UAL Foundation Diploma Fine Art


Hanan Belbina­

Name: Hanan Belbina

Title of FMP: Forms of Communication

Previous School: King Edwards VI College

Progression University:  Turing Scheme placement to Spain

Progression Course:  N/A

My approach was to explore the history and social impact of written communication especially the forms of handwriting across different cultures. This then led to focusing on letters in particular and exploring the relationships described between sender and receiver. I spent my initial weeks researching collage artists, going to exhibitions and reading books on the history of letter writing. I gained a lot of inspiration from making test pieces and experimenting with printing techniques. This helped me decide to work more with ink and gold leaf to develop my ideas further.

After much researching around the subject, I based my work on a collection of letters sent between Sultan Sulieman and Hurrem in the 16th Century. They were an unlikely couple; defying odds and traditions and their letters capture their love and commitment to each other despite their relationship frowned upon; Hurrem being a former eastern European slave concubine of the renowned leader within the Ottoman Empire.

My three pieces capture the first line of the Sultan’s letter to his wife which is ‘My wealth, My love, My moonlight’. With Hurrem’s responses echoed throughout, sprinkled with gold leaf, representing the spark of love between them whilst simultaneously making a new abstract language.

I see my work as a visual poetic metaphor for the want to express oneself through writing, specifically letters. But it is also about taking a step back and seeing how beautiful writing can be, and how it has enabled us to preserve fleeting moments in history. Writing binds humanity together yet we seldom give it a second thought.

Lucy Binks

Name: Lucy Binks

Title of FMP: Moribund

Previous School: King Edwards VI College

Progression University: UAL: Chelsea

Progression Course: BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design

Moribund investigates the detrimental repercussions of human waste upon of the planet, seeking to inform home-owners of their impact on the planet, with the fundamental aim to create a product that intuitively promoted energy saving within the home.

Moribund began through the exploration of zero-waste spaces and intuitive design. The work is titled Moribund, because it alludes to an object in terminal decline which is how I see many household appliances. Initial ideas developed towards more spatial outcomes, yet I became more interested in stimulated awareness of sustainable design through individual objects.

An impactful trip to the Design Museum re-centered the work around that of a product, notably being drawn to ‘Soft Baroque’s’ work which purged plastic to create furniture that is both abstract and sculptural, as well as being functional. Manufacturing plastic has contributed to the heating of the environment and so my response was to re-use and re purpose the plastic we already have for an alternative use.

I became interested in exploring melting points of plastic waste and producing organic sculptures. I recognised that in darker environments the silhouettes of the test pieces I was making became more rigorous and intertwined. Shadows and faint colours that emanate from my eventual traffic cone light suggest natural forms, plants, leaves etc… prompting viewers to question the overwhelming nature of a decaying product and how we as humans have impacted our planet.

Kai Bood

Name: Kai Bood

Title of FMP: Exploring Liminality

Progression University:  UAL Central St Martins

Progression Course:  BA (Hons) Fine Art

Evie Cooper

Name: Evie Cooper

Title of FMP: Obsession

Previous School: King Edwards VI College

Progression University: Turing Scheme placement to Spain

Progression Course: N/A

The purpose of my project was to explore the ideas and themes around the emotion ‘obsession’. I wanted to investigate how it influences individuals, spaces, and mindsets, and can be explored in a visual format.

My inspiration stemmed from my old English teacher and a phrase that has stuck with me throughout the years; ‘there is no such thing as a positive addiction’. This steered me into the direction of portraiture and the repetitive and reflective process of painting myself, ‘mirroring’ my expressions.

My visual research into the topic consisted of focusing on this painting process instead of seeking to create a ‘final’ outcome. Bringing my personal values and beliefs into my work was crucial to create depth and meaning and I researched how I could iterate my obsessive and repetitive process within the overall display, linking these ideas to the social construct and disorder of ‘perfectionism’.

To communicate the scale and complexity of feeling ‘obsessed’, I tried to replicate the harsh reality of how obsessive behaviour can affect the younger generation within today’s digital age.  By using a grid in the final display, I hope to highlight the repetition and similarities of routine and describe everyday behaviours being repeated in an almost narcissistic way.  

