Creative design in Norwich art college exhibition

Sarah BrealeyNorwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) is holding its annual degree show, giving the public unique and free access to the work of some of tomorrow's leading designers and artists.Sarah Brealey

Norwich is an ancient city that does not get much credit for cutting-edge design. But beneath its medieval veneer beats a heart of extraordinary creativity.

Inside a clutch of beautiful buildings on the edge of the river, an art exhibition is throwing open its doors to display the remarkable 'made in Norwich' work of 500 undergraduates.

Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) is holding its annual degree show, giving the public unique and free access to the work of some of tomorrow's leading designers and artists.

The work, which is remarkable, is enhanced by being displayed in stark, stripped-down, whitewashed rooms that give the mixture of fine art, photography and sculpture room to breathe.

In one room there is a ladder with broken steps, leading to a tiny door near the ceiling. Another room features a graphic installation called 'roadkill', which has bloodied, dead animals to catch the eye.

The exhibition is an opportunity for undergraduates to show off their work to the public, having had it assessed for their final grades.

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It is also a magnet for industry figures, who use the show to scout for up-and-coming stars in the world of art, graphic and games design.

Principal John Last said: 'The NUCA degree show is a major event for both students and the university college, showcasing as it does students' skills and the high quality of work being produced across our courses.

'Increasingly our students are coming not just nationally but from across the globe as we gain an international reputation as a leading place to study art, design and media.

'This is evident not just by the range of work on show but by the fact that many of our students are winning prestigious national awards and getting noticed within their specialist fields.'

Mr Last added: 'At the end of the year 10,000 people will have seen the work of these students. And even though there is a recession, people are still interested in good, creative workers.

'We are very proud of what we do. We are an international institution in the heart of Norwich and would invite people to come and see this work.'

t The exhibition, which is in the St George's Street building and The Garth and Guntons buildings on Duke Street, is open to the public from 10am-5pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturday. It starts today, June 25, and runs until July 2.

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t Philip Haynes could often be seen in the dead of night, wandering the backstreets of Norwich to capture the backdrops for his digital photographs.

Coming from Norwich, the BA graphic design student used his knowledge of the city to find the locations - and his extraordinary design talent to photograph local athletes and put them on to the atmospheric backdrops to produce stunning images.

Some of his other work, inspired by the film Get Carter, earned him second place in the National Association of Photographers' student photographer of the year 2009 - the best ever achievement in the competition by a NUCA student.

On graduating, he is aiming for a job with a high-end advertising agency in London.

He said: 'I'm going to go down to London next year to conquer the advertising world. I'm going to start assisting the best people in the world.'

t Zoltan Fejes left behind his home city of Budapest in Hungary when he came to Norwich to study a games and art design degree.

But his link with the city lives on as it features in a level he has design-ed for online game Unreal Three.

The 26-year-old's work is on display at Norwich University College of the Arts' annual degree show.

It is the culmination of three great years for Zoltan, who won first prize at the national Film and Digital Media Exchange Next-Next Gen 2008 competition and has submitted his final year work for an international prize called Make Something Unreal.

As he stood playing his own game on a PS3, he said: 'It's great to play a game that you designed. It's one of the best feelings that you can get as a designer.'