It’s just over twelve months since the University of Chester temporarily closed its doors in order to keep students and staff safe from the COVID-19 virus. Within the Department of Art & Design it’s been a unique and challenging time for everyone with our students and staff rapidly shifting to online learning. For practice-based courses like ours, this challenged what was possible in terms of the type of work our students were able to produce. Without access to the fantastic facilities that make our courses so attractive, students and staff have had to be more resourceful, more agile, more innovative than ever before. The creative problem-solving skills our Art & Design students are renowned for have certainly been put to the test but have not been found wanting.
When viewing the work in this exhibition marking the culmination of their second year of study for students from Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing and Communication, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography and Product Design, you will be amazed.
You might consider that what you see has been produced by students who have had their first year of study cut short on 19th March 2020. Students who had very limited, socially distanced access to studios and workshops for just a few weeks at the start of their second year and who have battled with the emotional strain of the impact of COVID-19. Students who have had to work in their bedrooms, or on kitchen tables shared with their siblings, parents, carers or housemates who were also working from home. Students using equipment, materials and tools substantially different to those available to them at Creative Campus Kingsway, forcing them to rethink, reimagine or restart projects under very different circumstances.
Your amazement will not be for how well these students have done under the circumstances. It will be surprise and admiration at the breadth of ideas, the quality of the finish, the professionalism, the range of approaches and skills on show that have eclipsed the adversity faced.
The evidence that our students are truly creative is within this work. They have done well irrespective of the circumstances.
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