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    Artist collaborates with students to enrich The Biome

    09 April 2024

    Acclaimed artist, Tom Hackett is partnering with creative students at Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) to create sustainability themed artwork for the College’s creative hybrid learning space, The Biome.

    Tom previously created the artwork installation, "Another Green World" in the entrance of The Biome, and he was keen to return to the College to collaborate with learners on the project.

    Contemporary Creative Practice degree-level students submitted their initial proposals to Tom, outlining their ideas and the techniques they would use. Ellie Johnson and Aspen Turner had their ideas selected by Tom for further development and to be created into artwork for the Biome.

    Ellie Johnson, Contemporary Creative Practice student, explores the theme of human impact on natural structures through her artwork, ‘Leaving a trace’. Ellie’s concept merges imagery of a tree with a fingerprint, symbolising the intricate relationship between humans and the environment. With a minimalist colour palette and careful attention to detail, Ellie’s design promises to provoke thought and reflection.

    Ellie commented: “It’s been a good experience – I have enjoyed working with Tom to develop my ideas and using the laser cutter to create the artwork. I like trees and think they present a basic visual to indicate nature in general. Combining the fingerprint and the tree digitally provides further symbolism to convey a message of ‘impact’ on the planet.”

    Meanwhile, fellow student, Aspen Turner, has proposed a series of four prints utilising the chlorophyll printing technique to portray aspects of Burton upon Trent from an environmental standpoint. Aspen’s innovative approach will harness the power of sunlight and natural leaves to create artwork, offering a sustainable and environmentally friendly expression of the local landscape.

    The Biome is a creative hybrid space for higher education learners in the College’s University Centre to communicate, collaborate and bring innovative ideas to life through a range of technology. The space has been designed to incorporate the College's commitment to being a carbon neutral college by ensuring all items have been sourced locally, including sustainable furniture. As part of the College’s upgraded and revitalised facilities funded through the Stronger Towns Fund, the Biome will provide a unique platform for learners to evolve, adapt, create and learn.

    Reflecting on the collaboration with students, Tom said: “The artwork that is being developed here has a strong graphic sense, capturing two iconic things: nature and our presence, and how they interlace with each other. Nature is at the heart of everything we do, and the real challenge for humanity is to use technology responsibly to enrich the world, rather than destroy it.

    "Working with the talented students at BSDC has been a privilege. These fresh perspectives and innovative approaches will bring new dimensions to the Biome, fostering a vibrant atmosphere of creativity and exploration."

    Contact Details

    Contact Details

    Burton and South Derbyshire College
    Tel: 01283 494400

    Town Centre Campus

    Burton Town Centre Campus, Lichfield Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3RL

    Stephen Burke Construction Academy

    Construction Academy, 21 Tetron Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 OBB