Category: iMayflowerCreative

From city centre shop fronts and waterfront spaces to art galleries and exhibition halls, keep your eyes peeled this summer for the brilliant work of Plymouth’s creative arts graduates. The graduates are being given the opportunity to connect with the public and local industry, thanks to the innovative IGNITE Festival of Creativity.

The festival, from 26 May to 19 July, puts a unique spin on the traditional arts degree shows by combining the exhibitions by graduates from the University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art with installations and exhibitions in community settings.

IGNITE 2021 also aims to act as a spark to link businesses and organisations with the graduates, whose professional profiles are featured on the IGNITE website. The idea is to keep the talent in the city by securing employment opportunities, while at the same time providing a portfolio of Plymouth-based talent that firms can tap into.

The graduates span subjects ranging from fashion, crafts, commercial photography, graphic communication and interior design and styling to product design, animation and game arts, fine art, filmmaking and painting, drawing, printmaking and performing arts.

While the IGNITE website is the portal where organisations can discover emerging talent, the IGNITE Festival of Creativity brings that talent out into the city streets and galleries. Alongside the degree exhibitions that are held each year on sites such as University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art’s city-centre campus, this year’s graduates are also exhibiting at public spaces across Plymouth including sites such as Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard.

Led by the University of Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth City Council as part of the iMayflower project, the IGNITE website and IGNITE Festival of Creativity is supported with funding from the Cultural Development Fund through Arts Council England and Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Dan Howson, producer of IGNITE and IGNITE Festival of Creativity, has an impressive track record spanning 25 years. He has worked with iconic brands and stars, including Sir Paul McCartney, MTV, Manchester United, the Venice International Film Festival, Glastonbury Festival and the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills.

Dan says: “IGNITE is helping these up-and-coming creative professionals to develop new and unique ways to showcase their work digitally and physically. For example, through a functional and visual website, we’re able to connect with people more efficiently like the Plymouth City Centre Company, Plymouth City Bus, The Waterfront, Drake Circus, Sutton Harbour, the Barbican Theatre and Barclays Bank to decorate shop windows, advertising spaces and create work opportunities.

“We are looking at Plymouth being their blank canvas - and it gives the local community a reason to get out to the city centre and waterfront to see their work.”

For Professor Chris Bennewith, Interim Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business at the University, the key for IGNITE is to show the impact that creativity can make in business: “These creative skills aren’t just needed in the arts and media sectors,” he says. “What IGNITE is really trying to do is to bring this creative talent into interdisciplinary settings, such as the marine industry, manufacturing, health care and accommodation.

“It’s about showing businesses that creativity has a value to them and presenting them with a portfolio of talent they can utilise,” adds Ian Hutchinson, Head of Development at Plymouth College of Art. “They can find exactly what they need without having to scout around. It’s an incredibly efficient way of connecting people, sparking community engagement, and developing employment opportunities.”

Businesses can search the talent on the IGNITE website, where they can engage the graduates for work directly. They can also request a Partner Park by emailing Dan at:

Supported using public funding by DCMS and ACE

Supported using public funding by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England.

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