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ARU launches virtual showcase of student work

Published: 26 June 2020 at 13:00

Present website

Present website features over 200 students from 20 different AHSS courses

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has launched Present, a virtual showcase of some of the best work by students graduating this year from the faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS).

In previous years, students from the Cambridge of School of Art at ARU have held a Degree Show, with their work on display in galleries and art rooms across the Cambridge campus. 

Due to COVID-19, students this year have seized the opportunity to promote their work online through the Present website, with members of the Cambridge of School of Art being joined for the first time by students from ARU’s Cambridge School of Creative Industries and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Present is showcasing over 200 students across 20 courses, form Philosophy to Photography, Film and TV to Fashion and Audio to Animation, helping them to reach out and connect with potential employers. Present also allows visitors to curate their own virtual exhibition, filtering the work by course, theme, or even colour.

One theme that features prominently this year is mental health. Bruno Coelho moved from Portugal to the UK to study BA (Hons) in Fashion Design at ARU, and his textile-based work addresses mental health and wellbeing.

Drawing on his own personal experiences, his “Paradisum” collection captures the effects of bullying from a child’s perspective while growing up. By macramé-ing “self-love” into colourful clothes, Bruno's creations embody resilience and acceptance. 

Bruno said:

“For my graduate collection I thought I needed to embrace my past and fight against these dark emotions that had followed me since childhood. This project explores and releases any bad memories and experiences to become free of negativity, to start a new chapter, fresh and surrounded only by the positivity so I can grow strong and independent.”

Lizzie Knott is a digital illustrator who is tackling important social issues, including mental health, issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, and diversity. She created the artwork for the student podcast ‘All Things Mental Health’ which began last year, and Lizzie and her work featured in a BBC Online article in April about mental health during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Lizzie, who has studied for a BA (Hons) in Illustration, said:

“I feel as though I have really grown and flourished as both an illustrator and a person. I am excited to enter the world of work now that I have built up my skill set and confidence in my work. I can’t thank ARU enough.”

Professor Sally Wade, Dean of the faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at ARU, said:

“We’re thrilled to announce our first whole faculty graduate showcase. 

“We think Present is really exciting, as not only can you curate your own online exhibition of graduate work depending on what you want to see, but you can discover work from across the three schools: Cambridge School of Art, Cambridge School of Creative Industries and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

“This means that Present is much more than a traditional arts degree show, and really demonstrates the full breadth of ideas, talent and innovation that is fostered in our faculty.”