Art, Features, Manchester, Review

Meet the Future: Manchester School of Art Degree Show celebrates the Class of 2024

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Featured image: Elizabeth Clark


As the annual Manchester School of Art Degree Show comes to a close, we reflect on the outstanding work created by this year’s graduates.

With the theme of the 2024 Manchester School of Art Degree Show circling the idea of ‘Meet the Future’, this truly encapsulated the exciting prospects for up-and-coming designers from Manchester Met and provided an insight into the promising future of Art and Design and introducing artists and creatives from a variety of industries.

Celebrating the work of the Class of 2024, this year’s show took place across five different buildings, including the newly reopened home of the Manchester School of Art, the Holden Gallery.

Following in the footsteps of celebrated creative alumni including artist LS Lowry, actor Bernard Hill and fashion designer Ossie Clark, graduates from across art, design, fashion, digital arts, performance and architecture shared a diverse range of work, with visitors’ spoilt for choice in where to go first.

Tutor Hannah Jones, who is a keen “material explorer”, specialising in bio-based materials and natural dyes, described this year’s show as “one of the busiest shows [she’d] seen”, outlining the “vibrant and buzzy” nature of this year’s event.

Hannah, who works closely on the BA Textiles in Practice course, described the importance of the Department of Design hosting award ceremonies to truly “commend the exceptional work” of this year’s graduates.

Jostling through the crowds of people, viewers began their journeys at the textile studios, taking in the wonderful array of woven, knitted, digital and embroidered works.

Designs by Textiles in Practice graduate Ruth Farris, were particularly striking, compiling beautiful handwoven designs that cascaded from head height to the floor in a uniform way. The colours present in Ruth’s work providing a fantastic backdrop to the intricate woven patterns.

Textile graduate Ellen Deane’s display also wowed, her work as a sustainable textile practitioner catching the eye of many visitors. Ellen’s work showcases the endless possibilities for sustainable development within the textile industry, exploring the breadth of natural dyes, her findings displayed ceremoniously in a booklet that explores the variety of materials for natural dyeing.

When moving further through the building, crowds began to filter into the other studios, taking in the plethora of exciting work on display by our budding future Graphic Design graduates. 

aAh! Magazine graphic designer Bradley Sansom, who has just finished his third year studying Graphic Design at Manchester Met, described his involvement with the preparation for the show: “The graphic design course always likes to make a big thing of our degree shows, and this year is no exception.” Bradley adds, “We had a huge turnout on our opening night, and there’s been a steady stream of visitors ever since.”

Bradley, who was heavily involved with the preparation of the show, described his time working towards the run-up to the event: “I’ve been part of the team designing the identity for the show, THIS IS THE PLACE, which celebrates our building and our city, the place from which we’re graduating after three years of exploring our creative practice.

“I’ve also produced the THIS IS THE PLACE website, which will be a long-lasting online exhibition to showcase our course’s talented graduates.”

An interesting amalgamation of works, this year’s graphic design team offered an exciting glimpse into the future of the industry. With a variety of digital and physical works on display, viewers took in the splendour that enticed the senses, exploring print, animation and illustrative designs.

In the School of Digital Arts (SODA) building, viewers could further explore the digital aspect of design. Making their way around departments such as Games Art, Animation, and Filmmaking, the crowds got a true flavour of every aspect that SODA has to offer.

Analogue photographer and multi-disciplinary visual artist Ela Skorska, displayed her final year work in the SODA building this year. Ela said: “I was so impressed with the standard of the work, it was so inspiring!”

Ela, who studied Photography at SODA, described her next steps: “I was selected for the Warrington Arts Festival where my work will be shown for two months between July and September, so I will be taking my project straight from the degree show to Warrington.” 

Outlining her other experiences, Ela said: “I also applied for other opportunities like a darkroom residency in Chennai India and an RPS postgraduate grant, and I have a list of others on the horizon.” 

This year’s degree show truly encapsulated the exciting scope for artists and designers graduating from Manchester School of Art and its respective associates. Although the show is now over, the graduates will move on to exciting new opportunities, taking their work all over the world to spread their skills and perspectives across the globe.

For more about 2024 Manchester School of Art Degree Show, explore the ‘Meet the Future’ digital showcase website celebrating the work of the class of 2024.

About the author / 

Elizabeth Clark

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