Since 1843: In The Making
Nottingham Trent University recently celebrated 170
years of Art and Design heritage with an ambitious
year long series of events.
The anniversary began with Since 1843: In the Making,
a month-long exhibition featuring the work of almost
100 NTU alumni across a wide range of Art and Design
disciplines, and spanning exhibits from the 1800’s
through to present day.
Contributors included contemporary and established
artists such as Jon Burgerman, Rob Ryan, Turner
Prizewinner Simon Starling, Noble and Webster, Lucy
Orta and Mat Collishaw; actor Paul Kaye and director
Jonathan Glazer; fashion designers Stuart Trevor
and Pearce Fionda; photographers Andy Earl and
Julian Finney; through to the work of Dame Laura
Knight, the very first woman to be elected to the
Royal Academy and one of the youngest students
ever to enrol at the then Nottingham School of Art
The objective was to develop a bespoke, keepsake
publication with highly sympathetic consideration
of design throughout, to reflect creative practice
at NTU, past, present and future. I was commissioned
to develop the concept and design for the catalogue
and exhibition identity.
Alumni from past and present, representing a broad
range of courses and disciplines are featured so the
concept had to be something that unites all.
A skill that many creatives use across the board is
drawing, from fashion, graphic design, fine art and
textiles we all draw at some point, whether to simply
visualise an idea or as a main focal point.
The idea for Since 1843: In The Making is based on the
process of continuous line drawing, which weaves from
one page (and alumni) to the next, illustrating their story
and acting as a visual timeline binding alumni from
different disciplines and skill sets together while
sharing the same starting point (NTU).
Each drawing is created without taking the pen from
the paper and illustrates each graduate's starting
point (shown from the perspective of Nottingham
Trent University’s architecture), to where they are
now, the media they use, or something specific to
their career journey. Fittingly to the title, this process
involves making and creating without being too
precious. Illustrations were highlighted with hand
painted enamel spot details to finish.
The limited edition catalogue was unveiled to almost
1000 opening event attendees in Nottingham and has
been used throughout 2014/15 as a special giveaway
at subsequent celebratory events. The core design
has also been adapted as the basis for development
of a website.
The event opened at the NTU Nottingham City site
and was officially launched with the help of actor
Paul Kaye, alumnus of Theatre Design; musician
Damon Albarn, whose parents Hazel and Keith are
both artists and alumni of NTU, where they first met
in the 1960s.