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ARU students go global for their final exhibition

Published: 19 July 2021 at 11:49

Touching Light, by Samuel Richardson

Present website features photoluminescent art and award-winning animation

Final year students from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) are showcasing their major projects on the Present website this summer, helping to give their work truly international reach.

Although Covid-19 has meant that physical Degree Shows have been put on hold, Present is allowing students from 23 courses within ARU’s faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to exhibit their projects to a wider audience than ever before.  Visitors to Present are able to design their own exhibition, filtering the exhibits by course, theme, and even by colour.

Amongst the students exhibiting on Present is the winner of the New Designers’ Screening Award, sponsored by the Aardman Academy, and the winner of the Supanee Gazeley Art Prize, which is presented to the best piece of work by a final year student on the BA (Hons) Fine Art course.

Samuel Richardson won this year’s £3,000 Supanee Gazeley Art Prize for his innovative work involving photoluminescence, a process where light is emitted from a surface after it has absorbed light.

His winning artwork includes photographs and film of people interacting with surfaces in a photoluminescent room.  By covering the different surfaces in glow-in-the-dark paint, visitors are encouraged to use lights to create their own images.  A video of the work can be viewed here Touching Light - Photoluminescence as Photography - YouTube

Samuel, who is 22 and originally from Scunthorpe, explained:

“All the images are visible for an extremely finite amount of time as they emit light into the environment and progressively disappear.  The work was inspired by the history of photography and photographic substances, as well as a fascination for the philosophy of perception. 

“Winning the Supanee Gazeley Art Prize for this piece felt unreal, I am so grateful, and I would like to thank all my peers and tutors for their support and guidance throughout my studies.  Achieving this has inspired me to keep exploring this medium in new contexts.”


Also on display on the Present website is work by BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation student Sabine Buhain, who has recently been named winner of the New Designers’ Screening Award 2021, sponsored by the Aardman Academy.

Sabine won the competition, which is open to all final year visual communication students in the UK, for her animation Like It Was Yesterday, which she wrote, directed and animated.  A link to her short film is here Like It Was Yesterday on Vimeo

The judges said of Sabine’s film:

“We selected Sabine because she took us on such a wonderful design and colour journey. The use of photo imagery and traditional 2D animation created a world we immediately loved.”


Explaining Like It Was Yesterday, Sabine, who was born in the Philippines and also lends her voice to the main character in the film, said:


“This was my last project as a student at Anglia Ruskin University. The culmination of everything I've learned and loved. This is a love story to the past that built my present.”