Animation Brings History to Life

UCLan student’s animated film will be a highlight of the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre festival

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student’s animation skills will be a highlight of a major event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.

Beth Joy has created a 90 second animated film which tells the story of George Dewhurst, who was fighting for worker’s rights at one of the darkest times in British political history.

The 19-year-old researched the life of George, who was imprisoned for high-treason in Lancaster Castle after being part of the movement which fuelled the gathering of workers 200 years ago in St. Peter’s Square, before sketching up to 20 drawings. The images, some of which have taken up to 20 hours each to produce, have been scanned and digitised to create the animated film.

“It’s been great for me to adapt my hand drawing skills and combine those sketches with digital technology to bring George’s very moving story to life. It’s been fascinating learning about a man whose story has been lost from the history books.”

Beth Joy, first-year animation student

Beth, who was granted special permission from a judge to draw the interior of Lancaster Crown Court, has been working on the project for the last two months. Some of the history about Blackburn born George was provided by his distant relative Emma Speed, UCLan’s Creative Industries Innovation Manager.

Her work will be screened on Friday, 16 August, in St Peter’s Square, in Manchester, to an audience of 800 people, including world-famous directors Danny Boyle and Mike Leigh, as part of the Manchester Histories Festival.

“I’m very proud to have been given this special opportunity to produce an animation which showcases an important part of our history. To know that a huge audience will see my work, including two huge names in the film industry, is mind-blowing. It shows that if you put your mind to something then you can make your dream come true. I now can’t wait to see everybody’s reaction.”

Beth Joy, former John Rigby College and St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School pupil

“Using creative and innovative means, like animation, to bring history alive is a vital part of what is taking place as part of the Peterloo Festival events this summer. To be able to include the film from the University of Central Lancashire, depicting George’s life, adds a great deal of context and detail to the picture we are painting about the lives of those individuals who helped drive the workers’ rights movement. We are delighted to be able to show the film and include George’s descendants in the 200th anniversary event on 16 August in St Peter’s Square.”

Karen Shannon, CEO of Manchester Histories

Inspirational Student Designs Awarded at National Ceremony

Students win gold, silver and bronze at Creative Conscience Awards

Talented students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are celebrating after being recognised at a national design awards ceremony.

The seven students from graphic design and advertising courses won gold, silver and bronze at the annual the Creative Conscience Awards, which celebrate projects that aim to improve local communities and inspire and help change people’s lives through the art of design.

Graphic design student Dom Parsons won gold for a typeface he created for the Grenfell Tower campaigners and community. The design incorporated the structure of the building that tragically caught fire in June 2017 and the typeface was designed to create a unified voice for the two-year anniversary of the disaster.

Advertising students Ran Duan and Xuebing Liu won silver for their own touching project focusing on organ donation. They aimed to help start more conversations with children without scaring them. Teaming up with the NHS Organ Donation organisation and the Build a Bear Workshop, they reuse the hearts and eyes from old toy bears and use them for new toys.

Jay Austin and Gabe Aplando, fourth year graphic design students, earned their bronze prize for their project ‘Fence Fairies’; a typeface designed to be used on banners, picket signs and newspaper adverts in aid of the protests against fracking.

Another two graphic design students, Jonathan Mount and Lucy Child, also received bronze for their community project; ‘The Wood House’; a charity that reclaims and repurposes different types of wood whilst supporting vulnerable people. The design makes use of the organisation’s resources as well as aiding delivering their message.

“There were so many passionate and touching projects submitted this year, all of which championed worthy causes that don’t often get spoken about in public.”

Chrissy Levett, founder of Creative Conscience

Nine UCLan Students Triumph at Oscars of Design Industry

Students pick up prestigious Pencils at D&AD Awards

Nine students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been recognised at what is considered to be the Oscars of the design industry.

The students have all triumphed at the prestigious D&AD (Design and Art Direction) New Blood Awards, which recognises outstanding work in the design and advertising industries.

