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PAD Editorial Overview
The Northern School of Art

The sixth issue of PAD | Perspectives in Art and Design showcases research papers from undergraduate and postgraduate students across the Visual Arts Faculty and Stage & Screen Faculty at The Northern School of Art in Hartlepool. In this issue, students explore topics including the visual language of Y2K, film and representation and branding futures. 


MA Art Practice student, Nadene Mickelwright, explores The Impact of Y2K Nostalgia on Contemporary Visual Culture. Nadene’s article covers a range of visual expressions online through shitposting and Gen Z Instagram aesthetics, all of which contribute to the manifestation of the conceptual expression and influence of the Y2K movement and its impact due to the resurgence of popularity within recent years. 


Lauren Gillan, BA Hons Film, TV & Theatre Level 5, asks Why are fantasy films still successful in the socio-political world? drawing on case studies including Lord of the Rings and Avatar and the notion of ‘breaking reality’. 


Is it possible to detect the notion of male and female gaze in urban photography? posits BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate 2023, Ellie Cutmore as she explores the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher and Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Steiglitz. 


Jess Whitaker investigates how The Terminator franchise challenges theories of genre and representation of women, focusing particularly on the representation of Sarah Connor. Are women in The Terminator Franchise and sci-fi films represented as strong independent women or are they represented for the men to gaze upon? Does the characters James Cameron create conform to Laura Mulvey’s theory of the ‘male gaze’, or conform to Steve Neale’s genre theory that genres all contain instances of repetition and difference?


Branding for Gen Z: Branding Futures, New Technologies, and the Role of the Designer by MA Design Practice student, Lucy Brown, explores the future of brand design, investigating how designers need to adapt to the ever-changing world; with specific focus on technical advancements and societal problems, acknowledging the designer’s role that has the potential to shape the future. 


Very Dazed and Slightly Confused and there’s also some Treadmill Metaphor is a piece of creative writing by BA (Hons) Film, TV & Theatre Production graduate, Adam McClean, which navigates creative life and work balance after graduation. 


Have Streaming Services Increased the Fascination of the Serial Killer? inquires Hannah Trafford, BA (Hons) Film, TV & Theatre Production student. Factors including streaming services, such as casting choices and storylines, alongside the rise of video sharing platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube, and the human psychology that draws viewers and audiences to these productions are examined, as well as studies into human behaviour. 


Finally, the issue of sustainable practice and climate action is advocated in a reflection on The Northern Climate Conference 2023.



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