Friday, 15 December 2017

Cabinet of Psychedelic Curiosities

A mind blowing Psychedelic Exhibition being held in the Visual Communication department of the School of Art is all set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

The exhibition of literature and culture, brings together Illustration, Photography, Humanities and Visual Communication showcasing ground-breaking 60s visual design. 

In the first of a series of planned exhibitions, curators Tom Hicks, Librarian for Faculty of Arts, and Jane Webb, Head of Department (Visual Communication) have assembled a collection of objects, posters, album covers, books and magazines celebrating the year 1967, the Summer of Love which represented a revolutionary moment in popular culture that saw an explosion of wildly experimental thought in literature, music and design.

Pieces on display include Beatles memorabilia, art designed by Martin Sharp, a significant 60s artist who created iconic album covers and posters featuring musicians such as Jimi Hendrix as well as clothes, toys and ceramics from the era.

The ‘Cabinet of Psychedelic Curiosities’ will be on display from Wednesday 6th December until Friday 12th January 2018 on the third floor of the George Wallis Building, Wolverhampton School of Art.

Including loans from the University Library, the exhibition includes OZ magazine, the seminal underground magazine that provided a showcase for eye-popping psychedelic graphics and illustration, as well as showcasing key works by artist such as Martin Sharp.

Tom Hicks, curator of the exhibition, said: “The exhibition is split into three distinct areas focusing on art and literature that inspired the psychedelia movement, then exploring the sub-culture as it developed through to how it transcended into mainstream culture.

Most of the material was donated by Faculty of Arts lecturers at the University and we have also used valuable collections from the library to creating an exhibition which will give visitors an insight into how this significant movement evolved into one of the most revolutionary periods of the twentieth century.

Psychedelia was a relatively short-lived phenomenon but its influence permeated the worlds of animation, advertising, fashion and popular culture. Whilst the 60s witnessed many design sub-cultures, psychedelia has had a lasting influence that and is now commonly used as visual shorthand to represent the entire decade.” 

Gerry Carlin, Senior Lecturer in English at the University who has donated his personal collection to the exhibition, said: “We teach a 1960s module on our Popular Culture course which focuses on psychedelia and the hippy underground movement.

“This was an extremely significant time for youth culture, in particular, as it was the first time young people were able to express themselves freely across a broad spectrum of areas including music, art and literature. The resulting psychedelia movement represented a powerful awareness of consciousness based on regained innocence and freedom.”

The exhibition is open to the general public with free entry. Please email Tom Hicks to register your interest:

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Dudley College - visit and workshops

Dudley College staff and students have made a return visit to Wolverhampton School of Art seeing the students union and  inspecting The Cabinet of Psychedelic Curiosities exhibition curated by Arts Librarian Tom Hicks and Head of Visual Communication Jane Webb. Their visit also provided the opportunity to sample creative workshops, meet staff and students and spend the day as University students.

Just have to share - IBM Plex

IBM is now 'speaking' in a new language; for years they used Helvetica but now they have a new corporate typeface IBM Plex. The new typeface will be used in all areas of the companies work and will be available in a serif and sans serif version in eight weights.

IBM have generously made IBM Plex available free to download from here

Find out more about IBM's typographic history here

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Halesowen College – Pop Art Inspired visit

Pop Art was the theme of the visit by Halesowen College students. 
Looking for inspiration and contextual knowledge for their music poster project visitors from Halesowen College consulted Tom Hicks, specialist Librarian for Art and Design and sampled rare and limited-edition books from the School of Art Special Collections. The Clive Barker: Pop Art Sculpture exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery was the next stop to review Barkers works from 1961-1982. The show provided an insight into his three dimensional interpretation of many familiar Pop Art themes usually seen in two dimensions within the work of his contemporaries, including Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton and Roy Lichtenstein.

During their visit students also took part in portfolio advice sessions in preparation for interviews.

More information about The Clive Barker: Pop Art Sculpture can be found here.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Poster promoting organ donation with appeal to young people

Josh Hinkins, Prof. Magi Sque, Georgia Cox, Marc Austin, Billy-Dean Lawrence, Chris Cooper    

Interfaith Wolverhampton, working in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton’s Institute of Health, and supported by funding from Near Neighbours and private donations, held a conference on the 18th November 2017, about ‘Organ Donation’, at the Gujarati Centre in Wolverhampton. 

The conference was opened by the Deputy Mayor Phil Page. The day consisted of a keynote address, ‘Organ donation: A distinctive gift’, by Dr. Dale Gardiner, Deputy National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, followed by presentations from different faith leaders i.e. Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh. Two organ recipients and a donor mother spoke of their experiences of organ transplantation and donation. Prof. Magi Sque also shared some of her research in this field. Sixty-three delegates attended, including Graphic Design students from Wolverhampton School of Art with their Course Leader Marc Austin. The students are working on a competitive design project to produce a poster promoting organ donation with special appeal to young people.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Employability at Wolverhampton School of Art

Heath Park Sixth form have visited Wolverhampton School of Art, attending an introduction to employability with Lisa Law from The University careers department. 

