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Leeds Arts University’s Postgraduate Show is Big, Bold and Bursting With Incredible Work from Creativity’s Next Generation

· Andrew Emery · Culture

Check out the incredible creative output of Leeds Arts University's latest postgraduates.

Leeds Arts University End of Year Show

Leeds Arts University, the only specialist arts university in the north of England, is showcasing the amazing works of its postgraduates, including lots of new disciplines. Expect the unexpected. Find out more.

The last few years have made it difficult for Leeds Arts University’s incredibly talented students to display their work, which is why this year’s ‘Our Big Big Big Postgraduate Show’ is so hotly anticipated.

It’s not just that students haven’t been able to exhibit their pieces, it’s also that Leeds Arts University has diversified its range of Master’s Degrees over the past few years, and some of those new courses are ready to show their work too. In other words, when they say ‘Big Big Big’, they really mean ‘Big Big Big’. Opening to the public on Monday 19th September and running until Saturday 24th September 2022, it’s going to showcase an inspirational range of pieces covering everything from photography to creature design, fine art to fashion. Get set to see the stars of tomorrow.

World-class art from future creative legends

Leeds Arts University Postgraduate Show

Credit: Robert Silkstone

‘Our Big Big Big Postgraduate Show’ really gives the latest cohort of Leeds Arts University students a chance to shine. Think of it as part art exhibition, part showcase and part calling card – because who knows who’ll be in the crowd? While there will be friends and family attending, there’ll also be prospective employers and local businesses in attendance, eager to tap into the next generation of creative talent in the city. It’s all taking place at Blenheim Walk on the University’s Campus, and they’ve opened up the fourth-floor space where the students actually work for the very first time, too.

The last time they held a postgraduate show, some three years ago, many of the MA’s now offered at Leeds Arts University either didn’t exist or didn’t have any graduates to exhibit. But that’s all changed. Now there’ll be a huge multi-disciplinary show that covers MA Animation, Creative Practice, Curation Practices, Digital Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Graphic Novel, Photography, Worldbuilding and, last but definitely not least, Creature Design. With such a breadth of courses, there’ll be something for absolutely everyone.

A display of artistic creation that’s been well worth the wait

Leeds Arts University Postgraduate Show

Credit: Ojan Rezaei

There are over 60 students displaying their work, the most they’ve ever had, and this isn’t one of those exhibitions where you’ll bomb through, glancing at everything. No, there’s stuff here that really demands your time, attention and engagement, which is testament to the range of courses and disciplines on offer. The show will also highlight work across all kinds of media, from video and sound to graphic novels and curated installations, and there’s lots of cross-pollination too.

Learning how to display your own work to its best effect is all part of the Leeds Arts University learning process for postgraduates, and those who’ve attended the undergraduate shows might notice a difference in approach. In other words, they’ve honed their work over the progress of their higher degrees, and visitors can really see that development. Another big chance is that they haven’t split up the exhibition into different areas – it’s curated in a way to bring it all together as more of a collaborative, holistic venture that shows what these postgrads are really capable of.

Putting the focus on the arts

Leeds Arts University Postgraduate Show

Credit: Britney Pease

There’s no ‘art market’ this time, and that’s a deliberate decision. As Dr. Sarah Taylor, Head of Postgraduate Studies told us, “It allows the show to focus on the students and the work. I want the postgraduates to be really proud of what they’ve done and achieved, and to celebrate themselves and each other because the past few years have been tough, as they’ve been for everybody. They’ve had a lot of challenges the last few years, so we thought we’d just concentrate on the work.”

That’s not the whole story, however. Leeds Arts University has strong links with the creative business community in Leeds and the region, so expect potential employers and collaborators to be checking out the work – students and staff will be on hand to talk about the art, presenting context. Not only that, it’s also timed to coincide with induction week, which means new students can have a look at the work of their peers, providing inspiration and showing them the way forward.

‘Our Big Big Big Postgraduate Show’ runs from Monday 19th to Saturday 24th September 2022 at Leeds Arts University, Blenheim Walk, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9AQ.

Cover image credit: Luke Holroyd.