Paige Alexander at Illuminate festival

An illuminating journey

BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate, Paige Alexander, is one local artist who has benefited from the partnership, completing a placement with Illuminate festival in 2017.

Paige was first introduced to Illuminate in her final year of university. After successfully securing an internship, she was given creative freedom to curate her own exhibition. The installation explored light through fluorescent threads that glow when UV lights are shone through them, and Paige was enriched with rewarding feedback.

From intern to commissioned artist

The 2018 Illuminate Festival was where Paige really got to jump on board; only this time, exhibiting her work as a commissioned artist. Approached by Chris Bennewith, Professor of Interactive Art and Design, Paige’s internship enabled her to work with Illuminate once again.

The opportunity saw Paige experimenting with colour and applying it to her ‘Ray of Light’ (part two) exhibition. This time, Paige focused on the ever-changing projections that her viewers could see, concentrating on the interfering beams of light that are stretched by hundreds of individual coloured threads at graded angles.

"On the fourth day of my installation, I decided to let my audience cut down the threads with me. It was amazing to let my viewers become a part of it. Watching this piece being deconstructed was an experience for me as well as them... My experience with Illuminate as a student is still shadowing my everyday work in my studio."

– Paige Alexander, BA (Hons) Fine Art Graduate

After graduation...

Graduating can be a daunting time for most students, and Paige’s internship with Illuminate provided her with additional, invaluable experience of working as a professional artist, as well as complementing her portfolio.

Paige is currently based in Bristol, where she is planning on exhibiting ‘Ray of Light’ once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. View more of Paige's work.

The collaborative effort between The Bridge at the University of Plymouth and the Illuminate Festival has enabled students like Paige to grow on both a personal and professional level, enhancing their transition from students to graduates.

"Illuminate is now a signature event for Plymouth and a key date in the city’s events calendar. Plymouth has really embraced it and it’s proven to be a perfect avenue through which young talent, including students from the University and Plymouth College of Art, can showcase their work to large audiences. In the future, we hope to do more to support and nurture new and emerging talent in the city and region on the national and international stage."

                    – Chris Bennewith, Head of School, Art, Design and Architecture

Illuminate festival

  • ? Is rooted in Mayflower 400’s core values: freedom, humanity, imagination and the future
  • ? Hosts an array of vibrant light-art installations, interactive artworks and projections; a synthesis of immersive experiences
  • ? Unites the community to celebrate the power of art, technology and a city teeming with talented makers
  • ? Creates diverse opportunities, particularly for university students to develop their work in a professional and collaborative realm
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Illuminate festival Paige Alexander

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Illuminate festival Paige Alexander

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“Illuminate was a huge success – the best exhibition I have been a part of! It allowed me to meet people and work in a creative space. For the public to come and experience it is a feeling I will carry with me forever.”

                                                                                                 – Paige Alexander

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Illuminate festival Paige Alexander

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Illuminate festival Paige Alexander

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Illuminate festival Paige Alexander

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Study fine art at Plymouth

Fine art at the University of Plymouth offers a unique opportunity for you to follow your own path through a range of subject areas and forms of expression. We offer a broad-based programme of study at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the cutting edge of contemporary art practice.

Studio practice lies at the core of this, alongside the development of theoretical and research skills, underpinned by international trips, regular exhibitions, open studios and a talks programme of visiting artists, curators and critics.

Discover our study options in contemporary art practice

This case study was written by Rose Bonner, a University of Plymouth graduate. Connect with Rose on LinkedIn.