Thursday, 23 December 2010

Slovakian Photographer in Staffordshire - Tomas Kotlar

Tomas Kotlar is originally from Slovakia where he is a graduate of Social Work from Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. He is now studying Graphic and Digital Design at Staffordshire University.
“When I was studying in Slovakia, I was interested in photography and graphics. Most of my photos were taken on trips to different places, around Europe. I like to take pictures of monuments, bustling cities, statues and landscape. I am inspired by Czech photographer Jan Saudek and the Slovakian photographer Jakub Klimo. I want my photographs to bring people the kind of feelings that I felt when I was taking them so that they may see things in different ways, as I do. I have been taking photographs for 5 years and although they get better, there is always room to experiment and improve. Whenever I have a camera in my hand it still feels like the first time I have taken a picture.”Tomas is focusing his studies on typography and editorial pieces at Stafford University, but continues with his passion for photography.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Lindsay Monk - Photographer

Lindsay Monk is a recent graduate from Southampton Solent University although her interest in photography started when she was 16 years old. In her own words: “When it comes to photography I am very keen on capturing the natural moment so I tend to stay away from constructed studio work. My main interests are in landscape and architecture. I think this has come from living in Suffolk where I had a variety of interesting environments around me including seascapes, farmland and cityscapes.” Lindsay particularly enjoys working with film but digital is also part of her portfolio.“More recently I have attempted to get out of my comfort zone, focusing on an interior project, called 15.4.10. For this project I worked with a variety of different locations until I found one that I really engaged with. This resulted in working in the home of an elderly woman, who I had not previously met. I identified the kind of person and lifestyle she had by capturing the home in which she lived, digitally capturing various rooms of the house and input her belongings to get a sense of it in its natural state.”

See the results of Lindsay’s piece on

Monday, 22 November 2010

Sonnita Soand – Passionate about Colour!!!

Sonnita Soand is a recent graduate from Loughborough University in Multimedia Textiles.

She is inspired by many things in her environment particularly with unusual shapes and textures. However, her main focus in all her work is a vibrant and exciting use of colour.

Sonnita explains: “Themes I have currently been influenced by include Indian food and the structure of bird feathers.

My recent project was based on under water coral; I loved the fine detail and exciting, rich textures of them. My research consisted of photography and fine detailed drawing which I have become passionate about. From here, I developed my research further through a variety of materials and techniques; laser cut acrylic mirror, cut work, hand and machine embroidery, cording along with fabric manipulation. The fabrics I have worked with include silk organza, cotton organdie, hand made paper, acrylic paints, pvc, and many more. I am passionate about creative Textiles and love creating new colourful pieces that catch the eye. The combination of silk organza and acrylic mirror has become a key feature of work I do now and I am constantly thinking of new themes to work with.”
Sonnita’s beautiful work can be seen on

She is now available for freelance work and commission that are related to interiors, jewellery or fashion. She is also producing her own range of jewellery using acrylic mirror and regular coloured acrylic sheets which are ideal as a contemporary fashion piece.
“Colour is something I am deeply passionate about; I can never work without it!”

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Stunningly Beautiful and Unique Illustrations by Clare Dolan

Clare Dolan recently graduated in Illustration from Loughborough University. Her work is quite simply stunning! She is currently seeking experience in the design industry as well as freelance work and commissions. Snap her up now whilst you still have the chance!

Her chosen subject matter is surreal, psychedelic, fantastic or unusual in some way. Clare excels when she is creating something unique and out of the ordinary, loving to create imagery of the impossible, scenes of dreams and other worlds – exploring her imagination to the full.

Her techniques involve manipulating photographs, using all sorts of materials which are moulded into desired positions. Then the photograph, scan or collage elements are combined together digitally.

“I then spend a lot of the time playing around with the layers' styles and positions until I am happy. I'm always trying new things to find more varied and unusual textures and atmospheric feels. To create more unique work, I plan out lots of layouts in thumbnails to try and capture the most unusual and intriguing angle to appeal to the viewer.”

Clare also creates short animations which see believes help improve her composition and story-telling.

“There is more pressure when creating multiple viewpoints for one scene, and animation also allows for more playfulness”.

