City of Bristol College’s Level 3 Art and Design BTEC course normally culminates in an end of year show. It’s a big exhibition that students use to showcase their work.
This year, due the current circumstances, we’re unable to host the event.
But we’re proud of what our students have achieved in their two years with us. That’s why we’re sharing a sample of their end of year projects with you online.
Click on the blue drop downs for the artist’s description.
All artwork reflects students’ own views and the college remains independent of students’ personal opinions and artistic treatment, but to support the development of their professional and personal skills, it publishes their final course artwork.
Throughout my time in lockdown and for the main focus of the final project I had taken it upon myself to take a selection of pictures to capture my everyday routine, mainly focusing on the people who I shared it with. I’m glad that I have the photographs to remember such an interesting time in both mine and my family’s life which I perhaps wouldn’t have captured without the focus of this project. I then used these photographs to inspire 2 paintings.
The first painting is of my Mum, one of the main characters in my own version of “lockdown”. It is in reference to a photograph taken in the initial period of lockdown when all seemed pretty foreign and miserable, unsure of when this whole situation would come to an end. The picture is taken in the doorway of a stable where my Mum’s horses are kept. I chose this one in particular as everyday we’d visit them as an attempt to pass the time, feed them, and groom them. Not only does the setting represent a significant part of our daily routine but the sharp contrast of the sunlight and dark background of the stable accurately highlight the role my mum has played within lockdown to both me and my sister. She has become a beacon of light, rarely pessimistic. My Mum has been vital in helping me to stay sane within this strange scenario. The painting is done in oil paint, a medium that I have only experimented with on one other occasion, however due to the lack of access to supplies it was the only medium I could use but ended up working to my advantage. The slight unfinished background and border also aid in portraying the idea of instability that we’re feeling
The second painting is of my friend Laila, much like my Mum she is a human light source wherever she goes. More recently when the ban on meeting people had been lifted, myself and a few friends went to Clevedon. I wanted to capture the joy and freedom we all felt as it had been one of the happiest moments within this whole lockdown, and the sliver of normality it had given me. This picture along with the one of my Mum was also done in oil paint on paper, however unlike the other it is more complete as well as consisting of a brighter background not only to even out the warmer tones of the skin and hair but to display a calmer time.
During lockdown, I have been going through so many emotions, for example some days I was happy and other days i just broke into tears because of how abnormal this whole situation was. During lockdown I was thinking about my assignment and decided to express my emotions and go with the theme of freedom since I felt 95%-100% of people across the nation wanted this more than anything. When watching the news it always made me lose hope and I was finding myself in an emotional state, so whenever I was drawing I was always using colours to express my emotions and silhouettes to show the action of what I was thinking at the time, to which it felt appropriate, but when creating everything i really wanted to make sure that there was a clear message to the art piece and for it to make sense was one of my top goals for this assignment.
I wanted to incorporate a quote that I felt was the best fit for this project and this is a quote I heard and read on social media and that quote is “my only wish is to be free”. To be free means to not have any restrictions and not to have any consequence for an action that many others are doing, this is what people wanted after lockdown was introduced. From personal experience all I wanted to do was go out and see my friends and enjoy the summer weather with them to make memories that would last a life time.
This for me is something that I am most proud of, simply because I am so happy with the way I have arranged this and how this as a composition has such a significant meaning considering the current circumstances we are undergoing so that’s why I used the quote “my only wish is to be free”. This quote I believe is the most appropriate and this is how many people are currently feeling.
My project was based on the classical academic ways of drawing and painting that I have been studying over the last 3 years. I talked about the style and the artists that have influenced me. The first part of my project I talked about the artist (Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, and Eugène Delacroix, and explain why I find their ways of drawing and painting interesting. The second part of my project I describe the academic ways of drawing, talking about the importance of constructive lines and how they make the drawing process easier.
