Students construct innovative design for Gentoo Tolent

Visual arts and construction students from New College Durham have worked with Gentoo Tolent to produce a mural that will be constructed on a new housing development site in Newton Aycliffe. 

The visual arts, joinery, and painting and decorating students were challenged to work together to produce an innovative design, which was to be displayed at the new Chapter Homes development on Woodham Way in Newton Aycliffe. 

The brief was to design a section of the hoardings that promoted the different trades in construction, e.g. joinery, electrics, plumbing, painting and decorating, all courses that New College Durham offers.  The students also had to consider the promotion of the development and the City of Durham in their designs. 

David Dixon, Head of Customer Services at Gentoo Tolent, said:

“We were blown away by the standard and quality of the designs that were presented by the students. The creativity and the time and effort that was put into the designs was excellent.

“Over the last two years we have developed a fantastic partnership with New College Durham.  We have now worked with the visual arts department on two occasions, taking real business briefs to the students.  The quality of the designs, the enthusiasm of the students involved and the embracing of the brief always deliver beyond our expectations.  We would not hesitate to work with New College Durham again.”

 The winning design selected by Gentoo Tolent was by Foundation Degree Visual Arts student Conor McCourt.

 20 year old Conor, from Esh Winning, said:

 “When I was given the Gentoo Tolent brief I chose to show a positive image of the construction industry. I wanted to create a design that showed the progress Durham has made promoting a modern outlook. I used an image of Durham Cathedral within the design as it is recognisable and has been a prominent feature of the Durham landscape for many years.

 “My final design showed aspects of modern Durham alongside the historical building. I wanted to condense the landscape to show progression in the area. I was happy my design was chosen as I have had the opportunity to work with the construction team at college to develop my artwork into a final 3D piece. I think this will look excellent in my portfolio and will help me in the future."

Scott Donnelly, Visual Art Lecturer at New College Durham, said:

“It’s extremely satisfying for our students to work on a live brief with industry professionals and being able to see their concept become a reality.  A live brief such as this also demonstrates to students exactly what is achievable, and that if a concept artwork is good enough then it can be produced. 

“There are real values which have been achieved through this collaboration; being able to showcase the work of other areas from the college as well as build relationships with industry. The project has helped demonstrate to students what can be achieved.”

Gentoo Tolent are now entering this project in a national construction competition.

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