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Quirky & Innovative: meet three graduates who featured in the School of Art & Design exhibitions

by Larissa Petryca, on 13 July 2023 12:56:47 CEST

They are young, brave, talented and not afraid to show their perspective on the world. The work from the School of Art & Design graduates present a comprehensive and critical view of the world that inspires all generations. Meet three of these graduates; Nadiya, Natália and Emma, with ambitions to work in the arts and creative spheres.

Reflective Fragments, Foundation Art, Design & Media Practice graduate exhibition

Nadiya Matveyev completed her 1 year Foundation Art, Design & Media Practice programme and exhibited at Relative Fragments alongside her fellow graduates.

‘Take these reflective fragments of us, and make them into a responsive whole’ was the collective’s statement. After a year of experimenting with various media forms, their work was laid bare to the audience for reinterpretation and analysis. This process allowed the artists to break free from their self-critical mindset while striving to create.

The Earth we don't know, a reflection on societal issues worth acknowledging

Nadiya’s installation centered on an amusement park machine that grabs and pulls out a plush toy of our choice. Such a symbol represents entertainment so the work becomes a satirical display of our distorted view of the world. In this way, Nadiya sheds light on the paradox of human-animal relationships-some we pick as companions, others are food.

Nadiya's final work for the School of Art & Design Exhibitions
Nadiya Metveyev and her Graduation Project, Earth We Don't Know

Nadiya, the main element of the installation is the Claw Machine, a traditional symbol of entertainment. Why did you choose this particular machine, what should it refer to?
The idea was very spontaneous, but my project could not exist without it. I found it drastic how we pull soft animal toys with a metallic claw. I immediately realized the connection with the real world and how we treat animals. We want to pull the cutest teddy bear and unfortunately we do the same in life. A dog is our best friend, while a pig with the same emotional intelligence counts only as food.

In your opinion, how should we handle animals?
I am in favour of equality for animals. To treat all animals as individuals with the right to live. If that means we have to be vegetarian, we will adapt. I understand that change is hard, I have tried to be a vegetarian twice in my life, but we must not take a "hard life" as a sufficient excuse for killing other creatures. In the end, kindness will save the world.

How should your installation impress the viewer?
I want make the audience feel a fraction of the horror that the victims of our actions experience when when they look at my machine. I want them to think, reflect and have awareness of what is happening. If the viewer remembers my work after the exhibition, then my job is done.

Terra Ignota, BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate exhibition

Natália Parisová presented her final project to the public alongside her fellow classmates at the Terra Ignota graduate exhibition. This event marked the culmination of three years of studying BA (Hons) Graphic Design.

Terra Ignota represents unfamiliar and unexplored territories or areas of knowledge, making it a fitting name for a creative group of designers who have explored and will continue to explore how to integrate and manage new design technologies.

Animated video by Graphic Design graduate Tamta Mamatelashvili

Perfume - the perfect companion for women.

Natália decided to centre her final project around branding, her favourite area as a designer. She crafted a perfume brand specifically tailored for women that is practical, everyday wear for everyday life.

Natália's final work for the School of Art & Design Exhibitions
Natália Parisová and her Graduation Project, AIM

Can you tell us more about the brand that you designed?
My brand is designed to appeal to women by visualising aspects of their everyday life. I presented this in video, photography and poster formats, capturing the small moments of everyday. The brand is connected by the "drop" motif, which represents the dropper of the bottle. The perfume is not designed to be displayed on a shelf, but to travel in a bag or purse.

How did you design the bottle?
I wanted a glass bottle, but at the same time I insisted on a natural element. I spent a lot of time looking for a manufacturer or supplier who would create something out of solid glass, but with an element of nature and in the shape of a bottle. I finally found a seller who sold a bottle similar to the one I had planned.

What does AIM perfume smell like?
Fresh. All three perfumes are intended to serve as refreshment during the day. I therefore I chose the scent of spring flowers, citrus and jasmine. I tried to avoid intense spicy scents, which also have their charm, but don't fit my brand.

