Student Snapshots: Middlesex University students get creative on camera

We are always finding exciting new ways to engage students with our collections. Whether they are from creative writing, housing, or fashion, students keep imagining new and exciting ways to use our collections in their studies. MoDA’s curator, Dr Serena Dyer, introduces one of our latest student projects.

The Project: Employability and Engagement

Earlier this year, we teamed up with Middlesex University’s employability to team to develop a new scheme to help promote student employability skills, and to give students the opportunity to get creative, talking on screen about our collections. We wanted students to reflect upon how MoDA’s collections relate to their creative practice, and to think about their emotive, personal responses to our objects.

Shortlisted applicants were invited to a workshop day with Mark Wilkinson from the Learning Enhancement Team at Middlesex University, who gave the students some fantastic training in public speaking, communication, and presentation skills.

The three successful students were then given time at MoDA to research their chosen object, before writing a storyboard for their video, helping to develop their critical thinking skills. They then came back to film the videos, both at MoDA, and in exciting locations like a local supermarket! Students were paid for the project, and for some this was their first experience of paid employment.

The Videos

Teodora Mitrovska, BA Fashion Design at Middlesex University

Teodora’s video explored a 1930s women’s advice book entitled ‘The Modern Women’ by Lillian Bradstock and Jane Condon. Inspired by modern YouTube make-up tutorial videos, Teodora experimented with some of the tips given in the book, and reflected on some of the more unusual chapters, like ‘How to use the Bathroom Intelligently’.

Sarah Kadrnka, BA Illustration at Middlesex University

Sarah looked at two designs by Winifred Mold, the first female designer to be employed by the Silver Studio in 1912. Sarah used her own experience as an Illustration student to reflect upon Mold’s artistic style and use of colour, as well as exploring the working lives of women artists in the 1910s.

Sofia Picciuto, BA Illustration at Middlesex University

Sofia also looked at two designs by Winifred Mold, but instead explored the stories that can be creatively imagined from these images. She compared the Old King Cole illustration with a design depicting medieval hunters. She associated the latter design with her own love of 1980s video games, recognising stylistic similarities.

What next?

We hope to repeat this hugely successful pilot project in the future, and would love to engage more students with our collections in this way. So keep an eye out for future opportunities!

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