UCLan student chosen as one of the winners of a major worldwide design competition
A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student from Rochdale can finally share her secret after being chosen as one of the winners of a major worldwide design competition.
Katie Lennon, 22, saw her artwork go on display alongside works by world-famous designers including Sir Paul Smith, Sir Anish Kapoor, Jenny Holzer and George Hardie, at the coveted Secret 7” show.
The annual exhibition challenges creatives from around the world to choose from a list of seven tracks and design a one-of-a-kind vinyl cover for that record.
Judges then selected 100 designs for each track to go on display at Sonos Studio in London’s Shoreditch where they could be bought for £50 apiece, with all proceeds going to Amnesty International.
It was crazy to be chosen for something as big as this and I was thrilled that mine was one of the designs that were sold.
Unlike other exhibitions, Secret 7” doesn’t reveal the artists behind each record over until after the sale and Katie saw her design – a grapefruit-inspired cover for John Lennon’s Imagine – get snapped up on the day.
Music and art fans queued overnight to get their hands on designs with 200 people having arrived at the venue before the doors had even opened. Katie’s was one of more than 400 pieces to sell on the day, with the remaining records being put on eBay.
Katie said: “It was crazy to be chosen for something as big as this and I was thrilled that mine was one of the designs that were sold. I created a grapefruit design because when I researched the song I found out that Imagine was actually inspired by a poem from Yoko Ono’s book, Grapefruit. I don’t think a lot of people know that, and I wanted to do something unexpected.”
Katie studies Illustration at UCLan and the grapefruit design formed part of her final-year project, which has a music theme running throughout.
UCLan student Katie Lennon and her artwork
I hadn’t really considered going to university because I didn’t think I could. Then somebody from UCLan came to give a talk at my college and I was really inspired.
For the project, Katie designed and produced merchandise, which features the hairstyles of music icons such as The Beatles and David Bowie, for independent radio station Soho Radio.
She explained: “I’m really interested in subcultures and how they can be identified by a hairstyle. Subcultures are often inspired by music too, so I took the hairstyles of influential musicians and created my designs around that.
“I’d really like to approach Soho Radio with the designs to see if they’d like to use them and I’m planning on sending them some of the products. My long-term goal is to work in fashion though, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Like many people when they approach the end of college – Katie attended Hopwood Hall College in her hometown of Rochdale – the student was unsure about whether or not to progress to university.
“I hadn’t really considered going to university because I didn’t think I could,” she said. “Then somebody from UCLan came to give a talk at my college and I was really inspired. I liked drawing, the facilities are great and the course came very highly recommended by my college tutor so I decided to enroll. I’m so glad I did and I’ve really enjoyed my experience at UCLan.”
Katie’s designs were showcased at UCLan’s annual degree show celebrating students’ creative work.