PanchasaraWestminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-Sarrah Yusufali
I also liked the colourful pattern work of Anisha Panchasara and Sarrah Yusufali. It’s the printed textile designer in me! Anisha designs and hand paints clothing, which comes across in her joyful use of marks.

Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011-cards
The Graphic Information Design display was very poorly lit which made taking a decent photo hard, but they had a very fun way of showcasing their business postcards – all assigned a letter in the alphabet which was laid out on a table.

Westminster Illustration Graduate Show 2011

All in all there was much to inspire at the Westminster degree show, but I feel I have to add just one final word to any newly graduating illustrator who wants to get argumentative about my opinions on twitter: putting your work out there is part of a process which opens you up to criticism, and learning to take that gracefully is an important part of entering the job market. I enjoy promoting creative work that appeals to me, but I can’t like everything… I’m afraid that’s just life. I hope the people I have written about above appreciate the time and effort it has taken to put this blog together.

The show continues until the 14th June. Facebook event here.


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8 Responses to “Westminster University: Ba Hons Illustration and Graphic Information Design Graduate Show 2011 Review”

  1. Jo Cheung says:

    Aaaah I still need to go there….used to go to Wmin and I was also on that course!

  2. [...] I was mentioned in this article from Amelia’s Magazine’s blog also which is nice:… [...]

  3. Joey says:

    There is a massive difference between stating an opinion and blatantly putting people down. Especially when done in a manner that suggests an authoritative understanding of the subject and so ultimately implies the work isn’t simply not your cup of tea, but lacks quality.

    No one expects you to like everything, I didn’t like everything at my own show, but there is a difference between there being stuff not to my fancy and thinking it’s unimpressive. The quality level was impressive at that show, by anyone’s definitions.

    And to go from being unimpressed to this ultimately positive review is mind boggling.


  4. Amelia says:

    Thanks for making your point Joey. Good to have it in the comments. Perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to jump to conclusions next time? x

  5. Really loved Izabela Wilk’s ‘hairy family’ collage as it reminded me of a gorgeous, touching chapter in Alberto Manguel’s book ‘Reading Pictures’ talking about Lavinia Fontana’s ‘Portrait of Tagnina’. Tagnina Gonsalvus was a “hairy girl” who, along with her family, was a sort of resident freak show at various 16th century European Courts – they suffered from hypertrichosis which causes long hair to grow all over the body including the face. Fontana, as a female artist, was equally a “monster”, and Manguel reads the painting as a sympathetic call of like to like. It still is one of the lovliest bits in a book I’ve ever read!

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