Students inspired to create unusual art

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An Ilkeston student used 200 online responses she received following an appeal to help her create an unusual piece of artwork as part of her studies.

Shannon Moloney, a sixth former at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy, was inspired by artist Tracey Emin to create an installation which consisted of a full-sized room inside the gallery at the academy.

The theme for the project was the growth and evolution of computers and technology.

She writes a lifestyle blog and has about 1,000 followers and appealed online for people to write to her with their thoughts and ideas so she could use their words in her artwork.

The 18-year-old also asked people who came inside the room to write something down that they would like to see included on the walls.

Shannon, who is studying a BTEC diploma in art and design, is going on to study at university. She said she was extremely pleased with the final piece.

She said: “When I appealed online I said to people that they could be anonymous but only one person was. They could write whatever they wanted, some were completely random and some were quite dark.

“I really like Tracey Emin’s work and that’s when I had the idea to construct a room that people could actually go into. There is a desk inside and you enter through a shower curtain, you can’t see through it and it is meant to represent the fact that when you are on your laptop or phone you are pretty much unaware of what’s going on around you.

“I felt like this was the perfect theme as I have grown up watching technology evolve from big box TVs to the flat screens that people have now. I’m also quite consumed by my phone, which most people are. Before, if people needed to find something out they perhaps would have spoken to their teachers or gone to the library but now they would just do a Google search.”

Among the items that Shannon used to create the artwork on the walls in the room were photos she had taken, computer keys, nails, thread and expanding foam.

She also took inspiration from old copies of the Ilkeston Advertiser, which she viewed at the library.

She said: “In one piece I used nails connected by pieces of thread to represent all the connections we make online. It’s important to think about whether we are really ourselves online and how you have to be so careful about what you post online.”

Another sixth former created a shrine as part of her final submission for her art qualification.

Scarlett Wakefield, 18, used her Wicca beliefs – Wicca is a modern, Pagan witchcraft religion - as inspiration for her project. She is also studying a BTEC diploma art and design and is going on to university.

She said: “My ideas of the decorative shrine are both symbolic and personal because of my Wicca beliefs. My inspiration comes from the Green Man which is central to both this display and my religion. I am really proud to have completed this exhibition piece.”

The Green Man is a sculpture or drawing of a face surrounded by or made from leaves and is often interpreted as a symbol of rebirth.