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Check out some awesome London-inspired art by new UAL graduates

James Manning

Every summer a new crop of talented graduates from University of the Arts London takes part in the uni’s graduate exhibitions. The institution includes famous London art colleges like Camberwell, Chelsea and Central Saint Martins, and plenty of this year’s graduates have been influenced by life in the city. Here are some of the coolest bits of London-inspired art seen at this year’s shows.

Oyster card fake nails by Lucie Davis

We wrote about these last month, but they’re amazing so here they are again. CSM jewellery design student Lucie Davis extracted the chip from her Oyster card and embedded it in a set of acrylic nails. Not only do you never again have to rummage for your Oyster, but that blue-and-white colour scheme looks pretty damn fresh – especially considering it dates from the tragically unfashionable early noughties.

‘Oscar, Beneath the Big Smoke’ by Rob Gray

This Camberwell illustration student has written and illustrated an absolutely adorable children’s story, following a cat named Oscar and his adventures on the tube after he escapes on a trip to the vet’s. Thanks for making us broody, Rob.

‘This Must Be the Place’ by Lucy Bourton

With personal memories from musicians (including members of The Maccabees and The Kills) and industry types, graphic designer Bourton has put together a book that maps the musical histories of London boroughs. You’d earn yourself some serious friend points buying it for a music-loving Londoner.

Barbican Conservatory by Lin Jiang

Another Camberwell illustration student, Jiang was inspired by the Barbican’s incredible concrete garden. Since it’s only open one day a week, these intricate drawings must have taken up plenty of Sundays. Nice work if you can get it…

‘Contactless’ by Ellis Hooson

The weird ceramic shapes made by CSM student Hooson aren’t obviously London-influenced. It’s only when you read the accompanying cartoons that you make the connection with the weird intimacy of the tube: those moments of accidental touch between strangers jammed together in a carriage.

‘Friends of the Dead’ by Jess Kohl

The ring of Victorian cemeteries around London, sometimes known as ‘the Magnificent Seven’, inspired Kohl’s black and white photo portrait project. Her subjects were the Londoners who work and volunteer in these hauntingly beautiful bits of the capital.

The remaining UAL degree shows run until September 16. Discover the best of art in London with our art exhibitions calendar.

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