By exploring the physiological details of my own micro expressionisms I am therefore attempting to study what I recognise to be a form of my true self.

Jack Cutler

Name: Jack Cutler

Title of FMP: Facades

Previous School: Dudley College

Progression University: University of Wolverhampton                   

Progression Course: BA (Hons) Architecture


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Ashley Gregory

Name: Ashley Gregory

Title of FMP: Advocating for Mother Nature

Previous School: Haybridge Sixth Form

Progression University: Southampton University

Progression Course: BA (hons) Fine Art

Inspired by the ‘Universal Declaration of The Rights of Mother Earth’, a proposed legislation written by environmental activists at the World People’s conference in 2010, my work advocates for Mother Nature and greater sustainability in art.

By tearing off a piece of paper embedded with cress seeds, you are given the responsibility to provide the space for the plant to grow. This simple act encourages you to become an advocate for Mother Nature; providing an opportunity for you to reflect on your actions and take responsibility for humankind’s impact on the environment. You may decide to either decorate, germinate, grow or throw the paper. The choice is yours. 

This project has been a learning experience throughout. The initial planning, critical analysis and development encouraged through peer review led to the process of making my own paper from 100% recycled paper; a skill that I want to take forward with me to create a more sustainable lifestyle.

This piece has evolved throughout its creation, from making my own handmade, Bio-paints through experimentations with Eco-Art which led the final conceptual, large scale plantable piece you see here, but with each change the narrative I wanted to convey has remained clear: 

“To build a culture of nature that features regeneration over destruction, sustainability over depletion, nurturing over domination requires input from a diverse collation of thinkers, makers, and doers “ – Mark Dion

Scan the QR code below to see the artwork in its original state:

Bee Hammond

Name: Bee Hammond

Title of FMP: What’s real?

Previous School: University College Birmingham

Progression University: Falmouth University

Progression Course: BA(Hons) Fine Art

My painting is a look into the life of a woman, a woman who is a representation of our society.  We can see that she is taking a photo of a constructed scene in her house whilst bizarrely eating several fish. Like many of us she has no second thought as to where the fish came from or the environmental consequences that her over consumption has. However, from researching intensive fish farming I have learned that simple consumer decisions like this can have a big impact on the natural environment.

The woman is posting an image on to social media to project an image of being ‘eco-friendly’ and a supporter of environmental issues, yet she and others are complicit in the planet’s demise.

I’m trying to build awareness and make people think more about the food they consume. The idea initially sparked from when I watched a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy. I watched it a while ago but have remembered it vividly due to the impact it had on me. It has changed my habits and I would like the imagery I make to have a similar impact. 

I have tried to be more care-free when it came to making mistakes and experiment with new painting methods in this project. This has led me to work with oil pastels and combine them with acrylic and finger painting. The idea has been to develop a more ‘child like’, spontaneous painting style which has been partly inspired by the artist Jean Michel Basquiat.

Discussions with my friends, family and teachers have really helped develop the work and have allowed me to see it from different perspectives. There have been some challenges, but I have enjoyed discovering new artists and learning how to let go of the perfectionist within me.

Continuing from this course I now know the importance of seeking other’s opinions, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and recognising the impact that my art can have.

Laura Hasan

Name: Laura Hasan

Title of FMP: Loss of Self

Previous School: King Edward VI College

Progression University: Central Saint Martins – UAL

Progression Course: BA (hons) Fine Art

This mural is a space intended for you to step into my mind, or that of anyone experiencing body dysmorphia, depression, alcohol abuse, any form of addiction and those who have lost sight of who they are. Hidden behind the creatures I see; the self-portraits and the bright clashing colours are thoughts on how I perceive myself and some of the things that went wrong and made me lose myself.

