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28 January 2009 - PR 09/10

Barack Obama inspires Loughborough student’s award-winning artwork

Yes We CanA striking piece of artwork by Loughborough University Illustration student Simon Yewdall has won a national competition and is now being used in an advertising campaign for the new Ford Fiesta.

In partnership with Ford, The Sunday Times’ Style magazine challenged its readers to create a work of art that represents the essence of ‘here and now’. Hundreds submitted their work, but the judges believed that Simon’s simple yet powerful interpretation of the election of Barack Obama, with its fresh, pop art, Andy Warhol-type feel, captured the spirit of the age.

Simon’s work includes the words ‘Yes We Can’, positioned on a two-coloured background of homemade kaleidoscope patterns made using mirrored triangles.

“I wanted to represent the climax of Barack Obama’s victory speech,” explains Simon (24), who originates from Uppingham in Rutland. “I tried to make the text work almost as an abstract symbol, to reflect political power. The kaleidoscope background represents ‘new ways of seeing’, while the red and blue represent the two different political parties.”

Simon’s artwork was debuted in The Sunday Times’ Style magazine this weekend (25 January) and is also being used in the latest TV ad for the car.

“I was extremely pleased to win the competition, and having my artwork printed in The Sunday Times was a huge thrill,” says Simon. “It was a real stroke of luck that the advertorial was released the weekend of Obama’s inauguration – I’m now a great believer in doing the right work at the right time!”

In addition to the advert, Simon received £2,000-worth of vouchers for Eyestorm, an online retailer of limited edition contemporary art by established and emerging artists and photographers, including Simon’s ‘Yes We Can’ work.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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