Survive & be Fruitful, BA (Hons) Fine Art Experimental Media graduate exhibition

Emma Vališová von Sanger, together with her graduating classmates presented final works at their Survive & be Fruitful graduate exhibition the high point after three years of studying BA (Hons) Fine Art Experimental Media.

As individuals they examined and questioned survival and reproduction across a range of media including video, installation, sculpture, paintings and collage. With unprecedented population growth and improved chances of survival, in the short-term humans have transformed the environment to support survival and reproduction. The collective’s summary manifesto was in order to ensure long-term survival, an attitude change to outdated practices and conscious decision-making is required.

Digitisation of Human Life

Emma's installation demonstrates the impact of technology on our perspectives regarding life and death. It explores feminist ideologies such as cyber-feminism and xeno-feminism, which directly address the relationship between human beings, their bodies, souls, and technology. She also raises the question of whether a gender-neutral reality can be attained.

Emma's final work for the School of Art & Design Exhibitions
Emma and her Graduation Project, Digitisation of Human Life

Your installation reflects the theme of connecting technology with the human body, which you look at through the prism of femininity and cyber-feminism. What gender do you think technology has?
I see technology as an existence that transcends the concept of gender or any social division, and at the same time as something that is inherently asexual, at least for us humans. There is, of course, a lot to be said for the fact that the vast majority of virtual assistants or human-created digital beings are women, but that's down to us and our ingrained biases.

Your installation uses digital and classical media, light and sound. What reaction is this immersive approach supposed to evoke in the viewer?
I am primarily interested in the two-way dialogue that these interactive elements provide. I'm not interested in creating works without a voice that are on display only to be viewed and judged. On the one hand, I wish to give the viewer the opportunity to see themselves in my installation, and at the same time, I believe that when something is clear and they see and perceive it, a certain instinct comes into play, we desire to understand (or at least try to).

“I see technology as an existence that transcends the concept of gender or any social division, and at the same time as something that is inherently asexual”

The central element of the installation is a "technologically enhanced" vulva symbolising, on the one hand, our increasing connection with technology on a physical level, and on the other, a sort of obsession with the immortality of today's society. How do you think technology changes the perception of death?
The view of death has been altered by Western society. In the past, people took care of (and in some places still take care of) the dead bodies of their fellow human beings themselves. It was a way to cope with death and it was easier to perceive it as a natural part of life. Today, death seems surreal to us. The funeral industry is responsible for portraying deceased bodies as unclean and hazardous. So I see two possible answers to this question: a future that continues to sterilise human life through modern technology, but I also see a future in which we return to an immersive approach to the realities of human life and existence. I admit this possibility thanks to newer trends, such as micro-dosing with psilocybin, or a return to the more traditional way of giving birth in a home environment with the assistance of a "doula".

“I see two possible answers: a future that continues to sterilise human life through modern technology, or a future in which we return to an immersive approach to the realities of human life and existence”

Do you think positively or negatively about the future?
I have a mostly positive view of the future. I certainly think about the possible effects of the current socio-political climate and the very likely climate catastrophe, as do the vast majority of my peers. I recycle, avoid meat in my diet, buy second-hand clothes, and generally try to reduce my carbon footprint, even though I am aware that my personal actions have virtually no impact on the current situation. The political situation makes me a little more nervous, but I don't feel so helpless.

In my opinion, the digitisation of our lives is not a question of "if at all", but rather "when", and I look forward to this future. I find cyberspace incredibly fascinating and full of new experiences and possibilities. Of course, the speed with which artificial intelligence is developing scares me a little, but at the same time, I am absolutely fascinated by the new possibilities that this development opens up.

To see more graduate work from the exhibitions visit and subscribe to PCU’s Flickr gallery.

This article has been partially repurposed with permission from an article that appeared in Czech Design, written by Nikol Galé and translated from Czech. Click here to read the original interviews in Czech language.

Topics:GraduationExhibitionsSchool of Art & Design