London has loved the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, and UAL students, staff and alumni are no different. Here are a few of our favourite ways in which the University has contributed to or been inspired by London 2012.
Central Saint Martins lecturer designs Paralympic medals
Senior lecturer in BA Jewellery Design Lin Cheung was chosen to design the more than 2,100 medals that were presented at the Paralympic Games. Her design represents Spirit in Motion and was inspired by a sculpture of the goddess Nike at the British Museum.
Students celebrate Shakespeare
As part of the World Shakespeare Festival included in the Cultural Olympiad, UAL students explored the drama and emotion of the Bard’s works through a variety of approaches. This ranged from Hanna Bischof’s Talking Dots, which colour-codes the emotions of Shakespearean characters in the form of 60,000 dots, to Ophelia’s Skull by Owen Woonyung Lee, which eerily creates a music box within a skull to illustrate “the melancholic beauty of death”.
Fashion graduate’s Olympic Dream
Amongst the eclectic and exciting designs at Central Saint Martins’ MA Fashion show at London Fashion Week, the work of Luke Brooks took a distinctly Olympian theme. Joint winner of the L’Oréal Professionnel Creative Award 2012, Luke explained that with London 2012 all around “I’ve been touched imaginatively by some of its tentacles”.
Body casting Olympians
Sculptor and Chelsea alumna Louise Giblin spent the year before London 2012 working on a unique Olympian venture: body casting five British sporting heroes. The results are timeless sculptures of Kriss Akabusi, Dame Kelly Holmes, Sally Gunnell, Darren Leach and London 2012 medal-winner Beth Tweddle. In each case, she used a special technique for body casting subjects and applied designs to the surface of the resulting clay torso.
This is just the tip of the iceberg – see much, much more on the UAL 2012 blog
Jo Morrison, Digital Projects Director at UAL, who coordinated the University’s response to the Games, says:
“Watching Oscar Pistorius receive the gold medal designed by Lin Cheung, learning that the stellar student work for the RSC’s Cultural Olympiad digital project reached over one million people, and UAL’s award in recognition of our creative and cultural contribution to London 2012 are just three of my personal highlights of the Games.
“It has been terrific to lead our engagement with London 2012, and to work with colleagues across UAL to develop such a valuable and meaningful narrative. The importance of the creative sector to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games was immense, and UAL’s community played a huge part.”