When the term came to a sudden and abrupt end in March this year, college students across the country had to adapt quickly to a different kind of learning. However, despite the worrying situation, the experience acted as a catalyst for creativity for some.
Under normal circumstances, students on the Diploma in Foundation Studies: Art and Design course would develop their pieces in studios, with all the equipment and space they needed. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the subsequent restrictions, their studio space became a 'no-go' area.
Not to be hindered by this, students continued to work on their projects at home, with some striking results. They also launched an online version of their annual art exhibition, which was met with great acclaim.
Despite the unsettling circumstances, the Diploma in Foundation Studies: Art and Design course produced some notable successes again this year.
Artist Tesni Calennig, who studied the Foundation course at Coleg Menai's Parc Menai campus, teamed up with friend and singer / songwriter Casi Wyn to design and make some beautiful 'Hope' rings, inspired by a poem written by Casi called "Modrwy Gobaith." The rings proved so popular that they sold out as soon as they appeared on the website, with a percentage of the profits going directly to Ysbyty Gwynedd's charity, Awyr Las.
Another WJEC Art Foundation student, Jessica Hill from Bangor received an invitation from the Cultivate Gallery in London to exhibit her work as part of an online show, where her art was displayed alongside numerous other artists from all over the world.
Coleg Menai lecturer Owein Prendergast said,
I was massively impressed by the continued determination of the 2020 cohort, and also the way in which their art adapted and changed over the lockdown period. I think that this pandemic sparked a certain kind of inventiveness in the students, which shaped their output dramatically. The photographs speak for themselves!
There are still limited places available on the WJEC Art Foundation course starting this September at Coleg Menai and Coleg Llandrillo so, if Art and Design is your thing, and you want to know more, please visit www.gllm.ac.uk