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Northumbria graduate invades London's art scene with pop up mural

A street art installation is one of a series of guerilla art invasions designed to make Northumbria's mark at the Free Range Art and Design shows

Craig Mayhew poses next to his finished work
Craig Mayhew poses next to his finished work

A pop-up street mural launched a London invasion by Northumbria University this week as student designs took over one of the city’s central creative hubs.

The street art installation, which showcased current students’ work from architecture, art, design and media, is one of a series of guerrilla art invasions created to mark Northumbria’s presence at the annual Free Range Art and Design shows held at the Old Truman Brewery.

Created by Northumbria graduate Craig Mayhew, the 8ft by 20ft mural will remain in place for one week outside the Brewery after debuting to coincide with London’s monthly First Thursday art extravaganza.

The 22-year-old from County Durham completed his degree in fine art last summer, and is now a full-time artist and director of North East community based art group, LUME Projects.

Craig said: “I specialised in print making as an undergraduate so the mural is full of imagery and bold colours – a bit like a comic book but with a lot more packed in. Throughout the day, I layered vivid spray paint and paint markers on top of blocks of basic undercolour, and added to this with hand drawn details.

“Flyers folded into origami gave the artwork another dimension, offering the audience something to take away for further information on Northumbria’s presence at the show. In my opinion, art shouldn’t be taken so seriously all the time so it was great to reveal this quirky touch and my interpretation of the talent on display.”

Moving projections of past and present students’ work also took centre stage in three East London destinations: Shoreditch High Street station, Brick Lane and Horton Square.

Richard Tubman, 20, a media production graduate from Whitley Bay, provided production assistance on a piece of film footage compiled to capture the creative process and projections in full.

Northumbria University has campuses in both Newcastle and London, and attends London’s art and design show series every year.

The shows offers an unparalleled opportunity for students to present their work to their peers as well as prospective employers with a number going on to secure full time employment with high profile brands such as such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Black & Decker, Mulberry, Samsung, Unilevr and Philips.

Dr Heather Robson, associate dean, business and engagement for arts, design and social sciences at Northumbria, said: “We have so much talent here and last year, we received over 80 international and national awards for our arts, design, media and architecture programmes.

“The shows are a significant date in the calendar for our graduating students, providing them with a platform to showcase their work to industry and employers.”

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