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Students in coronavirus lockdown bag creative brief for shopping centre

University of Wolverhampton art students have delivered a creative brief for a local shopping centre despite being on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The five students, studying for Illustration degrees in the Wolverhampton School of Art, were working on a live creative brief for the Mander Centre in Wolverhampton before the crisis escalated.

The team of creative students was led by University Illustration Senior Lecturer and Project Manager, Stuart Varley, and the work has been produced by second year students Daniel Turner (lead art worker), Hannah James, Fynn Riseborough, Patrick Campbell-Brookes and first year student, Nayia Balatsou.

The team was commissioned to produce artwork for three hoardings, measuring 3 metres by 60 metres for a possible new pop-up games arcade at the Centre to attract new visitors in the future.

Since lockdown restrictions were introduced in March, the students have been working together online communicating through virtual tutorials and video conferencing to develop the artwork.

Daniel Turner, lead art worker, said:

“Creativity can be quite a lonely experience so it was really great to be part of collaborative group of people and really exciting to be working on a live brief for a local client.

“Working online presented us with challenges we wouldn’t have otherwise faced but we learned a lot through this different way of learning and somehow it enhanced our creativity. We create digitally anyway, so this was just another step in the process for us.”

Laura Taylor, Retail Marketing Manager at the Mander Centre, said:

“We wanted an exciting and futuristic vinyl digital wall, pieced together with floor decals, to attract new visitors to the centre.

“Despite the students being on lockdown, they have managed to create a really awesome piece of work that really reflects the brief given to them. Considering they have done most of this work online collaboratively, is an amazing achievement.”

Stuart Varley said:

“It’s vital that students get real life work experience to complement their studies which is why partnerships like these are so important.

“Working on a live creative brief and taking projects outside the remit of the studio is an essential experience for our students and having the opportunity for students to have their work printed at massive scale is something special. It teaches students so much – embracing collaboration with their peers, working within a real world timescale and enhancing and championing of their professional skills. A real life brief such as this is a fundamental experience to becoming a professional in the creative industries.

“This project underlines the great character, skills and determination of the students, including burning the midnight oil and of staff on the BA Hons Illustration course including Scott Knight, Business Development Manager, Ben Kelly, Illustration Course Leader and Amy Evans, Illustration Lecturer, who have all been an integral part of the project.

“The artwork produced includes Neon, 3D Geometric play and Optical Illusions using a variety of computer software. Even though we have had to work in unusual circumstances, with no face to face communication, we have succeeded in the task and the client is super happy.”

The work will be on display over the coming months.

For more information contact the Corporate Communications Team 01902 322736/518647 or out of office hours on 07973 335112 or email:

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