MA Degree Show 2020: Creativity in a time of Covid

One of this years entries at the Annual degree show

Inspiring creations by Masters of Arts students at the University of Sunderland are going on display at our annual degree show.

From subjects such as our interactions during lockdown, ocean pollution and sustainable textiles to loss, memory recall and ‘invisible domestic work’ – the exhibitions highlight the array of artistic talent from our art and design students.

With many of their works borne out of their own personal experiences of the Covid 19 lockdown, academics say this year’s group have produced incredible works under challenging circumstances.

The work by students from the MA Glass and Ceramics, MA Photography, MA Fine Art and MA Design programmes have been congratulated by guest speakers and Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries staff and students, during a virtual celebration event. Guest speakers included Andy Sandoz (Alumni graduate and partner and UK chief creative officer of creative digital consultancy, Deloitte Digital) and Nicholas Baumfield (Arts Council England).

Professor Kevin Petrie, Head of the School of Art and Design at the University of Sunderland, said: “What stands out for me is the resilience and creative drive of these graduating masters students – who despite the range of challenges presented by the pandemic have continued to develop and adapt their creative visions.

“The range of outstanding work presented is testament to their professionalism and the qualities of adaptability, personal responsibility and cutting-edge creativity needed for Masters level study.”

Following the celebration event, the students’ work is available to view at – our online creative hub for the work and creativity of students, graduates and staff from the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at University of Sunderland.

Among those exhibiting their work at this year’s shows are:

Iam Burn

Iam Burn, MA Photography
For his Degree Show he has created a body of work titled ‘Once’. It is a mix of images and haiku poetry looking at the subject of loss.

Fedra Matolcsi

Fedra Matolcsi: MA Photography
Based on the idea of place attachment, Fedra says: “Memories of places fill my mind when I think of my past. I travelled and moved so much, it almost feels like I have no home. Places that comforted me are not protecting anymore. The sadness of leaving these beloved spaces behind and breaking the attachments I felt are the strings that pulled this project together. This must sound sad now, but grieving my past also means I can go forward in my life.”

Liz O Connell

Liz O’Connel – MA Glass and Ceramics
For her Degree Show project, Liz explores domestic narratives by making glass textiles and using them performatively, exploring complex ideas about gender and ‘invisible’ work. She reappropriates domestic detergents and materials, subverting domestic chores by filming the process and creating film stills and canvases.

Terry Varley

Terry Varley – MA Glass and Ceramics
Inspiration for her entry to this year’s degree show, came from the sea life found around Lundy – an island in the Bristol Channel, off Ilfracombe – where annual family holidays were taken. In 2010 Lundy was made the first Marine Conservation Zone to help protect nationally important marine life, habitats and geology.

Alice Potey

Alex Potey – MA Glass and Ceramics
After living in the UK for five years, working in hospitality in Newcastle, French born Alice discovered a passion for pottery and turned to the National Glass Centre to explore her craft further.

Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson – Fine Art MA
Her entry into the MA Degree Show, ‘Digital Bodies’, focuses on our relationship with our own identity and bodies in digital space in contrast to the physical world.

Sophie Henderson

Sophie Henderson: MA Design
Her final design was inspired by textiles techniques and their origins, paying homage to the women who developed them over generations.

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