New Designers 17

What a busy month June turned out to be! Apart from written work hand-ins and delivering my conference paper, the general election and taking part in the count for the first time, and my birthday, every other minute was taken up preparing my work for the New Designers 17 show at the end of the month.

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New Designers is a two-part exhibition showcasing emerging talent from universities all over the UK and takes place every year at the Business Design Centre in London.

I was very fortunate to be exhibiting alongside talented BA Design, and MA By Creative Practice students on the Liverpool Hope University stand. Ceramics, textiles, metalwork, jewellery and surface pattern made a rich display.

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I had a lot to carry down, not least Fifi - my mannequin - in a ruck sack on my back!

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I stayed in halls nearby. I never lived in halls even as an undergrad so this was another new experience! I was lucky enough to have a flat to myself and it was lovely and quiet.


We spent Monday and Tuesday putting our stand together.

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The tricky bit - adding our name!

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Ta dah!

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All the exhibitors came together for a briefing...

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Wednesday was judging day, Private View and the Awards Ceremony. I managed a cheeky snap of one of the ceramics judges, Keith Brymer-Jones, from the Great Pottery Throw Down.

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Sponsors Peroni provided the free drinks at the Private View.

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Then it was the After Party, yay!

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Thursday, Friday and Saturday were public viewing.

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We showcased platinum lustre ceramics by Leone Davis, Japanese inspired tableware by Casey Cain...

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and architecturally styled ceramics by Charlotte Fahey...

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Japanese inspired printed textiles and wallpaper by Casey Cain...

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a unique perspex collar and deco inspired jewellery by Lucy Cunningham...

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award winning silversmithing and hand-raised metalwork by Alex Owens... 

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and more. 

My own work was a jacket upcycled from waste textiles, but more of that in the next post!

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There were opportunities to talk about our work with judges and visitors...

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There were many talks to attend over three days which were very informative.

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And a little time to visit some favourite places: 

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Especially good was the Reveal Festival on the Friday evening at the V&A to celebrate their opening of the Exhibition Road Quarter galleries and outdoor courtyard. An extravagant mix of Boiler Room, the English National Ballet, and many other musicians, singers and dancers made it a very memorable night. 

What a beautiful place to eat in!

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Can you spot me?

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Highly reflective, hmm.

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Feeling subterranean.

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A summer party feeling.

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Choreographed by impulses.

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Boiler Room in the entrance had everyone dancing.

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Overall, I’m glad I took part in New Designers. Most of the exhibitors were hand-picked as being the best of this year’s graduates and it was very inspiring to see examples of unique, accomplished, vibrant, and exciting work. Everyone commented that the footfall at the show was very low this year, which was disappointing, however it did mean not having to battle with the crowds to see things. Always a silver lining!

Would I do it again? Yes and no. 

Being halfway through my research, I used it as an opportunity to gather research from visitors and exhibitors, testing the temperature for sustainability in textiles. As a graduate I would approach things differently. I’d be more prepared earlier, not just with my work but with submitting publicity and maintaining my presence on social media. It’s a very commercial show with appreciation of highly finished products. I’m not sure how well my work fits this mould, but I had encouraging feedback from other artists and businesses, so time will tell. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and feel blessed to have been part of such a wonderfully creative event.

Phew, a long post! Thanks for sticking with it! In the next one I’ll tell you about my jacket!!!