Two students on the Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media are holding an exhibition of their work at the College next week, as they combine to display their artistic explorations into important aspects of their lives.

Lauren Clynch and Suzie Gray will host ‘Significance’ next Wednesday (24th May), which will incorporate their individual work from their Foundation year before they each head to university in September. It will also be chance to take donations and raise money for their chosen worthy charitable cause of Children with Cancer UK.

Both Lauren and Suzie studied for A Levels at the College before choosing to remain for the Foundation course before higher education, further developing their artistic skills and ensuring that they received unconditional offers to university to study Fine Art: Lauren to Liverpool John Moores and Suzie to Loughborough.

“We work well together. We’re both quite experimental, which is another reason to exhibit together. We both work in sketchbooks so it’s very experimental and tactile, so it should be good."

Suzie Gray

While exhibiting at the end of the Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media is encouraged but not essential, Lauren and Suzie were keen to display the products of all their hard work, and chose to do it together for a number of reasons.

Some of Suzie Grey's watercolour work

Lauren said: “Our projects have interlinking themes and we’re friends as well, plus we’re going to different universities, so we thought it would be nice as one last project before we go our separate ways.

“We wanted the experience of exhibiting before we leave, but we also want the response to our work too and see what people think of it. We’ve got a sketchbook for visitors to write their feedback for us.”

Describing their work as a team, 19-year-old Lauren said: “Some things we’ve sort of collaborated on, like our stencils, we can hang together and the shadows become a collaborative piece, but we’re taking different approaches. Suzie’s working on landscapes, and mine is more conceptual art at the moment.”

"The concept behind my work is to create an abstract portrait of someone through investigating what is most significant in their lives. For my mum - the main subject of my brief - it was motherhood."

Lauren Clynch 

Suzie agreed, saying: “We work well together too. We’re both quite experimental, which is another reason to exhibit together. We both work in sketchbooks so it’s very experimental and tactile, so it should be good.

“It’s called ‘Significance’ and Lauren’s concentrating on a significant area of person, whereas I’m doing a significant area – all of my work is based on one specific space.”

The pair have worked across a number of different media for their final exhibition, including sketches, video, stencils and projection, and although Lauren and Suzie’s art may complement each other, they both have their own style and roots.

Lauren's work focuses on her mother

Suzie explained: “I chose the subject matter of Royden Park because I wanted to work in an environment that I had never experienced before, so that when I produced work there it was completely organic and I had no preconceptions about the area. When I visited the landscape, I thought that it was so rich in colour and texture that I wanted to respond to it in an artistic way.”

Lauren, however, approached her project more from the inside working outward.

She said: “The concept behind my work is to create an abstract portrait of someone through investigating what is most significant in their lives. For my mum - the main subject of my brief - it was motherhood. Therefore, the work that I produced was centred around the significance of being a parent in my mum's life. This includes the personal journey of motherhood, through the diaries she kept whilst pregnant and through my childhood, as well as the preservation of those memories through possessions she kept and photographs.”

Both students also felt that staying at the College for a third year to complete the Foundation Diploma was the perfect decision for them, with Lauren saying: “People come up to us all the time and ask us what we think of doing the Foundation course, and we always encourage people to do it. If you’re going off to do Fine Art anyway, then it’s only another year. In terms of speaking, acting and being able to talk about your work like an artist, it’s definitely helped me.”

Suzie echoed Lauren’s sentiments, and said: “You learn to work for yourself independently and have to know what you’re doing, so the level of reflection of your own work is more intense. That’s what uni’s like, if not more so, so it’s good preparation and it’s definitely worth it.”

‘Significance’ will be on display in the College’s B8 studio on Wednesday 24th May between 5pm – 7pm.

To find out more about the Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media, click here.