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On the 1st of June along with several other students, I attended the University of Hertfordshire degree show. This show was set out in different degree sections, In the entrance we were given the headlines paper and also a map of the show to help guide us around.

The first section we explored was the Photography section. This was set up over two rooms, each room was divided into smaller sections where pieces of the work was displayed. The lighting in the room was all artificial however spotlight directed the light evenly and appropriately. Some of the pieces really caught my eye such as one that used shadows on the faces called Black and White exploring light shape and pattern and another that used silk scarves that has been printed onto kaleidoscopic ink photographic designs. I loved how these textiles looked and how they were displayed. I thought it was clever how the artist had taken her fashion photography experience and created fashion from this even though the degree was photography.

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The next section we saw was illustration and graphic design. I appreciated this part of the show last year and was eager to see how this years work looked. On arrival in the section we could pick up a brochure displayed all of the artwork and a short description, this was a great element to have within the exhibition and a reminder of the artists involved. One of my particular favourites was called A collection of Birds, which explored facts and/or stories about birds created by Catherine Cooksley. I thought these pieces were really well done and laid out beautifully. The symmetry in the pieces worked and the colours highlighted the bright and playful nature of the birds.

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Another piece that I really liked was inspired by Cabman’s Shelters which are bright green cafes in London specifically for cab driver. The illustrations by Alicia Jennings use watercolours and fine liners with simple mark making and colour palettes.

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The Fine Art section was also really insightful. I appreciated the artwork on a larger scale and also installation pieces. The beautiful delicate drawings also intrigued me a lot. Some of artwork was based on current social affairs however I found this quite repetitive throughout. The way the area was set out had each artist in one section with either two or three white walls and floor space. Again the use of spotlight aided in the viewing of each individual piece. I did find the space had no visible flow meaning that we could easily get lost in one section and miss some of the pieces.

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This degree section that inspired me the most was the Applied Arts, After showing my textile based piece at my last exhibition I was really taken in by the artwork in this section of the show. The room was lit by both artificial light but had large windows enabling natural light. I was really impressed with the standard and quality of the final outcomes of the work. During the exhibition some of the students were there and they were really engaged with us.  This lead me to look up some of the artist after the exhibition and see more of their work.

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The business cards I collected along the way were really clever. Some of the cards had reminders of the artwork on them and others had witty statements that helped us to make reference to the idea or the artist.

Overall I really enjoyed the degree show in Hertfordshire. Every year I feel it produces some interesting and exciting pieces and the show is always very well presented. The publicity was well done within the university but I feel it could be better promoted outside and within Bedfordshire especially because University of Bedfordshire

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