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New student art unveiled in public space

A new public art installation has been unveiled in the St James Place development in Norwich by its creators – students Tessa Phillips and Rachel Hadjiphilippou.

Winning NUA students stand next to their FONT project art installation

Tessa Phillips and Rachel Hadjiphilippou pictured with their Font Award winning piece of public artwork

The students, who are both studying for degrees in Visual Studies at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), have created a glass pool with an extract from Paradise Lost etched below the surface of the glass. The design is a response to the FONT Award brief, which challenges students to create artwork in response to a typographical font – this year’s font being Baskerville.

Tessa says: “Inspiration came from the light on the river, we wanted to create something for people to discover in the area behind the piece of city wall. As Paradise Lost was one of the first books published by Baskerville on his new machines and new font, it seemed fitting to find a piece of text from that.”

Rachel adds: “The project has been invaluable in terms of gaining knowledge of dealing with professionals and how to propose a commission to a board of people. I have gained so much confidence and feel so excited about the possibilities of making future proposals.”

This is the second artwork to be created under the FONT Award, which invites proposals from NUA’s Visual Studies and Graphic Communication courses to collaborate. The competition brief is set by The St James Collection, a curated programme of public artworks at the centre of the St James Place redevelopment across the Wensum from the Cathedral. The FONT Award is commissioned by Jarrold and supported by an investment from Arts & Business. Winning students are provided with funding and mentoring by an established artist in order to create the piece.

Professor John Last, Vice-Chancellor of NUA, says: “NUA is very appreciative of the opportunity that Jarrold has once again given students to undertake this sculpture commission. This kind of practical commercial experience is a vital part of degree courses here at NUA and gives students the chance to work with local business on real projects. I am really proud of the standard of the students’ work and I look forward to continuing our co-operation as the St James Collection develops.”

Caroline Jarrold, Community Affairs Adviser at Jarrold, says: “We are delighted that we have run this competition for a second year and were again impressed by the quality and diversity of the proposals put forward by the student groups. All of the students put a lot of thought and creativity into their proposals and it was not easy to select a winner. However, we felt that Tessa and Rachel’s proposal met the brief extremely well and recognised the challenges of the site in a practical yet very creative way.”

The FONT Project winning artwork

A close up of the winning work of art, now installed in the St James Place development next to the Wensum

A group of people including students examine the FONT Award winning artwork

Visitors at the unveiling of the work get up close to examine its contours

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