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Fine Art graduate hits the right notes for Topshop

This year's Fine and Applied Art Degree Show may be over, but it's certainly not the end for our students. One Fine Art graduate’s 2016 Degree Show helped land him his dream creative design job at Topshop.

James, from Burnley, uses paint, digital prints and lighting to create immersive and disorientating sculptural installations. Topshop bosses were impressed by James’s final year exhibition at Liverpool Hope’s Creative Campus, which used site-specific installations to explore psychedelia in the 1960s and 1990s - and included a specially-modified light up piano. 

James said: “Topshop’s Creative Team Leader Richard Ellis came to the 2016 degree show and after seeing my work, invited me to interview for the position of Creative Specialist. It was a rigorous interview process but I was delighted to make it through. Richard said that he liked the multiple uses of lighting and mixed media in my work, which are essential when creating displays in Topshop. I also received positive feedback about my degree show from various curators and artists, and it was great to find out that the Art in Liverpool blog said that my piano ‘put a smile on everyone's faces.”

James took on a role at the Liverpool store, and has now landed himself a job at Topshop’s flagship store in Oxford Circus, where he already been promoted.

Topshop’s window displays are seen as the epitome of innovative design and in the past have even included Kate Moss as a human mannequin. James is inspired by the work of artists such as Katharina Grosse, Jim Lambie and Karla Black.

Before coming to Liverpool Hope, James studied at St. Christopher's C of E High School and Sixth Form in Accrington.

James added: “Studying Fine Art at Liverpool Hope was amazing. The support from staff and other students provided me with the experience I needed in order to begin my career. The University’s large studio spaces enabled me to be able to create work with few limitations, and staff supported me in developing my ideas into a physical form.” 

Pictured: James with his work at the 2016 Liverpool Hope University Degree Show

Take a look at images from last year's show.

Published on 20/03/2018