Unmasked: Students stage 2021 creative showcase

Unmasked: Students stage 2021 creative showcase

A brand new exhibition from the University of Cumbria Institute of the Arts is showcasing the creativity and talents of more than 200 artists.

Launching on Tuesday 1 June, Unmasked: IoA Degree Show 2021 represents the work of students who are graduating this summer.

The online exhibition features pieces from across visual, media and performance programmes - Acting, Film and Television, Fine Art, Games Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Musical Theatre, Performing Arts, Photography and Wildlife Media.

Unmasked will be enhanced with a presence in Carlisle city centre that has been carefully planned to operate safely and allows government covid guidance to be followed.

Independent venues will offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the university’s arts institute and dedicated campus, and, importantly, access the online exhibition and enjoy students’ art.

Colette Conroy, director, Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria, said: “As lecturers, we’re incredibly proud of our students’ achievements. The Unmasked digital exhibition and its enhancement in Carlisle city centre is a raising of the curtain, a big reveal, for our students who can’t wait to share their work with others.

“They have stepped up to complete their degrees at a time when we’ve all faced the challenges of the pandemic. This exhibition demonstrates the dedication, creativity, adaptability and application they have shown throughout their programmes. Our congratulations go to each and every one of them.

“Art helps us to find beauty, joy and meaning in all aspects of life and our artists are ready to step up to fill the vital role that artists have always had in society.”

BA (Hons) Wildlife Media student Mike Lavin explores how nature positively impacts on mental health and wellbeing – using the River Eden through Cumbria as his inspiration and filming location.

Mike missed almost half of his secondary school education due to the chronic condition ME. He made a return to learning, gaining a university place, after a five-year break from education.

Mike, from Cheadle Hulme, Greater Manchester, said: “I’d never thought about university; I never believed I would be well enough due to the anxiety and illness experienced since 2003. When I’d worked for five years, couldn’t find anything I liked and felt like I was going nowhere, my sister recommended I go to college to see where it would lead. That’s when I discovered this wildlife media course. I’ve had a lot of struggles but I’ve built myself back up, got back into education and into uni.

“I’ve received fantastic support from my lecturers. They’ve really inspired me to learn and work hard, answering any questions I’ve had. As a result, studying at university has made me a more confident, sociable person.”

Unmasked is available online at www.uocdegreeshow.uk from Tuesday 1 June.

In addition:

  • Intro, in Paternoster Row, will have poster boards and access to the digital exhibition.
  • A socially distanced cinema experience celebrating the moving image will be at Carlisle City Council's Old Fire Station, in Peter Street.
  • The exhibition is open from Tuesday 1 to Friday 11 June (except Sunday 5 June), 11am-4pm daily (2pm close on 11 June).

Nearby, 54.9064° N 2.9316° W, a collection by final-year photography students, will be on display in The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral, from Tuesday 1 to Monday 7 June, 10am-3pm daily.

Student Nicole Greenwood, 20 from Blackpool, said: “Working hard on our final major projects for the Unmasked degree show, I’m also delighted that the Fratry at Carlisle Cathedral will have a selection of our work on display. This is a great way to end our time together and we look forward to the city supporting us.”