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15 May 2012

Elvis slips between the (lasagne) sheets after going 'Into the Woods'

Image shows Ross and Stephanie with Elvis, who's enjoying some cheese topping on the set of 'Into the Woods'

Image shows Ross and Stephanie with Elvis, who's enjoying some cheese topping on the set of 'Into the Woods'

Where else but the DJCAD Degree Show are you likely to find Elvis Presley catching 40 winks inside a giant lasagne sleeping bag on the set of a Stephen Sondheim musical?

Elvis, AKA Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices student Matthew Corden, rested up in the sleeping bag made by Illustration graduand Stephanie Liddle as part of her 'Home Comforts' Degree Show exhibit.

He chose to grab a quick power snooze at the site of Interior Environmental Design student Ross Lesslie's work - a re-creation of the set of 'Into The Woods', the show he produced in its entirety earlier this year.

Matthew (27), from Middlesbrough, turned himself into the late singer and put on a rooftop concert as part of his Degree Show work, exploring how some of Elvis's most hardcore fans are unable to accept he has gone. As such, students, staff and visitors to DJCAD, part of the University of Dundee, have been confronted by the daily sight of the jumpsuit-clad crooner walking around campus for the past couple of weeks.

"What better way to celebrate the end of my time at Duncan of Jordanstone than by becoming the greatest 'artist' of all time?" asked Matthew.

"Having put so much effort into becoming Elvis, I felt it was only fair he had another 'Comeback Special' as he did many a time during his career. I'll tell you this for nothing, he is looking every inch the hunk'o, hunk'o burning love he used to be and is in mighty, mighty, mighty fine form. Thank you very much."

Stephanie (22), from Falkirk, has just completed her degree in Illustration. As well as her strong interest in drawing and screenprinting, the process of making objects is integral to Stephanie's work.

For her main honours project, she created a series of literal interpretations of comfort foods for the viewer to interact with. Hand-made, oversized objects including the lasagne sleeping bag, a stuffed pie hot water bottle and a huggable quilted piece of penne pasta form the centre point of her exhibit.

"When I was looking to produce something relating to home comfort, I instantly began thinking about comfort food, and the stuff we turn to when we are looking for food to make us feel better," she said.

"I thought it would be interesting to literally interpret the phrase and concept of comfort food to create foods you can hug. For me, that means a lot of pasta, which is why lasagne and penne feature in the project, although it was cheeseburgers for Elvis."

'Into the Woods' is a fairy tale-themed musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, which 24-year-old Ross, from Dundee, obtained the performance licence for. He put on a three-night, open-air run at the University's Botanic Garden in April, after taking charge of casting, directing, designing the set and props, building the set, and performing in the role of Narrator in the production.

The set has been rebuilt at DJCAD for the Degree Show, although Ross' 17-strong cast will be absent this time.

"I've always had an interest in theatre and performance, which was the reason I applied to join the course in the first place," said Ross. "We did a small project in third year looking at creating a theatrical installation like a mini set and this has just grown from there.

"It was a lot to take on but the production was a great success and was well received by those who braved the cold weather. Obviously it's an honour to have one of the greatest performers of all time on my stage."

Matthew, Stephanie and Ross are three of the near-300 graduands who will be exhibiting at the 2012 DJCAD Degree Show from 17th-27th May. The celebrations begin with an Associates Day and Reception on Thursday, and a special Preview Evening for family, friends and guests on Friday."

More information about the artists is available at:

Stephanie Liddle -

Matthew Corden -

Ross Lesslie -

Notes to editors:

Dundee Degree Show
19th -27 May 2012 (Preview May 18th)
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
University of Dundee
13 Perth Road
Dundee DD1 4HT
T 01382 388828.

Exhibition open:
Saturday, May 19th (10am-4pm)
Sunday, May 20th (10am-4pm)
Monday, May 21st (10am-8pm)
Tuesday, May 22nd (10am-8pm)
Wednesday, May 23rd (10am-8pm)
Thursday, May 24th (10am-8pm)
Friday, May 25th (10am-8pm)
Saturday, May 26th (10am-4pm)
Sunday, May 27th (10am-4pm)

Graduate work on display:
Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices
Digital Interaction Design
Fine Art
Graphic Design
Interior Environmental Design
Jewellery & Metal Design
Product Design
Textile Design
Time Based Art & Digital Film

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384768
MOBILE: 07854 953277