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Salford student creates fascinating cardboard design based on historical interests

American-Japanese culture is among the themes in the Lancashire Arts Festival project

A third year fine art student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has combined several cultures for his design for this year’s Lancashire Arts Festival.

Paul Seddon, 22, from Salford in Greater Manchester, put his love of American and Japanese history together with that of music cultures, to come up with cardboard sculptures for the event.

It features a wall of 100 drawings, as well as an installation of a plinth with cardboard objects on it. It took over five months of hard work, but the end product certainly proves that it was well worth it.

He said: “The overall idea was for me to make lots of work, and when observing it in abundance I could kind of get an idea of what my work was about, and what informed my work with the research points that guided it."

The designs are inspired by sheer personal interest in history and war, specifically shown through film. I love war museums and anything historical.

“This piece came from an idea I had at the start of the semester. The piece before this was really unresolved because I didn’t know what drove me, I felt I had a lot of loose ends in my work and I wanted to tie them together. I tried sculpture, I tried drawing and I tried film, but I felt sculpture and drawings worked better together, and that a video kind of diluted it too much, so it’s all about abundance really.”

Not only were his personal interests an influence on Paul’s work, but some figures within the industry helped to drive his instinctive project.

He continued: “I’ve always followed artists like Kiel Johnson and Monami Ohno, and I was really inspired by how they can make anything out of cardboard, and the possibilities one has with the material."


Paul Seddon

It’s such a cheap and accessible material that it’s really inspiring, and you can make anything with it. So I experimented with that idea and tried to make really bizarre and specific stuff out of it.

Paul, who previously studied at Loreto College in Manchester, added that the possibilities that the fine art course at UCLan offers was one major factor in deciding to study at the University.

Furthermore, he believes that his lecturers have taught him more than just the basics of fine art, but that he’s gained an understanding of the meaning of the subject.

He added: “I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after college, so I thought that fine art would be a good platform. Once I’d finished my degree, I knew I could go into any area of art. Fine art is not specific, and it’s quite encompassing to all areas I think.

“It’s made me realise the bigger picture of art, it’s not just put in specific categories like design and tattoo artists for example. It’s made me realise art is so much bigger than that. The things in life that people do that we can’t explain, it has no other genre so it must be art, and it’s quite liberating to see that.”

Paul’s work was on display as part of the Lancashire Arts Festival Degree Show, which showcases final year work from a variety of creative disciplines.

Harry Reynolds | 05 July 2018