Gifted artists and designers have put their talents on show at the opening night of the annual degree show at Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) and are now taking up opportunities for careers in the creative industry.

Students exhibited works from ten degree courses as part of the ‘Northern View’ exhibition at the northern art school’s university-level campus in Hartlepool, including fashion, fine art, illustration and creative film.

The work from the talented creatives is now on display at the 1 Church Street until Saturday 16 June. As part of the exhibition, which is now a popular regional event, visitors can experience a huge array of works, including costumes, wallpapers, clothing, prints, films and illustrations.

Here is a round up of some of our talented students and their stories:

Zoe Widdowfield

Production Design for Stage and Screen degree student Zoe Widdowfield was inspired to create an interactive aquarium-themed sensory set, and received support from Stockton-based children’s’ autistic charity, Daisy Chain for her final major project.

The 21-year-old student from Linthorpe in Middlesbrough will also be displaying her work in a special sensory room at the charity’s base in Stockton. Zoe said: “The concept of the set was to educate audiences on the need for sensory equipment and aims to teach in areas such as Sensory Processing Disorder to show how sensory equipment is vital aids for individuals with SPD. I have also handmade items inside my set, such as the flooring, tactile wall canvases and tactile toys to show that parents can make their own DIY sensory equipment without having to spend a lot of money.

“The build up to the degree show has involved a lot of hard work and late nights, but I have enjoyed my project very much. I’m very passionate about the concept behind my work so I have really enjoyed putting it all together. I’ve had a lot of support and positive comments towards my work which has made the process very enjoyable. I’ve carried out lots of experimentation and exploration in terms of material choices, which has been challenging but enjoyable.”

Zoe also worked with a variety of specialist sensory companies for the set, with Rompa, Southpaw and SpaceKraft loaning equipment that will feature in her set at the degree show.

After graduation, Zoe is looking forward to continuing her studies. “My career goal is to become an art psychotherapist and I will be completing my Foundation qualification in Art Therapy in July and working over the next year to gain more experience and skills. I hope to apply for my Masters degree in Art Psychotherapy in the next two years. As a volunteer with a few different companies, I will also be continuing my voluntary work.

Jo Bulmer

37-year-old Jo Bulmer from Eaglescliffe also studied for a BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage and Screen degree and is now preparing to launch her business as a freelance retail display artist.

During her final year studies Jo worked with Hartlepool-based wallcoverings retailer, I Love Wallpaper, on a variety of live briefs, with her work featured as part of their festive display window and which she hopes to continue through her new business.

She said: “Having already designed and installed a Christmas display for I Love Wallpaper I was in constant contact, liaising with the owner and the staff from the Hartlepool shop, and could collect any samples of wallpaper I wanted to use.

“My final major project showcases a series of elaborate dresses and masquerade masks inspired by a trip to the Venice Carnival and includes a wedding-style dress created with I Love Wallpaper’s exclusive Versace range of wallpaper.

“The project and degree show has been a very exciting journey for me, meeting new people and making new contacts as well as the experience of Venice Carnival. It has been a tough journey too and at times quite stressful, with me having a young family at home to look after as a single mum, but I know it will be worth it in the end and my children have been really good with adjusting to university life with me in the last three years.

“I was so excited to showcase my dress for the company as they had not seen the finished work, so degree show opening was as exciting for them as it was me!”

Jamie Tyerman

Jamie Tyerman, 21 from Eaglescliffe is a BA (Hons) Photography student who has already developed a successful career as a commercial editorial and fashion photographer, and is now looking forward to a stellar career in the industry.

During his studies, Jamie undertook a photography internship with Ted Baker where he assisted the head photographer in the studio, photographed accessories, bags and model castings and assisted the team on the A/W 2017 campaign shoot. He was also a sports photographer for Sports Image, photographing premier league and championship level football, wiring images to national newspapers and working as one of Sheffield United club photographers.

While at CCAD he also began working with designer menswear retailer, END Clothing, and is experienced in conducting product and editorial shoots, working as lead photographer on location and studio shoots with a team of stylists and assistants and within a creative team on major campaign shoots.

Jamie also recently won the chance to have his portfolio reviewed by some of the leading industry professionals after submitting a series of images from his final major project based on street style photography to the Association for Photography in Higher Education (APHE) Photo Meet Bursary.

He is one of only three UK degree and masters students in the country selected through the competitive process to win the bursary and attend the high level Portfolio Review event in London. Those offering their expertise included picture editor from Times Magazine, FT Magazine and Guardian Weekend Magazine, as well as Esquire Magazine, Wallpaper Magazine and Vogue UK.

Jamie was also presented with the Anjool Malde Commercial Photography Award in recognition of his talents and received a £300 cash prize.

Jamie MacDonald, Programme Leader in Photography at CCAD, said: “Jamie is a talented hard working student who has consistently produced amazing work during the last three years.

“His passion and energy in the pursuit of his subject – photography – has led in him into a range of different areas and vocations. Jamie has demonstrated and maintained outstanding studentship and his positive committed approach makes him a deserving winner of the Commercial Photography award – we wish him every success in the future.”

