Look to the future of design at the Free Range Art & Design Show

The next generation of creatives impress Sally Ashley-Cound with works of bees, buttons and their willingness to ‘embrace the beard’
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Vina Patel, Buttons

1 / 24 Vina Patel, Buttons

Marlon Adekoya

2 / 24 Marlon Adekoya

Aaron Griffiths

3 / 24 Aaron Griffiths

Barking & Dagenham College FdA Showcase

4 / 24 Barking & Dagenham College FdA Showcase

'Treat Yourself' at the University for the Creative Arts Maidstone

5 / 24 'Treat Yourself' at the University for the Creative Arts Maidstone

Alison Deborah Leah Gardiner, Collection Ephemera

6 / 24 Alison Deborah Leah Gardiner, Collection Ephemera

Alison Deborah Leah Gardiner, Collection Ephemera

7 / 24 Alison Deborah Leah Gardiner, Collection Ephemera

Sean McCarthy

8 / 24 Sean McCarthy

Kirsty Martin, Star Bright

9 / 24 Kirsty Martin, Star Bright

Boxuan Chen, Bee-Cause

10 / 24 Boxuan Chen, Bee-Cause

Cheniece Whiting

11 / 24 Cheniece Whiting

Cheniece Whiting

12 / 24 Cheniece Whiting

Chi Gavhure

13 / 24 Chi Gavhure

Fran Hergessel, Counterparts One: Twelve

14 / 24 Fran Hergessel, Counterparts One: Twelve

Helen Parsliffe, The Queue

15 / 24 Helen Parsliffe, The Queue

Helen Parsliffe, The Queue

16 / 24 Helen Parsliffe, The Queue

Lucy Alice Edwards

17 / 24 Lucy Alice Edwards

Lucy Alice Edwards

18 / 24 Lucy Alice Edwards

J. Omar Corona, The (re)Production of Space

19 / 24 J. Omar Corona, The (re)Production of Space

Peter Stevens

20 / 24 Peter Stevens

Sarah Jane Evans, Untitled (2010)

21 / 24 Sarah Jane Evans, Untitled (2010)

Spencer Jackson

22 / 24 Spencer Jackson

Vladas Bijeika, Social interface of the living space

23 / 24 Vladas Bijeika, Social interface of the living space

Spencer Jackson, Love your beard

24 / 24 Spencer Jackson, Love your beard


Free Range Art & Design Show has been bringing graduate students from around the UK together in London for the last 11 years, offering the public a chance to see what the future of art and design will look like. Housed in Brick Lane's Old Truman Brewery - in an area always buzzing with independent creative events, music, fashion and good food - the show runs over eight weeks (until 24 July), covering interiors, graphic design, fashion, photography, fine art and moving image.

I visited the show during Design Week 2 and found a varied range of works featuring balloons, buttons and campaigns for the well-being of bees, and illustrations which told you to 'love your beard' and 'smile and giggle'. I'm yet to succumb to the beard, but the sheer talent on display at Free Range gives plenty of opportunities for smiles and giggles.

The University of the Creative Arts Maidstone, for instance, offered an alternative catalogue to the show with sweet bags, emblazoned with 'treat yourself', in which to collect postcards of students’ work and their contact information. Alison Deborah Leah Gardiner created Collection Ephemera, a book in which you could explore her family's collections of stamps, music and other memories and artefacts, all laid out on pages that folded out and overlaid each other. Another of note was Kirsty Martin's illustrated Star Bright, a children's book intended to help young kids deal with loss and sadness.

On a lighter note, Vina Patel from Barking & Dagenham College looked at the history of buttons and produced a work in which a random collection seemed scattered across the surface of a canvas but each had been carefully sewn in place, just so. Aaron Griffiths took inspiration for his four posters from a quote by Charles Eames: 'If it isn't functional it isn't beautiful' - which provoked a fair few murmurings around us.

The University of East London, one of the larger exhibitors at Design Week 2, featured photo-etchings by Sarah-Jane Evans which she described as a 'Gray's Anatomy for idiots'. The different organs were annotated with idioms, puns and phrases including 'screaming at the top of my lungs' and 'to my hearts content'. Illustrations by Helen Parsliffe wittily analysed the English obsession with the queue, while Omar Corona's photographs explored the use of bold colour in the urban environment. 

If the forthcoming weeks' shows are as good as this one, the future of art & design does indeed look bright.

 

Sally Ashley-Cound

Free Range Art & Design Show continues this Friday with Photography Week 2 and the D&AD New Blood, Arts, Interior Architecture and Motion Arts & Photography weeks to follow.

There is a small selection of works from the show available to buy on Culture Label but if you see something you like it's best to contact the graduate directly.


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