Robson Real World Fund integrates creativity

DNA group Robson Real World

Guardians of the sea exhibition

An application to the Robson Real World Experience Fund led students from the Integrated Creativity module to construct the final production of their installation pieces in a way they had not been able to before. 

Donna Barkess, senior leader of the module, applied for the funding with the objective to create an installation that involved at least three creative processes. 

She explained: “The funding allowed us to purchase materials to construct the final group installations to a much higher and more professional standard. Materials that would normally be out of the reach of students financially were able to be utilised. 

“This made a significant difference to the quality of the final pieces, but also to the experience of the students who were able to work with materials and processes that they had not encountered before.” 

The final pieces created under the theme of ‘environment’ were exhibited at the Priestman Gallery and will also be displayed as part of the exhibition ‘Thoughtful Planet’ at the Thought Foundation gallery in Birtley, which is also run by Sunderland graduate Leanne Pearce Billinghurst. 

The students were divided into three groups. Group 1 produced an installation based around assumed identity. 

Donna said: “Each of the students acquired a DNA test kit and submitted their DNA for analysis. During the long wait for results, they used the time to speak to friends, family and strangers about assumed origins. When all four group members had their results, they filmed them being opened and the results being revealed and discussed. Then they finished their project by creating a video installation.” 

Group 2 produced an installation based around the irreparable damage affecting our planet, and group 3 created a series of four wall pieces to represent different types of pollution in four oceans across the globe. 

Donna concluded: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the panel for selecting the Integrated Creativity module for the Robson Real World Experience Fund. It really did make an enormous difference to the kind of work we could produce. It was creatively very liberating.”

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