Foundation Diploma Art, Design and Media Practice students collaborated to host a diverse and creative end of year exhibition of their work at the South West College (SWC), Erne campus on Thursday, 19th of May.

Joined together by family, friends, tutors and the local community, the showcase exhibition displayed a broad range of fine art specialism from painting, ceramics, sculpture and textiles while dealing with a range of personal, mature and current issues.

Foundation Diploma Art, Design and Media practice students exhibiting work on the evening included Maureen Mc Loughlin, Angela Moore, Lauren Crooke, Rory Donohoe, Tara Duggan, Jack McNulty, Celine Murphy, Lynn Wills, Ana Lisa Nita and Elicia Stephens.

The ten students explored themes close to their hearts while also being outward-looking, considering current international issues.

Maureen's landscape piece entitled 'Journey' was inspired by the commute to College and passing through Glencar, Leitrim and Sligo across the border to Co. Fermanagh.

Angela's 'Thoughts of Ukraine' Textiles, Embroidery and Sculpture piece was influenced by the current Ukrainian refugee crisis and was inspired by Maria Prymachenko, a highly respected self-taught Ukrainian Folk artist.

Lauren's 'Ceramic Utensils' work looks at Feminism and the ongoing idea that society has about women and the idea that men still believe that women cannot achieve the same as men.

Rory's 'Edifice' - Landscape Painting piece has been influenced by the work and symbolism of fantasy and sci-fi artist Zdzisław Beksiński.

Tara completed the Extended Diploma in Art and Design at SWC prior and is passionate about painting and drawing. Her 'Imaginary Friends' - Painting, Collage and Drawing piece has been influenced by David Hockney's disjointed photography, and her work aims to show the effect drugs can have on you through the heart and mind.

Jack has a background in Creative Media at the College and has developed his sculptural skills in clay over the last few years. His piece 'Bank of the Gulags' Terracotta, Ceramic Sculpture has been influenced by the Russian/Ukraine conflict and its effect on European countries and commodities.

Celine studied at SWC for four years, completing L2 in Creative Media Production and the Extended Diploma in Creative Media. Her work 'Pride' - Parade Banners, Painting and Collage, has been developed around a strong personal interest in the LGBTQ+ community.

Lynn's work entitled 'Kalyna' - Home Place Ceramic Sculptures with 'Russian dolls' portray the hope of Ukrainians, even in these terrible circumstances using colour pattern and figurative storytelling.

Ana Lisa studied at SWC for three years, completing the Extended Diploma in Art and Design before this course. Her work 'The Male Gaze' - Sculpture and Painting has been inspired by the female body and Feminism and has been motivated by the male gaze and how women have been overly sexualised.

Elicia likes to create art with a meaning and a purpose that cultivates a reaction. Her 'Connect the Dots' Painting and Drawing work explores the over-sexualisation of children in modern media, as well as making a comment on how this is marketed to children.

During the exhibition, students had the opportunity to discuss their work with those in attendance, followed by short speeches from Claire Fiddaman, Head of the Creative Arts School, and Course Coordinator at the College, Patricia Fox.

Speaking at the event, Patricia said:

"This is our first show in two years and our first time exhibiting here in the brand-new Erne Campus. It is a real joy to be here, surrounded by such diverse and creative work. These students have surprised and amazed me by being brave and bold, pushing their ideas and materials.

I would like to thank everyone involved and the students for all your hard work and determination, as well as your friends and families for their support throughout the year. It has been an absolute pleasure to see you all grow and develop, and I wish you every success in the future."

As the event came to a close, Karen McManus from AIB and Ken from Ken Ramsey's Picture Framing announced their chosen winners, with Lynn and Elicia awarded for their achievements.

All ten students exhibiting work have a variety of career goals, with many students set to continue their higher education at SWC, others will progress to University, and some will pursue entrepreneurial projects.

To find out more or to apply for a course in Art, Design and Media, see below.

Art, Design and Media

Art, Design and Creative