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Five cultural picks from ARU's art and design department


Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Category: Art and design

28 June 2018

Looking for inspiration? As artists, we often are. Here are the books, films, art and music that lit our creative spark.

In a digital world full of content and choice, discovering your own tastes can be a confusing and intimidating task. But fear not: Our BA (Hons) Illustration staff team are on hand to guide you with some of the artists, books, places, films and music that have inspired them in their artistic endeavours.


Margaret Kilgallen (1967-2001)
An exceptionally talented artist who took her variety of passions (books, graffiti, banjo players, folk art to name a few) and created beautiful and unique work. I find her philosophy and work very inspiring.


Adriaen Coenen’s Fish Book (1580)
I’ve just discovered this illustrated marvel, which is available online to see. With tales of sea monsters and tattooed tuna fish, it is an 800-page book about all things fish related by a Dutch fisherman and fish auctioneer. He started it when he was 63, and it took him three years. It looks like a comic, and shows what can be achieved if you put your mind to it.


I’m a Dreamer, by Josephine Foster (2013)
A wonderfully bizarre album by an American singer/songwriter who remains very true to herself. She used to sing at funerals, and I think I’d like her to sing at mine. She offers advice on how to keep your muse amused, if you have one.


The Rebel (1961)
A film featuring Tony Hancock, George Sanders and the inimitable Irene Handl. I love this film because it makes me laugh, is marvellously 60s, and pokes fun at all the nonsense surrounding fine art. Has great beatniks too.


The National Art Library collection of artists’ books at the V&A
The National Art Library holds the largest collection of artists' books in the UK. The collection is international, housing books from the UK and the US, as well as boasting impressive holdings from Europe, Australia, Latin America, Japan and more.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is an opportunity to reconsider your options, and join a university where you can study something you really want to learn about.

You can apply for uni through Clearing if

  • you didn’t apply before the UCAS deadline
  • your grades are different to what you expected
  • you’ve only just decided to go to uni
  • you’ve changed your mind about what or where you want to study since you originally applied.

Explore art and design courses at ARU


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.