New students successfully navigate first term with alternative map of Chester.

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Art and Design students starting at the University this term are proving that the pandemic is no barrier to creativity – and already have their work on display in the city centre.

During Induction Week, the Department of Art and Design set their new students the task of creating an alternative map of the city.

Working in small bubbles of four, students from all seven undergraduate programmes – Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing and Communication, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography and Product Design – chose a mystery location in Chester, using the website www.what3words.com. They then set off to document their location using any media they liked – text, drawing, photography, painting, or collage. They were challenged to use all their senses; not only what they could see, but also smell, hear and experience at their location and on the way there. When they had completed their work, the groups returned to the Contemporary Art Space [CASC] gallery in the city, and delivered their finished pieces to staff who collated them into a large alternative map. 

Dr Tracy Piper-Wright, Deputy Head of the Department of Art and Design, said: “During Induction Week we wanted our first years to get to know each other and the city through a fun and safe face to face activity. We also wanted to get to know them and their own individual creative approach.  

“Starting University is always a little stressful and this year we were acutely aware of providing opportunities for students to get to know each other safely and to really feel part of Creative Campus Kingsway. We’re delighted with how they embraced this challenge and produced some imaginative and inventive responses while having fun.  Their individual efforts have contributed to the creation of an impressive, collaborative artwork, and they can be very proud of their achievement.”

Head of the Department of Art and Design, Associate Professor Bernadine Murray, added: “Students told us how much they enjoyed the opportunity to meet others in the Department and to walk through the amazing city that they’ll be calling home for the next three years. “The work they’ve produced, in such a short space of time, is incredibly diverse and shows the inventiveness of our new students. We have tiny paintings, drawings of sound, candid street photography, surface rubbings – all evidencing their great observational skills.”