In 2023, our second year BA (Hons) Illustration students collaborated on a live brief with Cambridge Constabulary and their client Social Change Agency as part of their Know Violence Against Women Campaign.
The campaign aimed to raise awareness of violence against women, misogyny and behaviour in the night-time economy in Cambridge.
As part of the brief the students created work for a pop-up exhibition, displaying a range of thought-provoking artwork focused on the safety of women and their rights to be free of harassment, violence and intimidation.
The launch event was held on 15 March 2023 at the Grand Arcade in Cambridge, and was attended by various media outlets and VIPs including Detective Superintendent Tim Nasta, with the exhibition open until 17 March.
Senior Lecturer in Illustration Alan Drummond said:
“Illustration images can entertain us, educate us, inform us, and explain the world to us. This group of students have proved all of this at a highly professional level. And they have gone one step further - they have created powerful word and image combinations aimed at making a change.
"Thank you to Social Change for coming to ARU and Cambridge School of Art with a brilliantly researched brief and for trusting our students with this important subject. This project was made possible by ARU's employability team. Thank you Zoe Mogridge for going over and above for this show and for the students.”
And here are some of the students’ thoughts on the brief:
“A lot of us have honed in on our own experiences and feelings for this project and it hit home for us all too. As most if not all of us in the class are women, we are able to tell a range of stories that cover a whole range of women's experiences, and we hope that it reaches audiences and tells them the reality of how unsafe women often feel doing the simplest of things.”
“What I love about illustration is the reach it can have. It allows art to be displayed on poster or on TV, in books or magazines. It is not only behind closed doors in fancy gallaries. It is also amazing how visual art can be used to communicate and help deliver a message, it is very understandable. Everyone deserves to feel safe, and we should all want to help eachother feel safe. With art you can tell these stories and hopefully get people to keep it in mind a little more when they walk away.”
“It was really important for me to use my own experiences within my work, I wanted it to feel real. After discussing violence against women and cat calling with my peers I was inspired by the passion that they spoke with and wanted to use that within my own work. It is important that everyone feels safe. I think this topic is so overlooked, except when social media decides it's a trend. All of the work that has been produced is so personal and powerful. I think it will shock and educate a lot of people.”
Artwork at top of page by Alana Sloss, BA (Hons) Illustration