For my final outcome I did two-time lapse videos, one was a drawing time lapse of a sculpture, and the second one was a religious oil painting. This project was the one I was the proudest of, I was happy to see some improvements, yet I know I have a lot to learn. It’s nice to know that efforts do pay of and if I keep going with my practice, I can achieve even higher things.
My personal project was inspired by the Mexican form of craft, Cartonería a traditional form of symbolism through paper maché. There will be restrictions completing this at home but I think everyone’s work will reflect this. I researched into historical and technical aspects of Cartonería which is iconic to South America, analysing colour, textures and religious symbolism to inspire my final project.
My anti-lockdown wall mural- I focused on making something new out of something old during isolation, using Mexican art as my source of inspiration. I got to focus on a smaller scale, crafty project and used it as a way to ignore this weird time and reflect on good memories. And I kept to my proposal by only used recycled materials including an old bracelet that is on my blue and green frame and an old eyeshadow pallets mirror for my pink frame.
For my final project I’ve chosen the illustration brief for my idea design, it is a book cover for a novel. I decided to make the illustration design for an awareness, of one of the serious issues we’re dealing with for a while, way before the coronavirus; Plastic.
The reason why I chose this for my project is because over the years plastic has caused serious problems to animal’s safety, they can easily get tangled or caught into the huge wave of plastic, not only that tiny fragments of plastic can make the animals choke and feel ill.
For the background, I’ve thought about giving it some under the sea colours. Also, I’ve given the turtle a tear in the eye to show that the sea/ land creatures have a soul and that they’re in pain.
The theme of my outcome for this unit is memories inspired by music. I used the acrylic paint pouring technique as I wanted to communicate a significant memory through colour. I chose this theme and way of working because it’s something different to my usual comfortable style, and I find abstract pattern, colour meanings and sense-memory associations really interesting. After choosing a song and associated memory I researched traditional colour meanings and psychology to give the piece more depth.
I like the idea of something appearing to be abstract and simply visually pleasing but actually having a very specific meaning behind it. The song, Boys Will Be Bugs by Cavetown, reminds me of that funny time where you’re still just a naive kid but also starting to become more aware of the wider world and its goings on, and the photo I used is from that time in my life.
Overall, the colours I used represent feelings of youth, being carefree and innocent, while also in an emotional growth period, developing independence and resilience. The central mushroom is just my own touch to a style that can seem a bit impersonal, and a representation of that memory that you could only understand with context. I documented the process through film because seeing how the colours pour and the different ways you can choose to do it was what drew me to it in the first place, and also I wanted to show my progress in learning a new technique.
Voodoo dolls have been around for a very long time and are used for performing different rituals in cultures around the world. In different culture the dolls can be made out of different types of materials such as carved out of wood, moulded out of mud/ clay or sewn together by straw or cloth. In dark rituals the voodoo dolls are suppose to represent a person who is an enemy and are used to cause that person harm or to suffer with pain in different places of the body, with magic incantation or by the use of pins. But Voodoo dolls are not only used for just dark rituals, they can be used for good rituals too, like helping a person to heal from the pain and to protect them and the people they love from harm or evil spirits.
The reason I decided to make a voodoo doll is that I find them creepy and interesting on how they were made and what they are used for. The materials I decided to use are old clothes like my old pair of dark blue jeans, because I like that texture for the body. It’s best to make the body and limbs first otherwise if doing the head first it won’t look right on the body. My sewing worked out well for my first time, once I got the hang of it and the dark fabric helps to see the bit of a wonky stitching, because it’s not supposed to be perfect as the doll is supposed to look homemade, creepy and unnatural.
The head is the same colour as the limbs and I had help from my mum as it was tricky to sew it on the body because of the shape of it and so are the buttons. But I managed to sew on the cutout heart and eye-patch from my mum’s old nightshirt, including the reddish-orange hair from an old scarf. Lastly to give the doll some stitching patterns on the arm, legs and body, my mum showed me how to do the chain stitch technique with different colour wools, I picked different colour for each limbs and made the start on the chain stitching.