My inspiration came from my constant attempts to visualise my mind. I spent years admiring Tracey Emin’s work, and her ability to do just that. Similarly, Christian Boltanski’s ideology and philosophy of art helped me to create meaningful pieces. On many occasions he has stated that art doesn’t come often, and when it does, you must be able to get the idea down in ten minutes. To create something powerful is a luxury, and you cannot expect it to come whenever you want. The main stylistic approach was abstract & neo-expressionism, stemming from my research on Jean-Michel Basquiat. Discussing these artists with my tutor allowed me to further delve into expressionism and understand exactly how I needed to work.

I was challenged by time throughout the entire FMP- I had nine weeks to create a body of work that I truly felt reflected my theme. I initially wanted to go into performance, but my ideas turned towards painting, creating a last challenge for myself. I have always struggled to communicate meaning through paint; however, I have created a piece I am genuinely proud of. Throughout the FAD I have learnt that I am capable of so much more than I let myself believe. I have learnt how to manage my time, research, new mediums, practise and reflect critically, and in my Undergraduate degree I intend to develop all these skills further.

Maximos S Kiosses

Name: Maximos S Kiosses

Title of FMP: Project Codex A Study of Mysticism

Previous School: BMET Art and Design Centre

Progression University: Hereford College of Art

Progression Course: (BA Hons) Fine art

My work ‘Forever and Always’ is the culmination of my own research into the concept of mysticism. Mysticism is the idea that we, as humans, have the potential to attune our individual selves with the universal energies of the earth through contemplation and self-surrender.

Initially my focus was on mythology, but I deviated towards a more metaphysical approach utilising some aspects of various ancient folk stories and religious symbols. This allowed my work to become more intuitive, and regular self-analysis and daily target setting allowed me to keep track of this.

My initial experiments worked with charcoal, inspired by the work of Odilon Redon whilst whilst taking inspirational attributes from artists like Jean Delville and Alistair Crowley. I incorporated my earlier research on ancient cultures and other surrealist artists to generate my first depiction of an “ego-mask”, with this motif eventually becoming the main focus for my final outcome.

The presentation of a figure in a mask can be sinister, making menacing eyes more prominent. I have pictured my figure alone in a void, an ocean perhaps that represents the seemingly endless depths of existence. The figure is divided in half with one side representing the primitive soul and the other the ego.

The ego is the masked shadow surrounded by the gloomy, azure depths. Juxtaposed with a wide exaggerated grin that ultimately symbolises a counterfeit smile, and a portrayal of the ego’s deceptive façade. The visage of the entity represented in the vivid orange, fire-like formations rising from the bottom of the piece represents the primordial soul. Possessing bigger and more jagged teeth, its countenance is somewhat fiendish and has a much more authentic grimace than the representation of the ego.

Heather Kirby

Name: Heather Kirby

Title of FMP: Monsters and Noir

Previous School: King Edward VI College

Progression University: The Northern School of Art

Progression Course: BA(hons) Illustration for Commercial Application

The ‘Noir’ side of my project was inspired by Shawn Martinbrough and my previous knowledge of Mike Mignola and Frank Miller’s work. Thematically, I was inspired by Frankenstein and how the narrative explored the theme of what a ‘monster’ could be. Posing this question from a contemporary angle formed the basis of my project. Throughout the FMP, I have explored photography and self-portraiture, which I have found to be a helpful part of my process. I have also worked largely with ink and have improved my drafting skills.

I have achieved my goal of creating noir comic based on the theme of ‘monsters’ but have weaved in contemporary attitudes to morality, updating the Frankenstein idea of what a monster can be. I intend the work to exist as a series of individual posters and be seen publicly by being flyposted in ‘noir’ locations such as underpasses and under bridges across the Black Country. In this way the marginalised contemporary issues I have introduced to my narrative will find a wider audience than the one who may have bought a conventional comic.

The most significant thing that this foundation course has taught me is how to be an independent, self-motivated artist. I have learned where my weaknesses lie in self-directed projects with a longer time frame so I will work on overcoming these weaknesses and continue to develop my independence and resilience throughout university.

