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Body image, Brexit and nostalgia: next gen creative talent opens up at Origins

Festival logo
Festival logo

Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
08 July 2019

The annual young talent showcase from UAL’s Awarding Body, Origins Creative Arts Festival presents a curated selection of top picks by students taking UAL pre-degree qualifications all around the UK.

Open to the public 26-28 July at the Old Truman Brewery Brick Lane, the festival is a multidisciplinary exhibition of works created by talented young people across painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video and fashion, complemented by an original music programme.

For many of the students, this will be the first time they are displaying their work to the public – a true first glimpse of the creative stars of the future. From printmaking and photography, fashion design to animation, here's a preview of some of the young artists and designers who will be exhibiting their work - and the ideas behind their creations.

Jowan Taylor, Plymouth College of Art, Foundation Art and Design, Photography:  'Voiceless'

In 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. One and a half million 16 and 17 year olds were not given the chance to have their say in what was regarded as the biggest national decision since the Second World War.

Now aged 18 and 19, these individuals would be eligible to vote in a second EU referendum. 'Voiceless' is a series of narrative portraits exploring the lives and environments of these once disenfranchised young people as they come to terms with the impact of the Brexit decision and gain their right to vote.

Image of Student work
Megan Hopkin, West Suffolk College, Foundation Art and Design

Megan Hopkin, West Suffolk College, Foundation Art and Design, Printmaking

Megan's work explores a multitude of approaches concerning cubes and the number 7 - their significance to, and place within, the world. A cube is a symbol of a many-sided thing you have to navigate: we take life one stage at a time, and a cuboid shape is only partially visible at any one point, we never see the whole thing at once. It is a metaphorical object typifying life being an imperfect experience.

This work submitted for Origins is a broad exploration of everything that the number 7 means (7 sins, 7 seals, 7 planets, 7 parallel universes, 7 wonders of the world etc.) and made abstract, personal and bold.

Marina Pacios Ortola, East Surrey College, Foundation Art and Design Photography: 'In Convalescence'

Inspired by Henry Herring's “before and after” photos of patients held at the infamous Bethlem Mental Asylum.Most were women, and the hypocritical staging was shocking, especially when after further research it was evident many of these women were not mentally ill in the first place. They were either a burden their families wanted to get rid of, or their husbands.


Niamh Padbury, Fashion Retail Academy, Fashion Business and Retail: 'No FilterClothing brand'

I have chosen to create a clothing brand called ‘No Filter’ made up of slogan and branded casualwear, with the vision behind it of creating a social movement to raise awareness of the pressures to be ‘perfect’ which are portrayed online through social media. My collection will be more than just a piece of clothing, as well as donating a percentage of profits to GirlGuiding, it will also represent the many teenagers who are mentally and physically affected by the unrealistic portrayal and expectations of life, beauty and the misconception of ‘perfection’. It is important to raise awareness for this as the rise of social media is increasing so is the damaging affects it has on our society.

Ramute Zaltaaskaite, The Manchester College, Foundation Art and Design, Fashion Design: 'Nostalgia Is The Mirror Of Our Past' 

As I get older, I catch myself remembering. It makes me happy, gives me an energy and inspiration for the next day to live with hope. Some memories are the nectar for my soul. Nostalgia itself is very strong and beautiful feeling if we can control it and do not bury ourselves in the memories of the past.

I chose to create several sculptural pieces using traditional crocheting skills I learnt 40 years ago in my home of Lithuania: I decided to make something to look-home like a holder for my memories. I used other objects, buttons, to indicate my journey through life. The crocheted bells used in my project are the messengers of the past: they rang suddenly and silvery.

The message I wanted to send is that we must remember our past. To learn from our mistakes. Our future generations must know who they are, know their roots, know their traditions and language even if they live not in the country where they were born...