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Digital artists create the supernatural at local historic landscapes

Posted: 30 August 2022

A multi-tentacled creature surfacing in King’s Mill Reservoir was just one of the strange occurrences happening at local attractions this summer, thanks to student artists at West Nottinghamshire College.

There’s nothing to fear though, as these supernatural ‘sights’ were digitally composed thanks to a hybrid project set for Level 2 Creative Media Skills students. Students were tasked to use their own creativity to create new digital images using both photography and 3D media skills and produce a hybrid image combining these elements.  

From the class of 28 students, 14 of them had their imaginative work selected to be on display at Mansfield’s Museum on Leeming Street. The exhibition, which ran this summer saw their photography and media skills showcased in the museum’s atrium area.

Work produced included an image of Clipstone Colliery’s familiar headstocks seemingly overtaken by a scorpion-like creature, whose web spanned the deserted building. An eerie mist was seen enveloping Mansfield’s usually busy marketplace, while Elizabethan attraction Hardwick Hall was over-shadowed by a futuristic looking spiked creature.

One of the students exhibiting, Viktorija Ruba, 18, said: “I thought Hardwick Hall looked quite creepy in a way, so it would fit in well with the monster I designed. I live quite nearby to this place, so thought I’d visit again and get a photograph close up and work on this. It took about two weeks to do and I put colours in the design too.”

Meanwhile, student Tasha Gascoyne, 17, said: “I thought about King’s Mill Reservoir and the amount of water which it contains, and imagined a mysterious creature in there. I walk around the reservoir often so it came to mind easily. It took a while to blend the tentacles to look like it was coming out of the water.”

The museum’s curator Jodie Henshaw said: “This exhibition has been in a good position at the museum, and we’ve had a lot of interest in it. Visitors of all ages have enjoyed looking at what the students have done with the photographs. They’ve looked with a lot of interest at how they’ve altered the sights of places they recognise in the community.”

Tutor Jon Hall said: "Mansfield and the surrounding areas are steeped in a vibrant history; it's a story captured by the evolution of its landscape and married to the skills of its people, whether that be coal, steel, forest or field.

“However, thanks to business investment, infrastructure and input form organisations like the college, Mansfield's future is bright and digital. Digital artists learning how be illustrators, animators, designers and photographers sees our Level 2 Creative media skills students as part of that future and best placed to celebrate this in our Hybrid exhibition, fusing the landscape of Mansfield with the digital arts."

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