Plymouth University graduate earns art accolade following public vote

A piece of art inspired by the Port Eliot Festival has earned a Plymouth University graduate a series of national accolades.

We Ain’t All Middle Class Bohemians, by Laura Rosser, is a two-metre wide woodcut and forms one of a series of blocks cut during her studies on the MA Contemporary Art Practice course.

It depicts families enjoying the annual festival in South East Cornwall, and recently won a public vote to be named the number one work at the 2016 Salon des Refusés.

This follows it earning Laura the Arts Club Charitable Trust Award for outstanding work; The Gwen May Bursary, and Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, while the work has also been exhibited at The Royal British Society of Artists Annual Exhibition, the National Original Print Exhibition, and The Masters | Relief Prints.

To create the piece, Laura took a 1950s typewriter to the Port Eliot Festival and would leave it unaccompanied in different locations around the estate, with prompts inviting people to type messages. She said:

“People left me around 250 typed messages during the weekend, but one left me a message which said ‘you could have told us how to use it, we ain't all middle class bohemians you know’ – in part, it became the title of this work. I did not think for a second that it would win the public vote, but I have been very fortunate with this work and am delighted that it has captured people’s imagination in this way.”

Laura, who graduated in 2015, is currently working as a technician in the Printmaking Workshop at the University, predominantly working with undergraduates and postgraduates studying Illustration, Fine Art, Graphic Communication and Photography. She is also an Associate Lecturer in Fine Art.

She is also an active practitioner, exploring relational concerns through analogue print based processes. Her current work uses typewriters to reference modern anxieties including human error and time, highlighting the culture of perfection and instant gratification.

Salon des Refusés is an annual exhibition of artworks rejected by the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. It is organised by the Happenstance Art & Framing Gallery and this year’s event took place at SPACE in Mare Street, London.

It featured more than 100 works with visitors invited to vote for their favourites, with the top 12 being revealed on the final day of the exhibition.

Fine art with the School of Art Design and Architecture

The University has helped to introduce me to a broad range of contemporary fine art practice and developed in me a sound understanding of the interaction between materials, processes and ideas.

Sue Austin - BA (Hons) Fine Art, MA Contemporary Art Practice

More about fine art can be found on the subject area page.