The awards are open to budding designers around the world, with winners receiving a well-respected ‘coloured pencil’.

Four Pencil award categories are handed out for a number of achievements. Winners of the various awards at the D&AD ceremony received one of the Wood, Yellow, Black or Graphite Pencil trophies.

In total, the nine students from advertising and graphic design courses won across six categories.

Graphic design students Lucy Child and Francesca Hanley won a coveted Yellow Pencil, which recognises creative excellence, for their Adidas Pool campaign.

“Winning the yellow pencil for our Adidas Pool project feels incredible. To be leaving university with a first-class degree and a globally recognised design award is an amazing start to my career. Both myself and Francesca are overjoyed that all of our hard work has paid off.

Adidas Pool is a campaign we’ve created and designed to encourage teenage girls in London to use swimming to improve their wellbeing, both mentally and physically. The campaign covers a variety of relevant touchpoints and includes social media advertising, an app and Adidas Pool events.” 

Lucy Child, Graphic Design student

Fellow graphic designers Angus Meikle and Dom Parsons walked away with a Wood Pencil for their campaign efforts for Virgin Travel, as well as Angus winning an additional Wood Pencil for a solo project to promote the Heinz brand. This Pencil is given to the best of shortlisted work submitted for each design brief.

“It has been an amazing experience and I’m so happy to come out with two D&AD awards. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the UCLan graphics course.”

Angus Meikle, Graphic Design student

In addition, Gabe Aplando and Jay Austin received a Wood Pencil for their new typeface font to promote the anti-fracking campaign. A Graphite Pencil, which honours good idea that is well executed and relevant to the brief, was handed to Brandon Thomas for his Sunday Times campaign highlighting the issues associated with consuming media online. Advertising students Ariel Austis Tabaks and Yi Zhang were awarded a Wood Pencil for their Adidas campaign.

As well as the Pencils, several students were also awarded Ones to Watch Awards by D&AD New Blood Judges at the event. They were; Gabe Aplando, Jay Austin, illustration student Jules Hefferon and Brandon Thomas.

All of the students’ winning campaigns can be found on the D&AD website.

Students get ‘hands on’ at International Sporting Event

Health Sciences and Journalism students described as ‘heroes’ at Gibraltar-based tournament

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has blazed a trail at an international sports event and earned plaudits from around the world.

A total of 35 staff and students from the School of Health Sciences and Medicine and School of Journalism, Media and Performance spent 10 days in Gibraltar at the recent 2019 NatWest International Island Games.

UCLan was chosen to provide specialist medical care at the Games which was held on the British Overseas Territory between July 6-12.

The sports therapy and sports medicine cohorts provided pitch side care and ran a daily polyclinic, the first time in the history of the Games that such a facility was available to athletes.

Three sports journalism students were also at the Games, working in tandem with the official Gibraltarian media teams to provide online and video content.

The student medics treated around 500 athletes with injuries ranging from muscle strains through to serious knee injuries.

Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed, with Linda Alvarez, chairman of the Gibraltar 2019 Games Organising Committee, and Reagan Lima, chief executive of the Gibraltar Sport and Leisure Authority, describing the army of volunteers as ‘heroes’.

While they were needed at many events, they were severely put to the test at the end of the cycling time trial, which finished at the top of the iconic ‘Rock’ as many cyclists crossed the line exhausted after a punishing 4km climb in the searing heat.

“I witnessed your team’s performance first hand at this particular event and to say that I was both impressed and proud is an understatement.

Reagan Lima, chief executive of the Gibraltar Sport and Leisure Authority

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our students and staff and they rose to the challenges.

“They were able to provide a high level of clinical skill and made many friends from the competing islands and the people of Gibraltar.  Students were up early and finished late as events were completed but they were always punctual and in good spirits the next day. I received numerous thanks from officials of competing islands for their help and professionalism.”

Andy Cunningham, Principal Lecturer at the School of Health Sciences

It is hoped this could be the start of a link between UCLan and the Island Games. The Guernsey team officials, who host the next event in 2021, have shown keen interest in the role played by the University’s students in Gibraltar.

