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The University of Southampton

No misconceptions about Graphic Arts student’s passion for art

Published: 13 June 2019
Albert Marealle
Albert Marealle's final major project combines his passion for art with his love of food.

It’s clear when speaking to art student Albert Marealle that he’s VERY passionate about his art.

The 20 year-old from Dagenham, Greater London, is in the final days of his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Arts at Winchester School of Art (WSA), part of the University of Southampton. Albert has just put the finishing touches on his final major project where he’s successfully combined two of his key interests to illustrate and explore British misconceptions of food.

Albert’s creations - the 12-page concertina book and map of markets in the world where British food comes from - will go on display during the WSA’s Degree Show 2019 , open free to the public from Friday to Thursday, 14-20 June. The show, titled ‘Create Curate’ features work from five undergraduate programmes – Fashion Marketing and Management, Fashion and Textile Design, Fine Art, Games Design and Art and Graphic Arts.

Albert knew he wanted to focus on cultural misconceptions for his project and eventually chose British misconceptions of food after being inspired by visits to places like the food stalls in Camden Market, North London

“I like food and in order to understand misconceptions, I started with the obvious so I went to a fish and chips shop,” he explains. “I looked at the background of this British dish and found that fish and chips have foreign origins with the potato itself coming from South America and the fried fish technique coming from Spain and Portugal, brought here by Jewish immigrants hundreds of years ago.

“I also looked at tea which originates from China but was taken to India by a Scotsman, Robert Fortune, who worked for the East India Company,” Albert continues. “Fortune ‘infiltrated’ China and stole tea plants and trade secrets, taking them to India and helping to make tea a successful crop there and popular in the UK.

“The Crusaders can be credited with giving us mince pies after they came back with the mincemeat and spices originated from the Middle East,” Albert continues, “and Cauliflower Cheese originates in Northern Cyprus where the Béchamel sauce and actual cauliflower are from.

“For my project, I’ve used these stories to showcase my research by creating a concertina book, with comics, to make it funny at the same time,” he enthuses. “I’ve also created my own map of all the markets in the world, then trace how all of these ‘British’ foods made their way here.”

The WSA Degree Show marks the next phase in Albert’s career. As the Show opens, Albert awaits his final marks to determine whether he’ll graduate in July. He’s also facing a decision about the next steps in his career which is likely to lead him to progress to a Master’s programme in London.

Albert’s original decision to Southampton and Winchester in the first place was based on his desire to pursue his interest in art but in a university environment – preferably a Russell Group university like Southampton.

“When I was in school, I knew that if I liked doing something, I should go forward and get a degree in it,” Albert recalls. “I was looking at art and thought ‘maybe I could get into a Russell Group university’ so took a close look at Southampton and Winchester.

A lot of the places I was looking at during that time were art schools – they didn’t have a main university feel to them like Southampton,” he concludes. “I wanted to move from London, but not too far, and get the full university experience where I could try sports or do radio like I do now on SURGE Radio at Southampton.”

The Winchester School of Art BA Degree Show – 'Create Curate' – is open to the public in Winchester from Friday to Thursday, 14-20 June, 11.00am to 18:00pm. Click here for further information.

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