The closing weeks of the summer term bring into focus the achievements of those students taking courses in the Creative Arts as the college opens its doors to students, parents and friends who all come to the Creative Arts Exhibition.
This year, by way of change, our guests could actually hear part of the exhibition before they arrived at the creative arts area, courtesy of the Music Technology department, whose performance of Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music could he heard all over the campus. In a rather more conventional way visitors entering the foyer of the Ellis and Kennedy building were able to watch examples of the five disciplines that make up Art and Design at Loreto on digital display screens before making their way into the various viewing areas.
The Art studio featured some highly creative pieces on the theme of everyday objects, suggested by the work of artist John Bratby. The Textiles area showcased the accomplishments of students working with the idea of butterflies and moths, as well as a fascinating piece of corsetry highlighting the bone structure of the human body and constructed partly from plastic cable ties.
Our Photography students are encouraged to be experimental in their approach and to pursue personal investigations in their work. This was much in evidence in the displays and digital notebooks to be seen in the photography studios in the Chapel building, where much of the Creative Arts department is housed. Personal investigation is also stressed in Graphics, where A2 students pick their own themes. This year guests were able to view highly impressive work based on a variety of themes, including feminism, mental health in sport and portraiture, as well some very imaginative and skilful interpretations of an exam task dealing with the promotion of a jazz and blues festival. Examples of the work carried out in 3D Design were to be found throughout the exhibition spaces, of particular interest being work centred on the themes of the puzzle of nature, and buildings and interiors. Another startling exhibit featured a large chess set where the pieces had been constructed ingeniously from old books sculpted into shape with a fret saw.
The work of the Performing Arts department was well represented at the exhibition. In addition to the Music Technology sound installation other musical interludes saw students giving informal recitals of piano pieces in preparation for ABRSM exams, and a highly innovative and experimental collaboration between music and dance as dancers responded to improvised piano solos. Examples from recent music and dance performances were also shown on viewing screens around the department.
Drama and Theatre Studies and Performing Arts students could be seen around the campus performing a range of monologues and duologues from classical and contemporary works, whilst screens on the red floor showed footage of full-scale productions from the past three years, including We Will Rock You, Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls, The Importance of Being Ernest and 1984.
Media Studies students were able to display their technical accomplishments on screens in the cafeteria, highlighting their expertise in film production and the making of music videos. The exhibition also featured work from groups sponsored by the English Department, mostly concerned with creative writing and performance poetry. Examples could be found in copies of the Manchester Muse, Loreto’s very own student magazine.
The exhibition was a marvellous testament to the creative talents of our students and to the teaching that is nurturing and developing those talents.