Go to to see more of Clare’s work or commission something really unique!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Jessica Middleton – Photographer for the future

Jessica Middleton is studying Photography and Fine Art at Chester University – now in her third year, her passion for photography and fashion continues to develop. Jessica’s first experience of fashion photography was when she was only 12 years old. The shoot at Holborn Studios, London, for a fashion magazine spread started her interest and love of the subject.
“I wanted to indulge in the surreal and fabulous world of fashion but in a way I could create fantasy and dreams to share through the world of photography. I love the way fashion photography gives endless scope to express yourself”.

Her recent work considers the importance of location, contrasting it with fashion.
“In my last project I used a derelict pub for the location shoot; then held an exhibition there complete with champagne and red carpet to greet guests. My images were blown up to a large scale then hung from ceiling, making them seem to float above the event as I didn’t want to cover the location walls. Exhibiting is important -you don’t just see a photograph, you have to 'feel' it too; experience the photographer’s dream.”
See more of Jessica’s work on

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Bringing a new perspective to the urban landscape - Edward Waite exhibits a contemporary, painterly approach

Recently graduated from the University of Lincoln in Fine Art, Edward’s work draws inspiration from the urban landscape which he captures through constant documentation using drawing, photography and painting.

He defines his role as an artist, by building experiences of places, conveying direct and tangible interpretations of particular landscapes. His work is memory focused as he describes:

“My painting becomes a subsequent response where feeling, reinterpretation and imagination are implicated. A city is unique. Individual interpretation is something that fascinates me and it is this idea that feeds my practice. I choose to work with manmade scenes rather than natural landscapes because I find that the compositions and perspectives are more motivating. The work reflects the city’s visual reality as I perceive it.”

Edward starts the process by drawing. He has entire sketch books filled with continuous marks which enable him to respond to the subject in a quick, direct and portable way, creating a wealth of detailed visual information. The process of walking and drawing creates a relationship between surroundings and self. His desire to repeat this action of documentation aids focus to look again, deeper and harder at surroundings.

Influenced by painters Pollock, Kiefer, Turner and Kline; all exponents of evoking mood through the application of broad gestured, thick paint and surface marks relates to the way in which Edward layers paint to create structure, his self-experience and physicality, as he explains:
“I build up each layer applying the paint direct from the tube, scratching with a palette knife and using broad brushstrokes to create form until I can sense the atmosphere I want.” You can see more of Edward’s work at or you can view his paintings in person at Rogues Gallery in Lincolnshire where he has just started exhibiting. For more information visit their website

Thursday, 12 August 2010

99.9 – A Graduate Exhibition

Above image by Gemma Jones
Nine recently graduated Fine Artists of De Montfort University, Leicester, are exhibiting 18 – 29th August at the Degree Art Gallery, 12A Vyner Street London, E2 9DG (open daily 12 – 6pm).

Worth a look – or check them out on

Those exhibiting include:
Chandni Challa, Charlotte Cleaver, Kathryn Harris, Naomi Hewson, Gemma Jones, Manolis Manarakis, Joe Moran, Tracy Walker and Hanna Whitmore

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Scholarship Winner on-course to Exhibit in London

Kathryn Harris, is from Neath in South Wales, she did foundation studies at Swansea Metropolitan University prior to Fine Art at De Montfort University, where she has recently graduated and now has her sights firmly set on developing her work as an artist.

Throughout the 3 year degree she examined aspects of childhood and memory, exploring darkroom techniques and photograms along with projections, using drawing and photography to back up her practice.

Kathryn’s final work used hair as the main element, exploring her ideas surrounding memory with a broad look at such things as fairytales, which influence us from childhood. She used 'lo-fi' as a means to create her work, employing old technology and artistic techniques, and describes her inspiration as:

“The use of hair is something which has been explored due to a want of both beauty and attraction teamed with repulsion and fear within the work, bearing resemblance to the ideas behind the work of Mona Hatoum. Hair is steeped in social, historical and symbolic resonance. Here, the hair is representing a part of something that has gone, a physical memorial to the person to which it once belonged. The Victorians used hair to remember their loved ones; locks were treasured within jewellery, or woven into pictures. ‘Hair Art’ was born out of people in mourning wanting a keepsake of their loved one; it was not seen as grotesque or macabre as it would be viewed as today. It is this Victorian sensibility of wanting to hold onto something from the past through hair which interests me, teamed with a fascination with fairytales, many of which being popularised in this era, with obvious links to Rapunzel along with a more general look at the use of fairytales to teach children morals and their use of symbolism; objects, colours, characters are used for specific reasons. Their resulting impact on our memories can often shape the way we perceive the world”.