Anna Payne

Name: Anna Payne

Title of FMP: Project Sphinx

Previous School: King Edward VI College

Progression University: Durham University

Progression Course: BA (hons) Classics

Like many empires before them, Opus use an ancient symbol (in this case the lamassu) to signify their longevity, legacy and divine right to control the populus. My piece is a culmination of propaganda from ‘Opus’, a hypothetical omnipresent authority. I was inspired by the secret elite and their ‘new world order’ as well as previous imperial forces such as the British Empire, the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.  The lattice of faux broken glass connotes vandalism, civil unrest and a distinct separation between authority and the people.

I wanted to explore the purpose of statues and why they are created and destroyed in the name of false idols, whether that be political leaders, royals or potent figures in our history. From ancient Assyria and Persia, the lamassu is a sphinx-like mythical beast with the body of either a bull or a lion, the wings of an eagle and the head of a man. Through my research on the lamassu and ancient Persia I was able to write a 2000-word essay guide to refer to throughout the project. I also visited the British museum to see these stunning monoliths in person.

The two artists who have inspired my work the most are Peter Saville’s work with New Order in particular the album cover for “Technique” which inspired me to work digitally. Keith Haring’s work was also simple and graphic and had a cheerful contemporary feel to it whilst maintaining a political meaning. His style directly inspired my lamassu drawings and the lino prints I completed. To develop my ideas, I have explored a wide variety of media including photography, digital photo manipulation, mixed media drawing, lino printing, screen printing and jelly printing.

Discussion with tutors and peers has helped influence alternative outcomes and ways to present them. I believe I have done what I originally set out to do in my proposal, which was to present the lamassu in a contemporary setting. Although if I could develop any element further, I would love to do a series of lino cuts of Opus propaganda, utilising my lamassu illustration.

On this course I have learnt when to try different media to attain my creative vision but the most important thing I have learnt is how to succeed despite adversity which I am sure will be put to the test at university.

Lauren Roberts

Name:  Lauren Roberts

Title of FMP: The Experience Economy

Previous School: King Edwards Stourbridge

Progression University: Birmingham City University

Progression Course: BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design

My FMP explores the Experience Economy and how companies use memorable experiences to sell their products.

Inspired by designers such as the Mizzi Studio, Fabio Novembre, Claire de Quenetain and Victor Horta, I’ve designed a bar specialising in the drink ‘absinthe’ and its nickname ‘La Fee Verte’, The Green Fairy, creating a fairytale-esque speakeasy that is hidden below a large oak tree.

I researched the history of absinthe, how it was extremely popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s until it was banned in many countries due to its apparent violent impact on consumers. Artists used absinthe to expand their imagination and increase creativity – most famously the Dada and Surrealists, who used it a basis to explore the subconscious and an adjunct to many parlour games in famous cafes like the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich.

The colour green allegedly increases creativity and my colour pallete uses various shades to create a theatrical and enchanting social setting. Within this space I have illustrated and designed many ideas for the furniture and fittings such as tables, chairs, glassware, lamps and textiles.

For my exhibition space, I have displayed a prototype of my main flower pendant lamp, that will feature throughout the design. I created this out of copper-coated steel rods which have been bent and soldered into five large petals and then wrapped in two-toned green organza fabric, which shimmers like fairy wings in the light. The bulb is a luminescent green LED that would cast an impactful atmosphere across the bar.

I have also presented 6 design sheets that collate some of my sketches/illustrations, as well as a mood board of inspirational images, so that you can have a greater understanding of the bar and concept.

Abby Staniland

Name: Abby Staniland

Title of FMP: Exploring the decay of our natural environment

Previous School: Dudley Sixth

Progression University: BCU

Progression Course: BA (hons)Interior Architecture and Design / Landscape Architecture

For this project, I initially proposed to design a space that provided a purpose and raised awareness of environmental issues. My subject area started very broad; I knew I wanted to explore environmental decay due to my passion towards the subject area and stuck with this theme however the idea broadened as I researched further into the topic.

