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What a draw – Illustration students take over Northampton’s main art gallery for three-day residency

News Page 25th March 2019

Students from the University of Northampton have revelled in the experience of being artists in residence at the town’s main gallery.

Third years on the Illustration course spent three days encamped at NN Contemporary Art, in the heart of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter, to develop their ideas and display the fruits of the residency with a public exhibition.

Programme leader, Louise Bird, explains the rationale behind taking the students off campus: “We apply to use the space annually to give the students the opportunity to the students use the space to extend or push their work in new experimental ways.

“In addition to creating work for the exhibition at the end of the three days, the students also spent one day running a workshop at the gallery with the second years on the course, this gives them valuable employability skills to run workshops as part of their practice and freelance work after graduation.”

Students working on their projects at NN Contemporary Art

NN Contemporary Art

Sam Smith was one of the students taking part during the residency, which took place last week.

He’s currently developing a science fiction comic story based on the current evolving debate about artificial intelligence for his final year project. Sam used his time at the gallery to build a model of a spaceship from the comic, which he will then use as a reference to draw from when he’s back on campus.

Sam said: “The whole experience has really helped my creativity. To take a step back from the day to day work at the University and go into a different environment has allowed me to look at my work with a fresh set of eyes.

“To have three days to enjoy developing ideas, while not worrying about the pressure of getting work completed has been a great experience. It’s allowed me to slow down and I will come back after the residency ready to tackle my final year project with even greater motivation.”

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