University Degree Shows 2020: From Heartbreak to Football and Beekeeping

University Degree Shows 2020: From Heartbreak to Football and Beekeeping

University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020

The 2020 University of Sunderland Degree Shows see students from a range of backgrounds displaying their work on a new platform from today. With the impact of coronavirus shutting down galleries and venues across the world, the artists have used their initiative to create a catalogue of cutting-edge work. 

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Simon Green’s Degree Show photography exhibition heartbreakingly captures the final 20 days of his beloved wife’s life. When the 47-year-old Photography, Video and Digital Imaging student began documenting his wife Suzanna’s cancer battle, he did not realise how devastating her diagnosis would be.

University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020

University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020















University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020



His final work – entitled 20 Days – captures Suzanna’s struggle and the final days of her life. “I was in the second year of my programme when Suzanna, who was 46 at the time, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I started taking photographs of her, never thinking that it would end the way it did. There were just 20 days between her initial diagnosis and her death. I felt it was important that I used this as my Degree Show piece, as I think it’s important that we open a dialogue about grieving and death.”


“The University has been incredibly supportive and the help I’ve received – from Well-being to Student Services to Financial Services – has been phenomenal. I feel stronger than I have done in a while and ready to move on.”



Megan-RobinsonFor her Degree Show work, Fashion, Design and Production student Megan Robinson designed a range of streetwear for men, aimed specifically at Newcastle United fans. The 22-year-old, from Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, noticed there was a gap in the market for up-to-date fashion wear for football fans.



University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020

University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020







Megan said, “Both my brother and dad are NUFC fans. I created six outfits which were made up of jackets, hoodies, long shorts etc, for an Autumn/Winter collection. I’ve loved my time at University and feel prepared to go into the job market with confidence following my three years. Ultimately, I would like to become a full-time menswear designer.”

University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020

Rachel Davison-Emmot, from Marley Pots in Sunderland, has been studying Fine Art. The 23 year old has been combining a passion for beekeeping with her love of art to create her final year piece.


University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020Beekeeping Artwork by Rachel Davison 2


Rachel said, “I’d wanted to be a beekeeper since I was 15 – I actually wanted a duck, so the bees were a compromise. I keep them in my back garden and I’m fascinated by them, and the way they communicate with each other, as they have their own special language.” The photographs that make up Rachel’s Degree Show work reflect this unique species and demonstrate how they work together to create something special. Rachel added, “My dream is to make a career out of beekeeping.”





Muthiur Miah

Illustrator Muthiur Miah is hoping his collection of work looking at the theme of Islam will impress audiences. The 23 year old from Blyth has created an illustrated book, as well as a number of images which depict his feeling, hopes and messages.


Artwork by Muthiur Miah 1 Artwork by Muthiur Miah 2 





Muthiur said, “I wanted to do something personal, something which reflects a subject that is important to me. Thanks to the University and the Illustration and Design programme I have learned a lot about myself as an artist. Getting the opportunity to put together a book of my own illustrations has really made me consider a possible career in book publishing.”





Andreas Irakleous, 24, who is originally from Cyprus, has been studying Animation and Games Art at the University for the past three years. For his final piece, Andreas created a mini game library with the aim of bringing together up to four gamers at any one time.



Artwork by Andreas Irakleous 1

Artwork by Andreas Irakleous 2



He said, “Players can take part on dodgeball and archery, we even created a mini-golf island. I’m a gamer myself, so I really wanted to create something unique. I picked to come to Sunderland because of the programme they offered. I also wanted to be in an environment away from London, somewhere less chaotic. My plan is to stay and work in the UK.”

University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020

Graphic Design student Jamie Walton, 25, from Middlesbrough, has turned his passion for tea into his Degree Show piece. Working with fellow students Marta Brito and Mateusz Janas, the team came up with the concept of creating a ‘tea museum’ looking into all different aspects of the UK’s favourite drink.


Artwork by Jamie Walton 1

Artwork by Jamie Walton 2





Jamie said, “We looked at tea from every angle, and I examined the history and culture surrounding the drink.” The team created images and models of what the museum would look like as part of their final submission. Jamie added, “University life has been great and I would like to go on and open my own design agency.”


Iona Stock, 21, has been studying Glass and Ceramics at the University.



Artwork by Iona Stock 1Artwork by Iona Stock 2

She said, “I came to Sunderland because it had both glass and ceramics, small class sizes, more tutors and taught time, as well as a close-knit community. My work is informed by neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to transform by reacting to situations and experiences. After graduation, I will be working with artists Joanna Howells and Richard Heeley. I will also be going travelling around the world stopping by universities to research into master courses.”

University of Sunderland Art and Design Degree Show 2020

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