Following graduation, Jamie plans to build on his career as a freelance photographer on London and continue his fashion work.

Lesley-Anne Pace

44-year-old Lesley-Anne Pace from Low Fell in Gateshead, who studied a BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design degree, drew on her intimate thoughts and feelings when her eight-year-old daughter received a new liver to create a very personal final major project for her final year exhibition.

Lesley-Anne explained: “I wanted to explore a mother’s journey through organ donation and transplantation, a subject which I am very passionate about and is very personal to me, as my daughter is a liver transplant recipient and it has been a huge part of my life.

“I was particularly interested in exploring my own emotions surrounding the subject, looking at it from a mother’s perspective and delving into the psychology of paediatric medical traumatic stress (PMTS) influenced by my own personal experiences.”

Although Lesley-Anne began her studies with a greater interest and experience in stitch, she abandoned the familiar in favour of new and exciting techniques she was introduced to on the course and was drawn to relief and intaglio (opposite of relief-style printing) techniques to create a series of technical prints.”

She continued: “I am proud of the work I produced for my final year. I feel it creates a discussion point and raises awareness of an important social subject and is something we all should have an opinion on, especially taking into consideration the anticipated changes to organ donation laws.

“As an independent mum; time management has been crucial and there have been some late nights and lots of early mornings. It has been challenging and tiring managing studies, mum duties, hospital appointments and the ironing pile. However, I planned my time ahead, stayed positive and didn’t give up. The last few weeks have been exhilarating and fulfilling.”

Lesley-Anne has been chosen to represent CCAD at New Designers in London at the end of June, a national exhibition which showcases the work of emerging new talent in design. Her tutors have also nominated Lesley-Anne for TexSelect, a mentorship program for UK textile designers for which she has been shortlisted for interview to present her work to industry experts.

“I was a little uncertain at how I would fit in with life at CCAD, being a ‘mature’ student. However, it is definitely not something I needed to worry about. CCAD has such a friendly, welcoming atmosphere; I have never felt out of place. I am lucky to have made lots of lovely friends and I am excited hear of their future adventures. The tutors and technicians I have worked with at CCAD over the past three years have been a huge support and source of inspiration. I am grateful for every second of my time at CCAD, it has fed my soul. I am finishing my studies with increased confidence and self belief. I am inspired and looking forward to the future opportunities and challenges that lay ahead of me.”

Brad Sampson

21-year-old Brad Sampson from Castle Town studied for a BA (Hons) Creative Film and Moving Image Production degree and was delighted to be presented with two awards from Principal Martin Raby for his creativity and dedication during his studies at the northern school of art.

For his final major project, Brad showcased his film ‘Echoes of Silence’; a short drama set in the near future about a man named Julian who uses technology to bring back his dead granddaughter.

Brad said: “Visually and narratively I was inspired by sci-fi films from the 60s, 70s and 80s such as 2001 Space Odyssey, Bladerunner and Solaris, with CCAD alumnus Sir Ridley Scott a huge influence.

“The build up to the show has been hectic to say the least, with lots of late nights and challenges. It was quite a post-production heavy film, so I finished shooting around April and then lots of visual effects and editing had to be done, so for weeks on end it was a case of sitting in the edit suite and working my way through it.”

Brad received the Dissertation Prize alongside £150, which recognises the high standard of work from final year students and is awarded as recognition to those whose research and debate resulted on an innovative approach to their subject. The dissertations nominated this year covered a diverse range of topics and were considered to show invention in their ideas and in the formulation of conclusions.

He was also presented with the Film Student of the Year Award as a ‘student who has shown the most determination and dedication in the pursuit of excellence throughout the year in their academic and practical work’.

CCAD Principal Martin Raby said: “This was a very tight decision as the students have all been superb in their commitment to creating a body of excellent work. However Brad stood out as going that extra mile, in not only his own work but in leading others to create visually beautiful work and of a standard that professional film makers commented on as ‘being the best he had seen in other institutions and was broadcast ready’.”

Brad added: “I was so pleased to win the awards and certainly didn’t expect two! It is great recognition for my years of study and learning at CCAD.”

After graduation Brad is continuing his studies with a Masters degree at Newcastle University and is also involved in the launch of an upcoming business called Get Me The Limelight, which aims to advertise local businesses just getting get started through immersive moving imagery.

We interviewed Brad on the making of his film, which you can view on Youtube here:

Pat Chapman, Vice Principal, Employability and External Relations, said: “This is always an exciting time of the year as students end their three years of study and look to the future. The degree show is a celebration of the creative talent our students have developed and marks the transition to employment or post graduate study.

“This year’s graduates have bright futures, establishing themselves in industry and establishing their own businesses. They will continue our incredible record for employability which has seen 96 percent or more of graduates in employment or further study for each of the past four years, a record that places the College amongst the very highest performing universities nationally. This year also marks the final time CCAD will put on a graduate show as from next year we will have adopted our new identity as The Northern School of Art.”

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