Designer of the Day Freya Faulkner, BA Illustration, chats to us about her final project and her Camberwell experience.
Hi Freya, Can you tell us about your final project?
For a brief second after the Big Bang, Matter and Antimatter co-existed in the universe. The Matter and Antimatter was irresistibly drawn to one another and when they collided they sent each other into oblivion. This is known as The Great Annihilation. The only reason we exist at all is because there was a tiny bit more Matter than Antimatter in the universe.
I’ve created a quasi-religious exploration of this phenomenon to communicate what Matter and Antimatter are. In my ‘religious’ manifesto The Big Bang is the creation myth and Matter and Antimatter are two warring twins fighting for control of the universe.
What was your inspiration?
It’s a magpie collection of reference points, everything from Oskar Schlemmer and The Tao of Physics, to The Home Altars of Mexico, WWE wrestling and the Greco- Roman ceramic tradition.
What do you have left to do between now and the end of year exhibition?
My to do list seems to be endless! The priority right now is getting my pots in the kiln for their second firing and I’ve got a couple more screen prints to pull. But the next couple of weeks will be mainly getting the studios ready for the show and installing my work. The other challenge will be collating all my development work into some kind of understandable sequence for hand in.
Have you had much experience of preparing for an exhibition before? What kind of things do you need to think about?
I was part of the team who organized the second year BA Illustration exhibition BI at Mother in Shoreditch last year. I learnt from BI that hanging always takes longer than you think it will. Curating a diverse selection of work from a large group of illustrators can be tricky but its very rewarding when you get it right.
What are you hoping to do once you graduate?
Keep going, that’s my main aim. Towards the end of third year you’re lost in this great momentum where you are making work and decisions all the time. I want to maintain that as I continue in my own practice. I’m also incredibly excited to be getting involved with The Camberwell Press and there are a few other things in the pipeline that I’m hoping will come to fruition.
I was drawn to Camberwell because of the reputation and standard of the teaching. I was also excited by the emphasis on experimentation, pushing the boundaries of what illustration is and what Camberwell illustrators can become. I think we’ve been instilled with an attitude of open mindedness and tenacity that will enable us to apply ourselves and our skills in the ever evolving creative market.
What pearls of wisdom from tutors or other students that you’ll take with you?
Take every opportunity you can even if you think it’s not really for you or your practice. You just don’t know what you’ll learn or where it will take you and your work.
The other thing I’ve learnt is listen to your tutors and your fellow students, get opinions, get advice, but ultimately its your work, you have to follow your instincts and make your own decisions. Make your work, not the work you think you should be making.
What advice would you pass on to a student about to start at Camberwell?
Enjoy it and don’t worry about what ‘illustration’ is or whether you are an ‘illustrator.’ If you are enjoying what you do and you work hard, the rest will follow. And never go anywhere without a notebook/sketchbook.
What will you miss about Camberwell once you’ve left?
I’ll miss being able to collar tutors in corridors to bounce ideas of them. It’s something I think we all take for granted but having their knowledge, expertise and experience always at hand is amazing.
I’m definitely going to miss the support and advice of the technicians. They’ve taught me so much over the last three years and they are endlessly patient and forgiving.
And I’ll miss my studio space and the people I share it with. There’s a group of us who’ve been in pretty much everyday since Christmas and it’s great to be able to talk things through, have a moan, a giggle and a beer. Illustration can be a lonely discipline and I’m not looking forward to going back to working in my room.