Sarah Murray chats to Bayo Adelja, founder of website www.unicreate.co who decided to complement her studies with a creative venture.
What is UniCreate?
It is a web exhibition space for Durham University students and creative societies to show everyone what creative things they are doing – just a space to get people involved and aware of whatever creative stuff you or your society are into.
Why did you set up UniCreate?
I saw a problem and wanted to solve it. There are so many amazing creative societies at Durham and sometimes it is difficult to pick which ones to join or to know what is generally going on in the creative scene. I figured UniCreate could be an easy way to help the societies advertise themselves and for creative students to share their talents with the rest of us.
Who can join UniCreate?
Any Durham University student or society involved in anything creative. It can be writing, music, art, films, dance, the list goes on.
Is it just for creative students?
Well, I believe in a thing called ‘vicarious creativity’. It basically means, if you are like me and you don’t do anything creative yourself but you are interested in patronising the arts, then you can join to check out the creative stuff your fellow students are doing.
Who should we be looking out for?
Well, there are some amazing talents around, but here are some of my favourites. Ok, first up is Tom Ryder. If ever you need cheering up, ask him to sing to you – not just any song. Ask for a song he wrote himself, particularly “the procrastination song” and if you are in love, ask for the song he dedicates to Hannah. Second we have Lucy Walling, another beautiful singer who I could honestly listen to for days. Same kind of feeling was conjured by the faultless Anna Costello – after listening to her I was sad that there was no album on sale! Other creatives of the poetic persuasion to watch out for and possibly invite out to coffee (for the specific purpose of having them read their work to you) are Danielle Dennis, Emily Somerville, Jamie Baxter, Amal Vaidya, Ralf Webb, Bex Hainsworth, Matthew Griffiths and Nick Toseland (make sure he does the one about cheese).
Is there a way to enhance creativity?
Not being creative myself I can only tell you what I assume. Like most things, all you have to do is practice and of course there is a lot of dedication to it as well. I was watching the Sky 1 TV show ‘Bigger than Beyonce’ and apparently Beyonce is in dance rehearsals when preparing for a tour for up to 8 hours a day… it takes work.
What has been the response to UniCreate so far?
It is a labour of love, so I try really hard not to care about page views, google analytics and all that really annoying stuff. As long as I am enjoying it, that’s all that matters.
Editors note: All of the performers mentioned in Bayo’s interview performed at the Grove Launch Night, organised by Katie Rossiensky. This night helped to showcase a wide range of Durham creatives.