Two lecturers, Greg Littler and Rob Hamilton, were also given the honour of handing out medals to competitors in pistol shooting and ten pin bowling.

Karen May, Principal Lecturer in Sports Medicine, was interviewed by Gibraltar’s TV station, GBC, following the cycling time trial while the three sports journalism students went behind the scenes at the daily sports bulletin at the GBC studios, as well as being interviewed for a community feature.

See Karen’s interview here (from 2mins in).

Their action and interview footage of the Isle of Man athletes was used by BBC North West Tonight with UCLan gaining a mention on their nightly bulletin.

“It was fantastic to see the students thoroughly enjoying the experience and their time on the Rock.

“I think the Island Games afforded them a fabulous hands-on experience, and for us their reporting was great as we were able to cover different events at the same time.

“They should be very proud as they were not intimidated in any way, and really grabbed every opportunity that came their way.”

Davina Barbara, Media Liaison Manager at the Games

Pictures of the students in action can be seen on the UCLan Flickr Gallery.

Read the UCLan students’ stories on UCLanlive here.

A media round-up of coverage from the Island Games, which includes clips with three UCLan students, can be viewed here.

New Contemporary Artwork to be Filmed at Preston Bus Station

Conductor | 8 Movements by Keith Harrison with accompanying soundtrack by Preston Field Audio

A live choreographed interruption of 60 minutes in the life of Preston Bus Station will take place on Sunday, 14 July from 9.30am – 10.30am.

Conductor celebrates the architecture of Preston Bus Station as a place designed for the movement and boarding of double-decker buses.

The project has been organised by The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) In Certain Places in conjunction with the Harris Museum and Art Gallery.

It will consist of a sound score for 32 buses driven by skilled drivers form Preston Bus and Stagecoach. They will perform slow sequenced movements from the bus bays and across the forecourt, mirrored simultaneously by the actions of volunteers in the passenger concourse. Their movement will be accompanied by a sound track played through the PA system of the station provided by Preston Field Audio, created from recordings of the station and electronic loops in response to artist Keith Harrison’s schematic working drawings.

The event will be recorded by filmmaker Jared Schiller and subsequently re-presented as part of the exhibition Beautiful and Brutal: 50 years in the life of Preston Bus Station at the Harris Museum.

“Keith Harrison’s exciting new performative work Conductor for Preston Bus Station, uniquely appropriates all the resources of the station to create a dramatic new work that pays homage to the interaction between the people, vehicles and the architecture of the UK’s biggest bus station.”

Professor Charles Quick, co-curator of In Certain Places at UCLan

“This work is a unique way of marking 50 years of Preston Bus Station. The city is proud that partner curators from the Harris and In Certain Places working together with Preston Bus Station operators have enabled this exciting work by artist Keith Harrison and recorded by filmmaker Jared Schiller – to be seen by thousands of visitors to the Harris’ autumn exhibition and in the future.”

Councillor Peter Kelly, Executive Member for Culture & Leisure at Preston City Council

To see this unique free live performance at Preston Bus Station, visitors are asked to gather at 9:30am near the Information Desk.

Beautiful and Brutal: 50 years in the Life of Preston Bus Station opens on 21 September and runs until 24 November.

Admission to the exhibition is free.

Fantasy Author who Promises to Delight Game of Thrones Fans to Launch New Book at Free Event

UCLan Publishing to bring Rose Edwards’ The Harm Tree to Preston

A fantasy author who promises to fill a void for Game of Thrones fans will launch her first published book at a free event hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Rose Edwards’ The Harm Tree is the first of an epic new fantasy series published by the University’s in-house publishing team, UCLan Publishing. It is set in a world still recovering from one war and on the brink of another.

Rose will be at the University’s Preston Campus on Monday 22 July for an exclusive launch event where she will read extracts from The Harm Tree, answer audience questions and sign copies of her book.

