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Cre­ative Arts stu­dents inspire new ban­ner on dis­play at Sal­is­bury Cathedral


Creative Arts students at Wiltshire College & University Centre's Salisbury campus have provided inspiration for a new banner on display at Salisbury Cathedral.

Creative Arts students at Wiltshire College & University Centre’s (WCUC) Salisbury campus have had the honour of being involved in an exciting art project as part of a recent exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral.

A banner created by Ed Hall, one of the country’s leading banner makers, went on display in the Cathedral last week. Developed during workshops with WCUC students that explored the themes behind the Cathedral’s recent art exhibition ‘To Be Free’, the banner was inspired by ideas and mood boards created by the students.

In the finished piece, students are represented by figures standing in front of a gothic arch, with the title To Be Free above and a slogan from contemporary rap below and includes influences ranging from the students’ favourite music artists to slogans reflecting their thoughts and beliefs. Fittingly, the border of the banner is in Sarum Green, the colour of the robes worn by the Cathedral vergers, Clergy and Choir.

In total, 32 students from Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice were involved, and all were invited to a special event at the Cathedral last Friday where the banner was unveiled. It will remain on display in the Morning Chapel until Wednesday 22 November.

Tracey Nichols, Deputy Head of Faculty – Creative Arts, Media and Performance at WCUC, said: “We were delighted to be involved in this exciting project and would like to thank Salisbury Cathedral for inviting us to be part of the collaboration. The theme ‘To Be Free’ really resonated with many of our students. They were all thrilled to see the ideas they had discussed with Ed brought to life in the final piece, and I am sure Ed’s methods and interpretations will inspire them as they continue their own creative journeys.”

Stevie, a Foundation Art student, said: “It was amazing to see the finished piece. It wasn’t what I expected – I thought Ed would just combine all our ideas next to each other, but he took a certain element or theme from each of us to make one amazing composition.

“I actually had a long conversation with Ed and we talked about music I like and he ended up using what we discussed prominently in the piece. I really thought long and hard about the ideas I wanted to give him as if I was going to be involved in an art exhibition, I wanted it to mean something, rather than something I had just come up with on the spot.”

Katherine Dolphin, Education Officer at Salisbury Cathedral, said: “There were two parts to the workshop. After a tour of the exhibition with our Visual Arts Curator, Beth Hughes, Ed showed the students two banners he had brought with him and talked about the background to the banners, how he developed them, their meaning and purpose. Then the students designed individual mood boards which Ed used to create the final banner design.”

Ed Halls said: “The design is traditional but I hope it allows those who see it to think of the world today and what concerns young people. The title ‘To Be Free’ is a direct reference to the 1215 Magna Carta displayed in the Cathedral and the recent art exhibition. Many millions of people in the world today are not free to speak freely, dress as they would wish and elect the governments they want.

“The rainbow appeared in many of the students’ sketches as a symbol of equality, as did the globe, and one design called for animal rights. It was interesting to me that the students use dress, hairstyles and T-shirt slogans as freedom of expression.”

Creative Arts courses are offered at our Chippenham, Salisbury and Trowbridge campuses. Find out more by attending our Open Days in November. Register here.

MAIN PICTURE: Beth Hughes, Visual Arts Curator at Salisbury Cathedral, and Ben Mousley, Lecturer in Art & Design at WCUC, alongside students Stevie, Maddie, Niamh and Michaela

PICTURES: Student Ross Reavenall

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