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For the first time in the Leeds School of Arts’ 170 year history, graduates from Art & Design, Architecture, Creative Technologies, Fashion, Film, Music & Sound and Performing Arts have collaborated to launch Leeds Beckett University’s first ever virtual festival in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The LSA Festival was conceived after the cancellation of the usual degree show due to the Covid-19 outbreak, meaning students had to find an alternative way to celebrate their end of year projects.

Lisa Stansbie, Dean of the Leeds School of Arts, said:

“I am always immensely proud of the work that both our staff and students produce, but this year I have been astonished at the creativity, innovation and genuinely thought-provoking approaches that our creative graduates have developed in these unprecedented times.

It is said that in times of crisis creativity flourishes, and it is indeed evident in the fantastic work showcased as part of our festival.”

Work presented at the virtual festival is already being recognised in the industry, including that of Poppy Brown who directed Memphis Pete. The Northern Film School Documentary Specialist has been awarded a place on the prestigious and extremely competitive Grierson Doc Lab for 2020/21.

Students’ work also tackles the divide between social classes and issues affecting people up and down the country such as drug addiction.

Final year Fashion student, Ellen Price, created a print design that can be found repeated throughout her collection. The designs stem from her research into the emotional turmoil of being trapped in addiction after gaining insight volunteering for a local charity in Holbeck.

Digital Journalism student Francesca Tirpak has designed a photobook called Signs of Tenderness which is dedicated to chosen family and platonic love, especially within a circle of Queer people.

Games Design student Matt Cook is also currently working with street wear brands and musicians to bring their visions to life. Some of his clients now include British singer AJ Tracey, streetwear brand founder Anwar Carrots, Brockhampton designer Nick Holiday, and clothing brand Glo Gang Worldwide.

Leeds School of Arts, part of Leeds Beckett University, is home to one of the largest university arts communities in the north, with 3000 students spread across over 40 courses. To find out more about our courses, visit our main school website.