“After the success of AJ Hartley’s Cold Bath Street, this was the first book we bought from a literary agent for our commercial business and we’re very excited about it. Rose is a huge talent and when she attended our Northern Young Adult Literary Festival earlier this year, she signed copies of the Harm Tree for more than two hours. She’s had great reviews in The Guardian and The Times and we’re looking forward to introducing her to a Preston audience.”   

Hazel Holmes from UCLan Publishing

The event will take place from 6.00pm – 7.00pm in UCLan’s Harrington Social Space in Harrington Building. It is free to attend but places are limited so people are asked to register online via Eventbrite.

Student Duo Team up with Award-Winning Singer on Promotional Campaign

Fashion students design outfit and work on brand development for music artist King Charles

Two talented students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been working with award-winning music artist King Charles exploring new ideas in fashion and fashion brand design in the music industry.

Fashion design student Beatriz Fernandes and fashion promotion student Louise Barlow came together to work on a project with King Charles, who recently began collaborating with UCLan Recording Group and music consultancy service, to design an outfit for him and develop a promotional campaign to develop audience relations.

Beatriz, whose final year fashion collection was recently showcased on the catwalk of the prestigious Graduate Fashion Week in London, said King Charles was the “perfect candidate” to style as his distinctive look fit perfectly with the 22-year-old’s collection of 1800s inspired puff sleeves and cuffs. Beatriz designed a shirt for the singer, who showed his appreciation by singing his latest single ‘Money is God’ whilst wearing the outfit during her catwalk presentation.

“I was the only student in the show who had her own singer, so it certainly made me stand out. King Charles was the ideal fit for me really because his style matches my designs so the whole thing came together really well. It was a good experience working on a real-life brief and I’ve never worked with a musician before so that was something completely new. I’ve been given really positive feedback from King Charles and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the project.”

Beatriz Fernandes
Beatriz Fernandes; photo by Georgia Bartley

Fellow student Louise was able to complement the singer’s look by using her skills to liaise with King Charles and his management team to develop a promotional campaign looking at his brand identity. The fashion promotion student focused her campaign on Instagram where King Charles boasts more than 12,000 followers.

“I wanted to build on his strong social media presence by including more interactive content such as videos with a view to increasing fan engagement. I also made sure that the look and feel of King Charles’ Instagram profile is cohesive with his other brand element such as the artwork and graphics used in other promotional materials.”

Louise Barlow

King Charles and his team were impressed with the work Beatriz and Louise have done in just a few short months.

“As soon as I heard the idea of performing as part of the UCLan Fashion Show I was in.  I am hugely passionate about fashion and it was cool to be part of it.  There were so many interesting ideas coming from the students and it was fun to perform alongside it all.  Thanks for having me.”

King Charles

The singer is also working more widely with the University through its in-house music label, UCLan Recordings Group imprint Gradgrind Music, on possible future promotional campaigns. It is expected that UCLan students on other courses will benefit from working on live briefs with King Charles in the future.

“Charles, as well as being an incredible talent, is very forward thinking.  Together with his management we have been exploring new approaches to navigating the modern music industry and are looking forward to the prospect of developing the relationship further.”

Tony Rigg, consultant for UCLan Recordings Group

Creatives Devise Unique Musical

Two industry professionals work with UCLan’s music theatre students to create new full-length show

Two music theatre creatives and a group of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) students are working together to devise a unique full-length musical.

Composer and lyricist Richard Taylor and playwright Douglas Maxwell are developing a new 90 to 120-minute musical with 20 second year BA (Hons) Music Theatre students.

The undergraduates will continue to work with the creative team throughout their final year of study and they will perform the musical live for the first time in spring 2020.

The duo has spent time gleaning ideas from the students in an array of workshops and they have developed a concept which they believe will lend itself to the group’s talents and the watching audience.

“These students enjoy student life, they enjoy being together as a group and they know what it takes to be a student nowadays. We thought it was a good idea to build on that for our new musical.”

