Philosophy and Magic
The students seem aware of their role stepping out into a changed and changing world. It seems unlikely that they will fill pigeon holes within the arts but are instead intent on creating their own unique roles around them.
The questions posed by this group are existential, they reel in from their dreams and untangle themselves into clear visual responses and further questions. Exploring both uncomfortable and comforting subjects, the work is enchanting and has a rawness that shows the soul prevails above the virtual abyss. Most students reflect on their digital selves, firmly against or deeply within this digital world. Either externally defined and trapped by it, or internally, always trying to escape and be free, ideas bubbling continuously asking the question ‘to work with or against it?’. Some students seem never to decide, treading on both territories fearlessly, trying hard to fight the screen as the medium most connected with their beloved audience/ viewer / participant.
Multiple representations of fantasy and dystopian worlds tell of a black hole of information, a huge choice of direction. There are students who opt for simplicity amongst this almost endless choice and the strength of these ideas and more natural materials and references stand as strong as oak trees against their digital and virtual conterparts. The written and researched words are of such a high level in the work that the supporting text stands as strong on its own as creative writing. As with sound, which is treated as a visual, an almost physical force.
Never has there been a more uncertain world and future than at this precise moment, the 2020 students should feel that they have been taught a massive lesson, on the element of surprise and uncontrollability that is often dealt us in life. In this unique situation they have managed to successfully adapt their work and have come out on top. As viewers, we are indulged with treats and surprises to enliven minds and senses, the students are generous with this onslaught of detail and purpose and challenge the viewer to learn even if they don’t want to.
The students show they are brave in confronting realities relevant to their own less than perfect lives, and I believe, this is the source of real and authentic ideas. The overwhelming vista of this group is that they are putting their own feelings, thoughts and work responsibly into a world-wide context. Biting off more than they can chew with a creative quest for answers and in return inspiring new questions and new beginnings.
Shona Heath is a pioneering Set Designer and Creative. She is responsible for creating some of the most memorable fashion stories from the past two decades, infusing her work in advertising, costume, installations, fashion shows and editorials with an unmistakable, surreal beauty. Her links with the fashion, art and film world continue to grow, making her an in demand creative collaborator.
Shona’s work over the past 20 years with fashion photographers such as Tim Walker, Craig McDean, Inez and Vinoodh, Paolo Roversi, Jackie Nickerson, Nick Knight, Josh Olins and Julia Hetta has made a pivotal contribution to iconic fashion images and contemporary storytelling. This includes advertising and fashion show collaborations with luxury fashion houses like Dior, Hermes, Halpern, Jo Malone, Marni, Prada, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Mulberry and Valentino.
Her innate multi-disciplinary approach to design, has evolved her work far beyond the traditional definitions of set design to now encompass exhibition design, interiors, costume, film production design, choreography, graphic design and illustration.
Well known for her close collaboration with acclaimed photographer Tim Walker, her work designing the V&A’s Tim Walker Wonderful Things exhibition has been one of the museums most successful photographic exhibitions shows to date. Other shows include ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ exhibition at Noordbrabants Museum. She works from her studio in Dalston, London.