Inclusivity mural competition

In November 2021, in partnership with the University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, we launched a competition for students to design a mural for campus which celebrates the inclusive community at Loughborough.

The competition was open to all current Loughborough University students and the brief asked for a design that celebrates all marginalised groups and their campaigns for social justice such as Black Lives Matter, AIDS awareness and LGBT+ liberation, disability rights, women’s equality and other campaigns. The mural should demonstrate solidarity between these groups as well as the fully inclusive culture and community we aspire to be at Loughborough University.

The judging panel was made up of representatives from across the University and the following winners were chosen:

  • 1st place - All of Us by Kelsey Bebbington 
  • 2nd place - Visibility by Winny Obee
  • 3rd place - Lord knows there's a war to be won by Amina Pagliari
  • Special commendation - Be Kind by Kher Shin Goh 

Kelsey's winning design will be printed onto large aluminium panels and installed permanently on campus on Sir David Davies building (under the bridge). It will become part of the University's art collection. The mural should be completed by the end of the spring term 2022. Kelsey and the runners-up all receive cash prizes and their work is featured below as well as being showcased on bus shelters on campus in January 2022.

Winner - Kelsey Bebbington

Kelsey is a final year Graphic Communication and Illustration student. Originally from Preston, Lancashire, her work at the university has seen her develop a conscious, playful approach to her design process. Her mural design, ‘All of Us’ experiments with a rougher collage style, depicting various symbols of different marginalised groups and movements. These include, Black Lives Matter, Disability rights, LGBTQ+, refugees and asylum seekers, amongst several others. Her design seeks to celebrate these groups and their place in the university community, while also highlighting their struggle and continued fight for equality. 

Second place - Winny Obee

Being introduced to a variety of art media from a young age has helped Winny develop and hone her skills ranging from oil painting to clay sculpting. She is now using this knowledge from the past few years to explore digital media. Refining her visual communication skills in the Art Foundation course has helped Winny tailor her artwork to be seen by the public, using colour and composition to create a clear narrative. Winny is returning to Loughborough next year to study Graphic Design where she hopes to create more work she feels passionate about to an audience - similar to this mural project.

'Visibility' highlights the diverse and supportive community who have made a home in Loughborough. It explores visibility, allyship and the sense of feeling safe in ones own skin.

Third place - Amina Pagliari

My name is Amina Pagliari, I’m a second-year fine art student. When I first saw the competition I knew what an amazing opportunity this was to showcase the diversity of our University. I advertised for diverse volunteers to model as a group for the design – the students that volunteered represent ethnic minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community and Muslim (Hijabi) women. I directed the models to interact with each other in different ways such as leaning on each other and holding hands to demonstrate a sense of unity. A special moment for me during this process was seeing all the volunteer models, who were strangers to each other, be so comfortable and uplifting to one another.

Being a woman of colour and hijabi myself I have learnt that starting a conversation encourages education, guiding people to understand differences rather than seeing ‘otherness’ which creates division. I hope that my mural design encourages this conversation. Moreover, Several phrases/motifs can be seen throughout the piece such as 'black lives matter', '#mybodymychoice', 'Free Palestine' and the pride flag – shedding a light on important movements. The design is completed with a powerful quote by Ashley Frangipane (Halsey) from their poem A story like mine performed at the 2018 Women's March in New York which I feel encompasses the message of the mural, it reads, ‘be a voice for all those with prisoner tongues, for the people who had to grow up way too young, there is work to be done... Lord knows there’s a war to be won’.

Special commendation - Kher Shin Goh

Kher Shin is from Malaysia and is in her first year studying Graphic Design. She discovered her interest in design in high school and has been involved in various design projects since then, such as event advertising designs, school magazine and yearbook, and many more. Kher Shin is interested in digital design and enjoys creating character designs and illustrations.

Being awarded special commendation in this competition has helped Kher Shin build up confidence, and she hopes to be able to participate in future design related events or competitions, as this gives her more opportunities to showcase her designs. As this is only her first year at Loughborough University, Kher Shin feels she still has a lot to learn and is very keen and excited to learn new skills throughout her course.