Richard Taylor

“After graduation students can go off in all different directions, some can keep in touch while others disappear and you don’t hear from them again so our idea is that rather than going their separate ways at graduation, one of the students inherits a remote Scottish island and all the students head off en masse to escape normal life and that’s where you’ll start to see people differently.”

“It’s very liberating to have the time and opportunity to come up with ideas from scratch, to talk them through with the students and Richard, get feedback and go away to develop more of the script.”

Douglas Maxwell

Over the summer months Douglas will develop the script while Richard will compose more music and song lyrics. They will reconvene at UCLan’s Preston Campus in autumn to share the next scenes with the undergraduates.

“It’s a really amazing opportunity to have people like Richard and Douglas come in and write a musical for us to perform. It’s also incredible to think we’ll be the first group of people to have performed these roles. It’s so much fun.”

Erika Ignataviciute, 20 (UCLan Student)

“What’s really nice is Douglas has captured our personalities and accents and we can see those coming through in the script. We can’t wait to see how the project develops and the absolute dream is that our musical will be picked up by a professional production company.”

Sophie Harsley, 20 (UCLan Student)

It is not the first time Richard, who has recently had major shows on at The Sheffield Crucible, London’s Apollo Theatre and the Chichester Festival, has worked with Douglas, whose recent work has been performed at The Royal Lyceum Edinburgh and the National Theatre of Scotland. Ten years ago, they worked with postgraduate students at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow. They then created a show called ‘Watertight’.

“It is a huge asset to the University to attract such high calibre industry professionals to this project. Everybody I speak to about this is so excited to see the final show. The impact on the students is immense; they are working on the inside, and from the beginning, in the creation of a full-scale musical, which adds so much more to their production process for their final show. It could be that this inspires some of our graduates to become writers and composers as well as performers.”

Mark Goggins (Course Leader – Music Theatre at UCLan)

Science Fun in the Sun for Thousands of Youngsters

Eighth annual Lancashire Science Festival attracts huge crowds to the free event in Preston

Thousands of youngsters have once again been inspired by the award-winning Lancashire Science Festival.

Organised and hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), the popular and action-packed fun fest showcased the very best in electrifying shows, fantastic workshops, exciting exhibits and hands-on activities.

Among the highlights for many youngsters at this year’s three-day extravaganza were the From Plate to Poo show, Science Dome Planetarium and the Animal Detectives show.

Other exciting demonstrations and shows revealed the science in your favourite sci-fi shows and the maths that make thrilling theme-park rides. Many companies and organisations also brought hands-on activities to share the science and technology in the world around us.

“It’s been an amazing day. The ‘Maths, Disney and Pixar’ event was mind-blowing as I learnt about how the films are put together and the mistakes that are made.”

Adeite Oludotun-Fasanya – Pupil from Barton St Lawrence’s CE Primary School

“I have enjoyed learning about being a scientist for the day and it’s been lots of fun to play with all the exhibits.”

Edeson Ogunlana-Aresin – Pupil at Grange Primary School

The annual event offers a wide variety of activities to inspire youngsters about the real-world applications of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. The Festival has previously won the Best Community or Business Engagement Campaign prize at the Heist Awards for Education Marketing and Best Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign at the Northern Marketing Awards.

“It’s been amazing to see thousands of people fully engaged with the wide variety of science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) activities we had on offer.

“This has been our eighth year and it’s been bigger and better than ever. We’ve had such a great selection of science, technology, engineering and maths events with shows, workshops and drop-in activities that appeal to all ages. To see the mass appeal of a free STEM related festival is wonderful and it shows the appetite of schools and parents to bring children along and inspire the next generation.

“Once again our sponsors have been great this year. It’s been a real team effort, with contributions from staff, students, volunteers, regional businesses and organisations and the result has been seeing thousands of youngsters leaving with huge smiles on their faces with an understanding that science is really fun.”

Dr Liz Granger – Lancashire Science Festival Director

To see images from across the three days, see our Flickr gallery.