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Polish Visit Inspires Future Engineers of the Imagination


Artwork by Jacob Courtney

Cardiff School of Art and Design students on the Second Year cross-disciplinary Field module, ‘Engineers of the Imagination’, have enjoyed a successful inaugural visit to Poznan.

The Santander-funded field trip links with a humanitarian-based project and has provided real insight to the five CSAD students who visited and took their work out to public arenas.

Students had already exhibited at an empty shop project in Cardiff’s Royal Arcade and also contributed to 'Coleridge in Wales 2016,' a Cardiff-Met supported public festival in Cardiff Bay which focused on the poet’s Return of the Ancient Mariner poem, which they also portrayed in a live event at the festival. 

One of the focuses of that project was that their piece was transferable to any public space anywhere, resulting in pop-up and suitcase-based work as well as the creation of an artzine in Poznan’s public library, which then formed part of a public bookcase installation in one of the city’s main squares, pl. Wolnosci. 

Student Jacob Courtney said: “This was the first time I had been abroad with like-minded illustrators from the Illustration course. We engaged with the local culture and visited several museums, churches, cathedrals, an art gallery, an animation festival, and the town of Gniezno.

“One of the things I found most fascinating about the trip was the local history. One of our course tutors, Amelia Johnstone, stressed the importance of how Poland has struggled to survive yet has been persistent in its efforts to do so, especially when considering the last World War where the country suffered massively."

Twenty-year-old Level 6 Illustration student Tomas Margett is from Derby. He said: “I am transferring the experience into my third year practice, both conceptually and practically. The Ethnographic museum was a memorable part of the trip, there was a very moving exhibition about religious artefacts that had been repurposed for other necessary needs like building materials.

One area of the exhibition that had a profound effect on me was a room that talked about Jewish graves that were turned into bricks in which a lot of Poznan is now built upon. It’s had a massive effect on me - the idea of hidden memories and facades that people walk or build upon; it’s something I am looking to communicate in my work at the moment through moving image."