She was awarded the Clephan Scholarship in her final year of study and a triptych of works from the final degree show was selected to be kept by the fine art faculty. See more of her work on

Kathryn is currently organising an exhibition in London with a group of fellow DMU graduates to take place from the 19th-29th August – watch this space for further details about the show!

Monday, 12 July 2010

First Class Hons – for a First Class Collection

Penny Newton, by her own admission, is an enthusiastic, bright and hard working individual with a passion for intimate apparel and the drive to succeed. Her thirst for knowledge and the desire to excel has resulted in a well deserved 1st class honours degree in Contour Fashion from De Montfort University.

Inspiration for her final collection, ‘AD-82- Anatomical Distortion’, was based on research about the human anatomy and plastic surgery. This led Penny to focus on the clean lines of flowing muscles which resulted in a capsule collection of lingerie, corsets and collars.

The fabric garments were all embellished with subtle red stitch detail, denoting muscle lines. The plastic corsets signify our desire for perfection and plastic surgery’s ‘quick fix’ to attain ‘the body beautiful’.

During Penny’s investigation she spent time studying alternative design labels and fetish wear. Trend research also allowed her to focus on fabrics such as denim and leather to gain texture and provide a different look at ‘alternative’ lingerie.

Her colour palette of creamy whites and blood red accompanied by chrome fastenings came from looking at Gunther Von Hagen’s Body Worlds exhibit.
Penny was also inspired to look into plastic corsets which are used to alter the spines of those who suffer with spinal deformities.

To see more of Penny’s work go to:

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Contour Fashion Excellence Exhibited on

Focus on Samantha Leigh Tretton

By her own admission Samantha is determined, self motivated and driven – so rightly deserves to do incredibly well from her recent degree show at De Montfort University.

A final year student on the Contour Fashion course, Samantha distinguished herself with an exceptional catwalk show and an exhibition to die for. Check out her work on

Her final collection was inspired by the feminine, polished style of the last debutantes of the fifties. Samantha gathered research in Paris and London, and was influenced by various exhibitions and extensive research trips.

The last London Season in 1958 marked the end of an incredibly glamorous era; the hourglass figure enhanced by the minute belted waist, full circle skirts with layers and layers of tulle, vibrant colour with stunning floral prints.

The bespoke designs celebrate the femininity of the young aristocratic girls ‘coming of age’, into a world of cocktail parties, balls and dinner dances, pearls and couture gowns.

“I designed clothes for flower-like women, with rounded shoulders, full feminine busts and hand-span waists above enormous spreading skirts." Christian Dior.

The unique collection reflects a contemporary take on this classic female silhouette with a twist of the elegant fifties style; hand-finished tailored lingerie and outerwear pieces using specially sourced vintage fabrics and antique trims combined with luxurious silks.

Samantha is a talent worth checking out – very quickly!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Virtual art gallery launches to showcases UK university talent launches this month. The website specially designed for art students to exhibit and sell their work goes live today with universities in the Midlands being the first to take advantage of the virtual gallery.

The site, which is free to join, has been developed to showcase the work of students in art disciplines to a global marketplace, offering pieces for sale and opportunities for commission. differs from other sites in that it works actively to find buyers, collectors and enthusiasts who are searching for contemporary art from emerging artists.

Commenting on the development of – Sue Gordon, director said: “We have been to many excellent graduation exhibitions and it seems sad that so much talent has just a few days of exposure and then in many cases is lost to public view. We designed to offer this creative pool of talent a broader market, actively contacting potential buyers who are seeking individual works of art, commissions and also jobs.”

Each individual artist or designer has their own virtual space on which they can manage, price their work and sell through the site. The creator is in total control of their virtual gallery at all times allowing them to keep it fresh, interesting and using descriptions that includes key words to help buyers search and find exactly what they are looking for.

There is also a bespoke service for buyers to help them source artists and designers for individual commissions.
For more details about how graduating students can join and buyers can access the site go to