New talent: Brighton degree show 2015

07. Holly Macdonald

Holly Macdonald asked the public to vote for the politician they hated the most

Holly Macdonald asked the public to vote for the politician they hated the most

Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
Project: The Pop-Up Poll Booth

"As the General Election loomed, for my final major project I transformed an empty shop in Brighton into a paradoxical polling station," explains Holly Macdonald. "I asked the public, instead, to vote for the politician they hated the most."

Macdonald filled the space with caricature sculptures of politicians, looping GIFs of political cartoons and different activities designed to encourage political participation.

"The aim was to make learning about politics accessible to everyone and to promote political engagement with the subject," she says. "The most challenging part was setting up the event itself – I'd never created or run my own shop before."

"The biggest lesson I learned was to expect the unexpected: I didn't expect a Sky News camera crew to show up outside my shop; nor did I expect three of my politicians to resign in one day. Nigel 'thankfully' changed his mind."

08. Abby Middleton

Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
Project: Beneath

Beneath is an unsettling short film that takes the viewer on an emotional journey. "I wanted to make the viewer gradually feel more and more uneasy as the camera pans from the top of the forest to the ground, to insinuate the idea that, although the forest is a beautiful place, you never know what's beneath the soil," explains Abby Middleton.

The most challenging part, she says, was creating a change in atmosphere without jolting the viewer from one mood to the next. "I overcame this with subtle changes in colour correction and faster edits as the sequence goes on," she says.

09. Alice Larcombe

Course: Illustration BA(Hons)
Project: GODOT

Though GODOT, Alice Larcombe explores the banality and insanity of everyday situations, scenarios and objects.

"The aim of this work is to trigger an uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty through the use of everyday domestic objects arranged and made to move in an unnatural way, which unsettles the audience," says Alice Larcombe of GODOT, a short film that mixes still life composition and photography with animation and sound design.

Larcombe began by experimenting with "seemingly insignificant" objects to create small-scale GIFS. As the project evolved, she started to work on a larger scale before compiling the final animations into one film. "I then applied unnerving sounds to the visuals in order to enhance their unsettling effects," she says.

10. Lawrence Dodgson

Course: Illustration BA (Hons)
Project: The Lawrence Dodgson Retrospective

"'The Lawrence Dodgson Retrospective' is the name I gave to my exhibition space at the Brighton University graduate show. The idea is that the work was aware it was in a degree show, and really functions as a mass showreel of all my film work – as examples of the work I'd like to carry on doing after university."

Lawrence Dodgson wrote messages on the wall of his exhibition space

Lawrence Dodgson wrote messages on the wall of his exhibition space

Four screens show four different areas of Dodgson's work: as a director [above], animator, performer and miscellaneous. "I thought it would be engaging to write on the wall, and leave the socks scarred in hard work by the work."

11. Emma Strauss

Emma Strauss explored the idea of "aloneness" in the urban environment

Emma Strauss explored the idea of "aloneness" in the urban environment

Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
Project: Aloneness

Emma Strauss documented empty shopping malls, cinemas, a swimming complex, launderettes and the hidden rooms and corridors of her university building to capture the "surrealistic atmosphere" of empty spaces that are originally designed for crowds.

"The notion of aloneness in the urban environment is a state we're not used to," she explains. "I observed the difference it made on being in public spaces."

12. Azusa Fukazawa

Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
Project: Azoosa

Azusa Fukazawa book and quirky short film Azoosa follows a day in the life of a fictional illustrator, living in Brighton. "When English people try to pronounce my name 'Azusa', it sounds like 'A-zoo-sa', which is different to the Japanese accent," she explains.

Animation combines with film in Azusa Fukazawa's final year project

Animation combines with film in Azusa Fukazawa's final year project

"This makes me feel as if I'm a different person, acting someone else. I thought it could be interesting to put myself as a fictional artist and follow her life and art works. I explored my both backgrounds in Tokyo and Brighton to find out where I come from in this book."

13. Benjamin Redgrove

Course: Illustration BA(Hons)
Project: Markets Up

Markets Up explores the religious undertones within fundamentalist free market capitalism and the lengths people will go to when they are fully indoctrinated into a system of belief.

"I'm just fascinated by the potential for systems of governance to become dehumanising and spectacularly oppressive, in the sense that we get so overstimulated with sensation, information and beautifully lurid imagery we become very easily manipulated," says Benjamin Redgrove.

Benjamin Redgrove reconciled a serious concept with light-hearted visuals

Benjamin Redgrove reconciled a serious concept with light-hearted visuals

"The medium of video is suited to the project's theme as it is incredibly invasive and mesmerising, like when you're trying to hold a conversation whilst a television screen is in view – you always get drawn to it."

"The most challenging part, as seems to often be the case, was reconciling serious concept with enticing, tongue-in-cheek visuals and just generally having fun with it all."

14. Steph Hope

Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
Project: All The Time music video

Steph Hope collaborated with a number of fellow students to create a music video for a track 'All The Time', by her university band The Commotions. In it, the band ruthlessly murder each other in the woods, unable to resist the temptation of their own deepest personal fantasies.

Still from Steph Hope's music video for All The Time, a track by her university band

Still from Steph Hope's music video for All The Time, a track by her university band

"Ben and I set up five separate shoots: two in the woods and three indoors," she explains. "In the woods our friend Alex Michael was our cameraman, whilst we rolled around in the mud. Ben and I spent a tenner each on disgusting looking food for George's fantasy that no one ended up really eating."

"Also we had to hurriedly paint four other people – who were working to a deadline – completely gold for the sake of about three seconds of the video."

"It's quite stressful when you've gone to loads of trouble to set up a shoot and you don't have much time to do it in," she adds. "It took a lot of planning and it was loads of fun."

15. Oonagh Maria Thorn

Oonagh Maria Thorn's exhibition space

Oonagh Maria Thorn's exhibition space

Course: BA (Hons) Illustration
Project: Temporary Arrangements

Oonagh Maria Thorn's degree project documents the bedrooms of students in their early twenties. "It's an exploration of how the individual interacts with their space, looking at what they collect, what's hidden and what's revealed."

Oonagh Maria Thorn recorded interviews, and photographed and filmed the bedrooms of students

Oonagh Maria Thorn recorded interviews, and photographed and filmed the bedrooms of students

The most challenging part was initially going into the private spaces of the students who features "and being so inquisitive", she says, "but then I got over this boundary and got a sense of how to approach the individual".

Half-price Computer Arts subs offer!

To celebrate 2015 degree show season, you can get an incredible 50 per cent off an annual subscription to Computer Arts magazine. For £39 you'll receive 12 months of industry insight, opinion and inspiration, delivered to your door.

Plus: sign up by 7 July 2015 and you'll receive Computer Arts' New Talent issue, featuring an extensive guide to 2015's most outstanding design graduates.

Liked this? Try these...