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Course changed my life and perceptions says deaf student

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: June 10, 2010

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A deaf student is challenging the supremacy of speech over sign language at this year’s Staffordshire University art and design degree show.

The annual exhibition, which kicks off on Saturday, also includes work from an Iraqi student who completed his degree while trying to gain citizenship.

More than 300 students are taking part in the seven-day show, which boasts film, 3D design, surface pattern and textiles, photography, graphics and illustration, product design and advertising.

One student, Linda Bagnall, 45, from Stafford, studied BA(Hons) Fine Art and has created a sculptural arrangement of large pebbles set out in the shape of a mouth and lips while also resembling a landscape.

She said: “I was born deaf so my art is about sound and talking and my experience of that.

“I didn’t know that gravel makes lots of different sounds when you walk on it and when I did research I found that leaves had a sound as well and I thought wow that’s so interesting so my art is about that. I’ve learned a lot from my course. It has changed my life completely.” Behjat Omer Abdulla, 34, is originally from Iraq, where he gained a diploma. After arriving here in 1999 he did a degree in fine art, completing it part-time over six years. His project features pencil portraits of asylum seekers taken from ID style photos and aims to reflect his experience of living in the UK.

Dr Helen Chapman, director of portfolio, planning and partnership, said: “The show demonstrates the students’ talents and skills in a diverse range of awards and, once again, the quality of the work presented at this year’s show is a credit to our graduating students. We anticipate they will go on to achieve great success in their chosen careers.” The show will be open to the public at the College Road Campus in Stoke but people can also view work at www.staffs.ac.uk/degreeshow

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