Student responses

Plastic Vanitas led to a variety of responses in the form of Pop-Up Exhibitions by Arts University Bournemouth students.

Animation by Julio del Castillo Vivero


Julio del Castillo Vivero, BA (Hons) Photography student, worked alongside Neudecker in the photographic studio. Subsequently he made an animation of all the images taken in the process of making Plastic Vanitas. He said of the experience that it brought home to him:

The importance of taking the necessary time to achieve ... a great final shot, in one word, patience.

Julio del Castillo Vivero

An average of 80 images were made of each still life from which the 'chosen' image was selected. This animation charts this process: composing the still-life, tweaking the position of individual objects, exploring different lighting effects, and taking the images.

Exhibited at WestBeach, Bournemouth

Bournemouth Arts Festival By The Sea, 9th & 10th October 2015

Sian Hutchings in collaboration with Paul Richardson and Emily Riddiough


Sian Hutchings with Paul Richardson and Emily Riddiough

The Sound of Still Life

Sian Hutchings, a BA (Hons) Fine Art student, created a sound sculpture that captures the sound of still life made from field recordings on the Dorset coastline. It draws parallels with Plastic Vanitas and the work of the Dutch painter Balthasar van der Ast, who specialised in painting shell life. The sculpture, made of clear resin over copper, houses the speaker. The copper is used to resonate the sound through the shell's form while its resin exterior pays homage to the MoDiP collection. Plastic Vanitas exposes the audience to new ways of seeing whereas this work exposes it to new ways of listening.


The Art of the Still curated by Paul Finnegan

8 October 2015 - 5 January 2016


The Art of the Still

This is a pop-up exhibition at the Arts University Bournemouth with contributions from four of the curator's third year BA (Hons) Fine Art Students. Each response was individual.

Tom Sharp


Tom Sharp

Doctor Superior Nurse, Toy Train, Only Boys, Untitled, and Fountain of Youth

Tom Sharp, using found objects, presents plastic as an aspect of contemporary disillusionment through its prolific use in design for children.

Nina Giles


Nina Giles

Uncovered Stratum: Core Samples

Nina Giles' piece reflects on the preservation of these often transient objects within a museum through a concept of them as fossils from the anthropocenic geological stratum.

Katie Bligh


Katie Bligh

Expendable Curiosities

Katie Bligh draws a parallel between the living objects that will die found in Vanitas paintings and the preserving potential of formaldehyde an ingredient of some plastics.

Katie Inglis


Katie Inglis

Still Life with Melancholy and Perspiration

Katie Inglis was struck by the actual and the emotional darkness of the Plastic Vanitas images. Her work references flies found in Vanitas paintings by the presentation of the mortal in the form of a living water melon and the immortal through its representation in fibreglass.

WestBeach, Pier Approach, Bournemouth, 30 October 2015 - 29 January 2016

Larissa Bone

Larissa Bone

Photography series: Trinkets

Larissa Bone was a MA Fine Art Student at the Arts University Bournemouth 2013-15. She was inspired by Plastic Vanitas to make a series of still lifes of grouped porcelain rather than plastic items. She also created videos on a related theme: Life is Still I & II.