Students reimagine past designs into new forms

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Students from the University of Dundee have collaborated with V&A Dundee to create a collection of writing and art inspired by the museum and its galleries.

Students from the Illustration BDes degree programme in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and the School of Humanities Creative Writing & Practice MLitt explore how past designs can be reimagined in the first installation of These Windows, a collaborative publishing project between the University and V&A Dundee.

Finding inspiration within Scotland’s first design museum, writers and artists have come together to produce a collection of work showcasing fragments of prose and poetry combined with custom art work, highlighting how past designs can ignite the imagination and influence new pieces of creative work.

Students hard at work

This online collection is part of a short-term publishing project which will also produce a limited-edition chapbook of writing and art created by University of Dundee students, inspired by V&A Dundee,” said project manager Hannah Whaley.

“The fragments of writing and sketches produced on the day have grown into exciting collaborations for the print and online collections.”

She continued: “It’s fascinating to see how the museum galleries and exhibits have inspired the students to create new work where words and images amplify each other.”

Students were invited to visit V&A Dundee earlier this year, where they wandered the wider museum and learned about the Scottish Design Galleries through a guided tour and an object handling session before applying their creative practices to explore real and imagined spaces.

“Our writers and artists selected objects which held the strongest connections for them and used the discussions and physical interactions as the starting point for their own creative thinking and exploration.” said Hannah.

“Seeing first-hand how curiosity and research can underpin new writing and art demonstrates the value that exploring culture can have on creative practice, and in this instance specifically the wide-ranging history of design and its relevance to everyday life.

“These Windows provides a rare glimpse into the creativity involved in reimagining past designs into new forms and affirms the inherent cultural value that treasured museum galleries offer to us all.”

The online collection of These Windows, featured on Dundee University Review of the Arts, is a pre-cursor to the print collection which was originally to be released in June but has been delayed due to the current coronavirus situation.

Later this year, different pieces from the project will be published by The Voyage Out Press as a fine art word-and-image chapbook called These Windows, to be launched at an event at V&A Dundee and sold in the museum shop.

The project was also extended by work of students at Merton College Oxford who contributed pieces based on the V&A in London.

These Windows has been supported and funded by V&A Dundee, Saltire Society Scotland, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Merton College Oxford.

 
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