For the past two decades, the CSM Museum & Study Collection has actively purchased works from graduating students during the College’s end-of-year shows. Last year, this acquisition process took a new form in the inaugural Deans' Awards. This year, we are pleased to purchase even more work from students, collecting 28 new pieces for the CSM Museum & Study Collection.
Our Deans of Academic Programmes – Rachel Dickson, Paul Haywood and Rebecca Wright – focused on work by 28 graduating artists, designers and performers. You can explore the entire collection online on the Graduate Showcase. The awards were presented last week during a live, online ceremony with the Deans, Head of the Museum Judy Willcocks and the students.
Speaking to the award winners, Judy Willcocks, Head of the CSM Museum & Study Collection, said:
This work is of real substance, it tells stories and addresses issues that are important to us – racism and anti-racism, identity, wellbeing and equity. Most of all, being able to be the people that we are and the people that we want to be without fear of being judged.
It was an important and impactful experience for me looking through your work. Maybe the last 18 months have forced a kind of introspection that's brought a richness to your work. Maybe it is that we've all just had to dig deep, and you've been digging deeper than most, because you've been art and design students coming up to your final show. Or maybe it's because the world is literally on fire. Your work speaks loudly and says something very important.
The artists and designers selected for the Deans' Award demonstrate the depth and breadth of graduating students.
This cohort made their final collections in pandemic lockdown and many demonstrated incredible tenacity and ingenuity. Roni Levy's BA Jewellery Design series presents incredible forms created from onion skins while Angelica Ellis transformed Coke cans into intricate embellishments as armoury in her BA Fashion collection for descendants of the Windrush generation. Others found the experience of the pandemic influenced their work; Ruby Mellish's headpiece for BA Jewellery Design reflects the isolation and self-reflection during lockdown. Responding to the experiences of those with COVID-19, Nour Ibrahim, MA Industrial Design, created a kit for rehabilitating your sense of smell.
Two graduating students connect social justice and language in different ways. Amandine Forest, BA Graphic Communication Design, wants to "give back the letter of nobility to African writing systems" and so designed a new typeface and and symbolic language. Graduating from BA Fine Art, Meriem Mecili documents the Tamazight language and has created language packs to encourage its adoption in the face of homogenising and globalising adoption of Arabic.