Radio 1 Big Weekend: Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson and Billie Eilish to feature in mural created by Hartlepool students at The Northern School of Art

Creative students from The Northern School of Art's Hartlepool campus have designs on making an impact on the thousands of music lovers attending Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Middlesbrough.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 7:53 am
The Northern School of Art graphic design degree students Matthew Orford and Eve Howsden

The talented young graphic design students have teamed up with internationally-renowned graphic artist, Jimmy Turrell, to create a huge, colourful collage to be featured at the event in Stewart Park in Middlesbrough from May 24-26.

Featuring images of three of the weekend’s acts – Mark Ronson, Billie Eilish and Miley Cyrus – the 6m by 3.5m installation will be situated in a prime spot beside the main stage.

Olivia Watson, Programme Leader for TheNorthernSchoolof Arts BA (Hons) Graphics & Digital Design degree courses

Olivia Watson, Programme Leader for The Northern School of Art’s BA (Hons) Graphics & Digital Design degree courses explained that the stunning artwork will be made up of hundreds of images of work by students at The Northern School of Art.

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“The idea for the collage was in response to an open brief by the Big Weekend team for something creative and impactful created by the school’s students and our creative community.

“We’re using artwork and images submitted by students from across the whole range of creative courses at the school. Up close people will be able to see the individual work and from a distance it becomes an image of the three musicians.”

A team of ten graphic design students from courses at the school’s further education campus in Middlesbrough and its university-level campus in Hartlepool are involved with the project.

Internationally-renowned graphic artist Jimmy Turrell

“Students had to pitch for a place on the team and submit their concepts and ideas,” Olivia explained. “It created huge excitement amongst the students and we were inundated with requests to be involved.”

Matt Windram, 19, from Hartlepool said: “It’s amazing to think that so many people will see the work that I help create,” adding: “This project is a great opportunity for me to gain experience working as part of a team, under direction from a renowned figure in the graphic design industry.

“Being able to write this experience with the BBC and Jimmy Turrell on my CV, will really help me with future job applications.”

Ciaran Trafford, 20, from Billingham, said: “I am really looking forward to working with someone like Jimmy and having this great opportunity to enhance my work and CV.

Creative student Eve Howsden, 19, is excited about being one of the team creating the mural for the Radio 1 Big Weekend

“The prestige of a festival like this and the artist with which we are working will give me great confidence for the future and hopefully enhance my abilities.

“I hope that our collage will be seen by as many people as possible, artists and public alike. It’s a great chance to gain exposure for the School.”

Fellow student, Eve Howsden, 19, originally from West Cumbria, is also excited about being one of the team, saying: “It's an incredible thing to happen. It'll be amazing to have people I love listening to and I admire up on stage where something I've worked on is on display.”

Eve is enthusiastic about working alongside her creative colleagues adding: “I like that the School is small, the student body is very close-knit and everybody knows everybody.

“Everyone is nice and we are all like-minded individuals pursuing a creative degree.

“I chose to study at The Northern School of Art because I think it is the best equipped, most dedicated specialist arts campus in the north east. All the tutors are passionate and extremely knowledgeable, they want you to succeed and they want the very best for you, including resources and technology.”

The students have been working with graphic artist Jimmy Turrell, who has created large-scale collages across the world and has worked with leading brands including Adidas and Apple, and who has helped to plan the image that will be revealed to gig-goers.

Jimmy will be joining The Northern School of Art Big Weekend team to create the collage on the Thursday before the event opens.

Having gathered and prepared over 500 images from students, Olivia said that the team is now gearing up for the challenge of creating the college itself.

“We’re heading over to Stewart Park with five buckets of paste and sponges. We pushed to create the artwork on site rather than ahead of the event to make it more authentic and we only have 8 hours to complete it in so it’s going to be exciting.”