Hearing about student placements, alumni achievements as well as preparation for interviews and support for business start up, visitors learnt how the University of Wolverhampton has embedded employability within its curriculum, leading to 96% employment sixth months from graduation.

A range of creative workshops also took place in the School of Art.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

A taste of Wolverhampton School of Art

Bournville College students have enjoyed sampling a range of creative workshops within Wolverhampton School of Art. 
Welcomed by staff and students, the day began in the Students Union with talks on the importance of the creative industries and employability. Workshops allowed visitors to sample photography, printmaking in visual communication, drawing in fine art and ideas generation within fashion and textiles.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Discussing Sheaffer Graduate Awards

Sitting round the table in the University refectory, Sheaffer graduate award winners Rhiannon Powell, Jerome Wooton and Georgia Perrin have been discussing their approach to design and the inspiration behind their ideas. In a conversation with Rachel and Ben of Smallman Media, PR company for Sheaffer, Rhiannon, Jerome and Georgia with Graphics subject leader Mark Austin enjoyed sharing enthusiasms for their winning design projects. 
Rhiannon, now studying for an MA in Visual Communication, discussed her ambition to work as a professional designer and copywriter. Ignited by her love of films, Rhiannon's acclaimed project was her final dissertation, ‘An Investigation of Representations of Physical and Mental Entrapment in Classic and Contemporary Disney Film.'

“I love film” said Rhiannon “and knew I wanted to analyse the Disney films I’m passionate about, so after reviewing different Disney genre, I settling on the films Sleeping Beauty, Tangled and Frozen as subject matter for my work."

A live project for Erasmus Plus was the winning solution for Georgia Perrin, whose Sheaffer Award was presented for work on live of projects. Georgia’s design develops an app for Erasmus, “I designed over a thousand pages illustrating content for the app in different languages” she said. After making this sizeable design project so visually interesting, Georgia was also nominated for student employee of the year awards, winning the University’s Commercial Impact Prize. Georgia is now a Graduate Teaching Assistant within the Visual Communications department and is studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.

The Sheaffer Award for Use of Language in Graphics Projects was won by  MA student Jerome Wootton for his distinctive final year  undergraduate project interpreting the Gallifreyan language. A long-term fan of Doctor Who, Jerome, owner of his own Tardis and collection of Doctor Who ephemera, was inspired by the BBC shows broadcast from 2005. His project investigates a series of interactive print techniques in combination with coloured light to achieve legibility and comprehension within his work. 

All award winners discussed the conceptual inspiration they take from contextual studies, synthesising research and analysis to inform their developing conceptual alternatives. 

Visual Communication staff and students would like to thank Sheaffer and Smallman Media for their long-term support and interest.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Lindsay Pritchard - on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2017

Lindsay Pritchard, Illustration alumni has been a contestant on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the year 2017 and the following post comes from her proud daughter and graphics alumni Jessica Pritchard:

Early this year my Mum (Lindsay Pritchard) entered Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year and got a call back to go on the show - she was so overwhelmed. 

Her episode was filmed at Knaresborough Castle in Harrogate on the 21st June. We headed up to Yorkshire the day before and detoured to the castle where they were filming the first day of the competition. On the day of filming, it was an early start, everyone was nervous and excited. All the artists competing that day had a few hours to set up their pods and decide how they were going to capture the space in front of them. Once started, we weren’t allowed to disturb them and had to try to keep out of as many shots as possible which was virtually impossible given the amount of cameras around. The presenters, Frank Skinner and Dame Joan Bakewell, went around the artists one by one to interview each of them and check on their progress. 

Now for the judging… my Dad and I had spoken to the judges earlier in the day and they couldn’t emphasise enough how difficult it was to judge correctly and put their emotions aside. The judging took a few hours and then it was time for the line up to see who had made it to the final. It was such a tense moment for all the artists and their families! Unfortunately my Mum didn’t make it through the final but Fadi who was in the pod next to her did. He’d focused on painting the other contestants rather than the castle grounds with my mum right in the middle of the painting so in a way, she still made it to the final. I’m so proud of my Mum, out of thousands of entries she managed to make it onto the show.

Congratulations Lindsay

Content source:

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Sandra Schirm - MA Show

Despite the ubiquitous use of storytelling, for example in books and the advertising industry, the interactive form portrays a new direction. I want to explore this topic further, which is why I will develop an interactive augmented reality short story. Particular scanning software will enable the viewer to watch short, animation scenes out from my illustration. With this project it is my intention to show the advantages of interactive augmented reality, where the focus lies on the observer as becoming an active part in the story. Furthermore, I want to draw attention to use augmented reality more frequently as it could widen our everyday perception. Moreover, in my MA project I want to take the opportunity and improve my ability in illustration. Combined with my interest in animation, I want to create a unique experience and refine my skills in both subjects and also explore the possibilities of augmented reality.

Contact Email:

Find out more about the 2017 MA show at