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EYECATCHING murals which celebrate inclusion, equality and diversity, are to be showcased at a top Leicestershire university, following a competition put to the art students studying there. 

Back in November, Loughborough University’s Arts teamed up with its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee to launch a competition for students to design a mural for the campus. The brief was to create a piece of art which celebrated inclusion in the community.

Eleven students were invited to take part, and the team were looking for imaginative and powerful designs that celebrated marginalised groups and their campaigns for social justice.  

The overall winner of the competition was named as Kelsey Bebbington, a final-year Graphic Communication and Illustration student.

All of Us’ (pictured below) is about the hope in inclusivity and sending a strong yet positive message that the future of the university involves all of the communities across the institution. Her work incorporates various symbols of different marginalised groups and movements. 

Image Loughborough University

Explaining her design, Kelsey said: “As an LGBTQ+ person, I often find myself upset about the negative incidents my community face. It can be hard to celebrate and feel pride when hate incidents are on the rise. This design has the intention of celebrating not only my community and our fight, but also those of other marginalised communities.

“The colours and shapes are playful and happy, with the aim of celebrating both the progress that these groups have made but also the possibilities of their future. Although I could not include everyone, I hope this design goes someway to increasing representation for these groups and leading them to feel proud of who they are.”

Kelsey will receive £500 and see her design printed onto aluminium panels and permanently displayed under the bridge on Sir David Davies building. This will be installed before the end of the term. 

In second place was Art and Design Foundation Studies student Winny Obee. Winny – who has explored digital media in more recent years. Her piece titled ‘Visibility’, uses colours and symbols associated with the LGBT+ Rainbow flag and the Black Lives Matter movement to create an eye, representing the need for visibility of marginalised groups.

‘Visibility’ by Winny Obee

Third place went to Amina Pagliari for Lord knows there’s a war to be won, an illustration representing the dynamic and diverse student body of Loughborough that incorporates the support of worldwide movements, and a special commendation went to Kher Shin Goh for Be Kind – a design that places sign language at the centre of the piece. 

The runners-up will receive cash prizes as well as having their designs featured on the university’s arts website.

You can also see the winning designs displayed in the bus shelters at Loughborough University’s campus over the next two weeks.

David Wilson, an EDI Projects Lead at Loughborough University commented: “Recognition of the importance of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Loughborough has significantly accelerated in recent years thanks to the dedication of our staff and students to the cause.?The University has undertaken this project to make a bold public statement of our commitments to both our internal and external communities, as we continue to make significant investments of time and money to do the complex work of addressing real-world issues.? The winning designs express with joy, passion and hope our shared values and the inclusive culture we continue to build.”

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