I began exploring the juxtaposition between Industry and Nature. This was aided by my research into the Industrial Revolution and in particular the evolution of the Peppered Moth, an insect who had to adapt to the copious amounts of black soot deposited on woodland from industrial factories. This provided me with a renewed context and related theme for me to incorporate, with the evolution of the Peppered Moth highlighting themes of deterioration and renewal.

Following my research into the artist collective ‘Cooking Sections’, I was made aware of the importance of community in art, specifically when the purpose is to enact change. I made it a goal to create a physical space that could be interacted with that would both educate and act as a catalyst for positive change to take place locally. Hence selecting Aspire Works Garden as an initial ‘client’ to create a brief. This was an ideal candidate as the garden space was local, accessible to me, and allowed me to create a space for an audience and cater to specific needs.

Fortunately, I was able to visit the Black Country Living Museum – It was there that I was inspired by the trolley bus which they have on the site and this gave my project a new direction, eventually leading me to create my final concept, the ‘Garden Bus’.

The 1900’s trolley bus will act as a moving garden containing plants native to the UK. It will also provide a habitat for moths, with LED lights being left on during the night to attract local species. Educational workshops will take place within the interior spaces to raise awareness on the importance of moths, specifically the Peppered Moth to the ecosystem and its evolutionary change due to the Industrial Revolution. Seed packets will be given to visitors, providing seeds native to the UK which can be spread over disused brownfield

Industrial sites, to rewild the Black Country and help reverse the environmental impacts of the industrial era whilst also celebrating its importance in history.

Stefania I. Sterian

Name:  Stefania I. Sterian

Title of FMP: Green Design

Previous School: Dudley College of Technology (Evolve Campus)

Progression University: Birmingham City University

Progression Course: BA (hons) Architecture

Exhibition Statement:

My work is about bringing nature and our day-to-day life together into a concept that will improve our lives. I have always admired buildings and nature, so I wanted to create something that was in between of the two, a concept that was a new and interesting response to the climate crisis we are in.

The idea was to propose a new way for people to live in densely populated buildings. The overall structure would provide food and electricity for the inhabitants and promote sustainable living and energy saving throughout.

I have showcased my concept in 2D and 3D and have used 3D design software to develop my ideas. The 3D model brings the structure to life, while 2D visualisations showcase the wider concept and context of the work. For example, the individual and shared gardens, which will promote self-sustaining and low energy food production.

The main artists that have helped me create this project are Mathilde Roussel and Neri Oxman because of their way of approaching projects from a sustainable angle. I was inspired by how they develop concepts and how they turn to nature for inspiration.

This project and FAD had taught me to take charge and trust my gut and my ideas, which in turn worked very well to develop my confidence as an artist primarily, and then as a future architecture student for my progression course.

George Stokes

Name: George Stokes

Title of FMP: Ignore

Previous School: King Edwards VI College Stourbridge

Progression University: Kingston University

Progression Course: BA (Hons) Fine Art

Content Warning: Scenes of Graphic Nature and Themes of Violence and War throughout.

Not Suitable for under 18s.

My FMP was inspired by the word ‘ignore’ and the idea of purposeful ignorance. I wanted to explore the Idea that people will ignore situations to make themselves feel better about themselves.

The installation is about how the UK media treat European countries as opposed to those in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America. I chose to focus on the difference in coverage that the Tigray war in Ethiopia gets compared to the war in Ukraine. The photobooth, synonymous with passport photos, aims to explore how the public casually consume news footage of different crises, forever being a tourist to other human’s misery.

The main artists that inspired my work were Mike Nelson, Martha Colburn. Mike Nelson inspired the physical aspects to my FMP, whereas Colburn inspired me to explore filmmaking, which became an important element to the overall installation. I didn’t know I was going to create a film originally, so I didn’t have lots of time to develop, with more time the film could have been improved.

I have managed to achieve a lot of what I wanted to do in my FMP, my main aim was to be as ambitious as possible in terms of size and concept. I am proud of what I have created, and I hope that it will provoke discussion on my theme. One thing that FAD has taught me is to be as ambitious as possible, my work is best when I push myself and I enjoy the challenge that comes with that.