A University of Wolverhampton art student is brewing up a successful career after creating an art installation for local brewery, Marston’s, newly refurbished offices in Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton.
Sunita Meen, 24 from Willenhall, was commissioned to create a bespoke piece after her work caught the eye of brewery bosses at the recent Faculty of Arts Degree Show held at the Wolverhampton School of Art.
Currently studying for a master’s degree in Fine Art, Sunita specialises in creating oil-based paintings that play around with different mediums and materials. She enjoys using bright colouring and experimenting with different textures, using a ‘squeegee’ to apply the paint directly to perspex.
Her unique style creates a gap between the Perspex and the glass and when the light shines on to the painting, the work appears to float within its frame.
She said: “My work now is very visual. I want to use colours that really make it stand out and for me it’s all about beauty. I want people to look at my work and see the beauty in it but also be excited by it.
“I would just describe it as abstract painting. I don’t use any traditional methods, I don’t use a paintbrush or canvas. I start by trying out different colours to see what works. If I add something that doesn’t work, I start again and repeat the colours that worked and try something different. I keep going until I’m happy it all works well and I’ve got the look I was after,” she says.
Dr Simon Harris, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Sunita showed great promise during her time on the Fine Art course and produced some extremely eye-catching work so it wasn’t surprising when Marston’s approached her to commission a piece. Having close ties with local partners and businesses opens lots of doors for students and it is opportunities like these that offer valuable experience for students to build the basis of careers in the arts.”
At the time of the degree show in June, which featured the creations of more than 300 undergraduate students, Sunita was working towards a BA honours fine art degree. Her show piece also impressed Marguerite Nugent, the head curator of Wolverhampton Art Gallery who awarded it a ‘highly commended’ on her visit.
Born and bred in Willenhall, Sunita had previously completed a part-time two year foundation course whilst working at a department store to help put herself through university.
“I was so surprised when I was asked to meet the Marston’s team at the degree show. They explained what their idea was and I was really honoured that they wanted me to be a part of it,” she says.
Marston’s wanted not just a focal point for its atrium at Marston’s House but also to celebrate Wolverhampton and the talent that can be found throughout the city. Group estates director and project manager of Marston’s House, Ed Hancock, explains: “For Marston’s it was about having a platform to celebrate our home town. We decided to remain in Wolverhampton for a reason and by having an art piece that represented a new Marston’s from a local artist was really important to us.”
Sunita was asked to create one bold focal piece that encapsulated Marston’s brand identity colours with a modern twist while still having a connection to the building itself. With just over six weeks to design and create the piece, Sunita began by trialling the mixture of colours to make sure that the statement shades mirrored both her technique and an underlying Marston’s tone.
After the work was finished, Sunita continued to be involved by helping with the framing and installation of the work in the atrium. Her installation was unveiled in front of more than 120 guests including the Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton, city council leaders and representatives from Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.
Dominating a feature wall in the atrium, her final 6ft by 4ft piece drew on the colours that she found around the premises such as the beer-inspired ambers, golds and ruby reds which contrasted with the teal-coloured design features throughout the building – something that immediately caught Sunita’s artistic eye.
“When having a tour around the building, it was good to see that there was a colour scheme running throughout.
“I then picked up on all colours which were used and tested them all by blending them together,” says Sunita who also found time to create a second smaller podium piece for the reception of the offices.
After the unveiling, her work received praise from Ralph Findlay, the chief executive of Marston’s: “Having Sunita’s work on display truly demonstrates the next step in the Marston’s journey. I believe Sunita is a true talent and will be one of the next generation of artists to put Wolverhampton on the map.”
Sunita says her friends and family were also very proud of her first professional commission. “They couldn’t believe it when I was approached at my degree show. They were ecstatic and so was I,” adds Sunita.
“It’s amazing. It’s a good start to my career and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Article supplied by Heather Large, reporter at the Express & Star.
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Date Issued: 2nd December 2016