Student’s winning artwork displayed in Liverpool Museum

Posted on 3rd July 2017

A University of Chester student has had her artwork displayed at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool as part of Armed Forces Day.

University of Chester student has had her artwork displayed at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool as part of Armed Forces Day.
University of Chester student has had her artwork displayed at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool as part of Armed Forces Day.

Julie Cassels, from South Manchester, works at a studio based in Salford. She won the opportunity to have her artwork displayed after entering a competition set up by the Chester Military Museum. Students were given the chance to redesign a military jacket from the Museum’s collection, with full creative licensing.

The prize was for four winning jackets to go on display at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool to celebrate Armed Forces Day, which was on June 24.

The finished projects have incorporated a number of Regiment specific designs, including oak leaves, the symbol of the Cheshire Regiment, as well as poppies, poetry and medals. For her jacket, Julie replaced the lining with photographs of all the medal ribbons held in the Museum, digitally printed on to fabric.

The exhibition not only features the winning jackets, it also explains the inspiration behind each jacket. To aid this, Julie included QR codes as part of her design, which appear as physical, square ‘buttons’ on the jacket. These QR codes (which are readable using a mobile app) were positioned on the jacket at strategic points where insignia would have been placed. The QR codes give a snapshot of relevant information about that specific insignia.

The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool as part of Armed Forces Day.

Julie said: “After spending time in the Museum and researching the jacket, it seemed to me that the jacket was a coded object, a signifier of many things. The codes were understood if you knew the keys. My design was based on this concept.”

Julie is enrolled on the University’s Artists’ Access to Art Colleges (AA2A) scheme. The AA2A scheme provides placements for practicing visual artists and designers in higher and further education institutions across England. It is an opportunity for artists to use the institutions’ facilities for specific projects.

Cheshire Military Museum

Delphine Wilson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art and Design, informed Julie of the competition that the Chester Military Museum were running. Delphine said: “Julie seemed the ideal candidate for the competition. She is a visual artist and her work creatively examines the narrative between material objects and memory.

The clever way in which Julie used QR codes to interpret and explain the historical relevance of Cheshire army uniforms is inspired and forward thinking. It is great to see more contemporary approaches to curating historical artefacts.”

Julie added: “I am really grateful to the staff and technicians at the University of Chester who enabled me to do this work, and the AA2A scheme, which made my residency at the University of Chester possible.”