The theme of my project is “Days Gone By…” inspired by an old photograph of my Great-grandmother in the 1950s/60s where she is stood idly, hand on hip and a cigarette hanging out her mouth – a classic family favourite.
For this project I wanted to learn how to use photo editing in a way that can age the photo quality to what it would have been like in the 1950s/60s. It was interesting to see how I handled being both camera-woman and subject at the same time.
My theme “Days Gone By…” is a representation of the Then and Now combined. A retro theme within a modern setting.
The reason I chose this theme and way of thinking is because although this much loved photo of my Little Granny has been lost, the memory of it has been passed down the generations and it’s something we can smile about from knowing her contagious personality.
I wanted to honour her character whilst being my own, and I’ve chosen photography as my medium and way of working in order to create photos with the intent to do that.
Being my favourite person on the planet, I miss her dearly, and want to show that within the theme of my work.
“Days Gone By” is a nod to her passing on and having left something behind.
That ‘something’ being her imprint on the ones she loved. She lives within us still and so my plan is to show that. Fag and all, it’s an homage to her and her hard work to have a little spare money in order to raise a family and inspire us.
This work looks at the contrast of effect that lockdown has had on nature and humans. The three sculptures represent the longer the human race are being confined to their homes due to lockdown, many are suffering with a deterioration in their mental health. Nature is being able to blossom due to a large decrease of transport, factories and many more human behaviours that contribute to climate change. Due to the world having to slow down; people’s carbon footprints are decreasing, letting the air be no longer polluted, nature is being able to blossom and grow to it’s glory.
I am strongly inspired by Greta Thunberg as she wants humans and nature to work together to create a better world for our generation, yet the older generation is destroying it. Hopefully, my work will show this and be a slight wake up call, as many adults do not seem to be listening to the younger generation talk. They believe that Thunberg is too young and has not experienced the world enough to have a full rounded view, yet feeling they know better.
My hope for this project’s outcome is to challenge adults’ thoughts about the impact humans have on nature through selfishness. Even though I wished to show nature’s side of the pandemic, I also wished for my work to show the impact the lockdown has had on people. After researching and receiving responses from over sixty people, I found that anxiety was the most common felt emotion.
Each figure represents a different stage in the lockdown; for example, the standing figure is symbolising life before lockdown, how humans are completely in control and only caring about nature when it suited them. The sitting figure represents that people are starting to slow down and realising how nature has taken it’s toll due to the human race’s carelessness and disregard for nature. The third sculpture, I feel, really represents anxiety throughout lockdown, by having him crouching with his hands on his knees showing many people are struggling to cope.
While the human figures are decreasing in stature, the flowers are starting to grow up the figures symbolising nature being able bloom. I felt very strongly about placing the sculptures in a natural setting to show that nature is beautiful in it’s own right and needs to be valued and appreciated by all.
By placing my artwork with the sea behind it, it gave a strong message of how small mankind is in the world of nature. Photographing the work at sunrise was very important to me as it provided a raw light with no adaptations needed, giving the whole piece an honest feel.
This piece is exploring how I feel about living in lockdown, I’m stuck in a metaphorical chrysalis, and I’m unsure how I’m going to emerge.
I used coloured pencils, fine-liner, and collage for this project as I was utilising the materials available to me.
I wanted this piece to convey that like a caterpillar and a chrysalis ,we can all use these uncertain times to reflect and grow, even if currently we feel trapped.
Bread making lino print
I like this print as it shows how much I’ve grown on this course, print has been a focus that I’ve enjoyed throughout my two years at this college, and is a skill I hope to develop further at university.
In this print I use block black and white to show the process of making (and of course eating) bread.
I made this print in the context of a zine titled “my happy things” in which I used print to show my interests and hobbies.
However I feel that the print itself works as an individual piece, being self contained and telling a (very small) narrative.
The art and descriptions on this page have been produced by Level 3 Art and Design BTEC students.