EMMA’S SPECTACLE OF STEEL HITS ALL THE RIGHT NOTES
A design student from Middlesbrough has taken the tragic fall of the steel industry on Teesside and turned it into a piece of art, which has attracted the attention of passionate Teesside man and creative partner, Mike McGrother.
As part of her final year at Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD), BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage and Screen student, Emma Train, 29 from Whinney Banks, has produced an amazing installation for her final major project, inspired by her family experiences in the steel industry.
Emma said: “My work is called Spectacle of Steel, and it focuses on the issue of steel making on Teesside, keeping the SOS of the cry for help to the government. I wanted to look back at our heritage and tell a story of how Teesside built iconic structures around the world. In my body of work, the Infant Hercules is stood tall on a screw, pouring out steel. The screw is iron ore which came from the Teesside hills and poured the steel is used to make the famous bridges from all over the world. I was influenced by my own family history that is rooted in the steelworks and the many friends who have recently lost their jobs.
“Once the artwork was finished I contacted Mike to see if he would like to come and see it. We chatted about the project and I showed him the designs and he was so impressed, he wanted to bring his own Infant Hercules Choir to pay tribute to those affected by the fall of the steel industry. It was great to see the Choir sing and it made a real impact on everyone.”
Education and arts supporter Mike McGrother and the Infant Hercules Choir were so inspired by Emma’s work that they came to see the ‘Spectacle of Steel’ at CCAD during the Degree Show and sing songs such as ‘We Shall Overcome’ and ‘Infant Hercules’, telling the tales of the Teesside steel heritage and the passion from the workers.
Mike said: “Emma explained about her installation at the exhibition inspired by the Teesside steel industry and asked myself and the Infant Hercules Choir to come along. Her work is absolutely fantastic and it’s great that our tradition and heritage is inspiring the new artists of today. It is lovely to see all the little details that Emma has put in and the references to the steel industry. It is a really clever interpretation.”
After graduation, Emma plans to build on her work as a community artist. She said: “I would love to get involved in the community in Teesside and work with schools and clubs creating art and exhibition pieces. I am also looking to work in theatres as a production artist.”
Norman Austick, Lecturer in Production Design at CCAD, said: “The steel industry may be dying out in Teesside, but the creative sector and talent continues to grow. Emma has worked very hard and we wish her every success in her future career.”
The cream of the north east‘s young artists and designers put their talents on show at the opening night of the degree show at Cleveland College of Art & Design’s (CCAD) university-level campus in Hartlepool.
Students exhibited their works from ten degree courses at an exhibition at the leading specialist art and design college, including fashion, fine art, illustration and creative film. The work from the talented young creatives is now on display in Hartlepool until Saturday 11th June.
As part of the exhibition, which is now a popular regional event, visitors can experience a huge array of works, including costumes, wallpapers, clothing, prints, films and illustrations.