Latest Parkside exhibition draws on BCU's Art & Design Archives

If you'd like to get a glimpse of the wealth of archival resources accessible to students, why not go along to Parkside Gallery's latest exhibition, Cabinets of Costume

Installation shot of Cabinets of Costume exhibition showing theatrical costume designs for The Threepenny Opera by students in the early 1970s from BCU's Art & Design Archives, Parkside Gallery, May 2017.

Installation shot of Cabinets of Costume exhibition showing theatrical costume designs for The Threepenny Opera by students in the early 1970s from BCU's Art & Design Archives, Parkside Gallery, May 2017.

Over the last few weeks, two third-year students from the BA (Hons) Design for Performance course have been in and out of the Archives, taking the opportunity to browse our collections. Not only have they learnt all about the challenges of exhibiting archival material, but they've also gained valuable experience in selecting works to meet a particular brief and faced the challenges of mounting and framing them. However, I'll let them speak for themselves. Alessia Mallardo said that

'my involvement in Cabinets of Costume as a collaborative designer has been a gratifying experience, but first and foremost I have mainly enjoyed discovering the meticulously detailed and beautiful archival material to exhibit.'

 These sentiments were echoed by her colleague Rachel Shore, who said

'I have really enjoyed the opportunity to engage with the archives. A lot of the costume designs we have seen from the archive are from the Theatre Design course, which is now my course - Design for Theatre, Performance and Events. It has been an amazing experience to be able to look at and engage with the history of my course and the costume design course. It is also interesting to see how techniques have changed or remained similar over the years and with the advancement of technology.' 

Both of them felt that the project had helped in the development of their careers as designers after graduation.

Installation shot of Cabinets of Costume exhibition showing designs for a book cover and theatrical costume designs by Meredith Hawes, 1930s, from BCU's Art & Design Archives, Parkside Gallery, May 2017.

Installation shot of Cabinets of Costume exhibition showing designs for a book cover and theatrical costume designs by Meredith Hawes, 1930s, from BCU's Art & Design Archives, Parkside Gallery, May 2017.

We hope to be able to collaborate with more students in the curating of exhibitions. If you've an idea you'd like to explore further, why not get in touch?