Art students at Cambridge Regional College have used their talent to produce six striking artworks for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The 30 students on the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design and Graphics Design were approached by the UK’s leading dementia research charity to create six original artworks to be displayed at their new head quarter offices on Granta Park, Great Abington.
The talented students, all aged between 16 and 18, were set the brief to show their creative interpretation of what a neuron – cells responsible for transmitting information around the brain – looks like under a microscope. They could use whatever medium they wished to create their designs; the only limitations were that they had to work within the charity’s colour palette and their ideas had to be able to be reproduced onto a 1sqm canvas. To add an element of competition to the project, only six of the 30 would be chosen to go on display.
The students presented their design boards to the charity and, after much deliberation, the final six were selected. Emily Courdelle, 20, from Ely; Linsey Carpenter, 17, from Sandy; Louise Bailey, 16, from Wyboston; Kornelija Bulaityte, 18, from Newmarket; Amber-Jade Smith, 17, from Stambourne and Aletta Fazekas, 18, from Cambridge were all asked to create their designs on canvas.
Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Everyone at Alzheimer’s Research UK has been overwhelmed by the high quality of work produced by the students and we are extremely grateful for their efforts. It was a tough brief to tackle but they have fully embraced it and left us spoilt for choice.
“We are a national charity but with a 21-year history in Cambridge our roots are very much in the city and it has been brilliant to join forces with Cambridge Regional College on this project.
“The artworks have provided the finishing touches to our new offices. They take pride of place in our reception area where they are already being admired by visitors and staff. Who knows, we might even have an original from the Warhols and Picassos of tomorrow hanging on our walls!”
Linsey Carpenter, whose artwork uses acrylic paints, said:
“My design is based on a section where two neurons connect. The subject of neurons isn’t something I would usually work around but I have found the project really good fun, interesting and creative.”
Amber-Jade Smith, whose design combines acrylic paint, oil pastel and charcoal, said:
“I have always been interested in the art-meets-science concept and how creative imagery can be used to collaborate with scientific issues. The neurons are depicted in a colourful and bold way to highlight the distress within a patient’s life.”
Emily Courdelle, whose artwork uses graphite, acrylic paints, oil pastels, tissue paper and varnish, said:
“I really enjoyed coming up with a range of designs for an organisation with such an important cause. I was really pleased to be one of the six chosen to create my design on to canvas – it’s such a nice feeling to know that someone likes your design ideas.”
Ruth Laslett, Curriculum Manager for Vocational Industries at CRC, said:
“This project has given the students a taste of life outside of the classroom as not only have they had to work to a set brief and deadline, they have also had to work within Alzheimer’s Research UK’s colour palette.
“The students need to be equipped with the right skills when they leave the course and move into employment or higher education. It’s one thing knowing how to draw, but what we’re trying to do is show them what they can do with that and what the potential is. This project has been a really good learning process for them and I think they’ve produced some fantastic work. The students and staff are very keen to work with charities and businesses on live assignments.”