Avid fans of LJMU English will know that The English Appendage (TEA), the department’s merry and dauntingly efficient band of peer mentors, recently organised a competition asking our students to create an image encapsulating one of the texts we study on the programme. The entries we received, which included photographs, drawings and paintings, gloriously confirmed what we already knew – that our students are a creative bunch, and can think in pictures as well as in words. You can see the winning entries here.
Kathrin Shawcross, who was awarded first prize, is a second year English and Media and Cultural Studies student. She often uses painting and drawing as a way of expressing and expanding her interests. Kathrin said, ‘when I read a particularly interesting book at university or have a certain type of music stuck in my head I will usually end up creating a picture to reflect how much I have enjoyed them’.
Kathrin’s winning image was the product of a lengthy process, and began with a larger pencil drawing she made in 2015. When the competition was announced, she used the paint program on her computer to edit out the rest of that picture to focus on Cathy and Heathcliff. She printed that, added the landscape in the background, and then used the ‘Vignette’ feature on the Photo Editor Pro app on her phone to give the picture its ‘eerie glow’. No wonder, then, that the judges admired it as a truly mixed-media piece.
You can see more of Kathrin’s amazing work at deviantart.com. One painting, ‘University Life’, reveals the secret between Kathrin’s strategy for motivating herself to get through the assessment period. She said the painting comes ‘from my tradition of having one or two treats ready for whenever I’ve submitted something for university. Very cliché student-y of me!’ Whatever gets you through. After you’ve written the essay, obviously…