A team of emerging artists at Edge Hill University are joining forces in a bid to make history as the first university students to collectively sell a digital artwork with a non-fungible token (NFT). 

The photography students are jumping on the latest cryptocurrency craze sweeping the digital world, which has seen investors spend millions of dollars on digital items called NFTs. 

The young artists, who work collectively under the name Fourteen Thirty Four, believe this will be the first time that a university has sold a collection of its students’ artwork as an NFT. 

NFTS are “one-of-a-kind” digital assets that represent real-world objects such as art, music and videos. They create a certificate of ownership of an original digital asset that can be bought and sold online with cryptocurrency.  

NFTs have become an increasingly popular way to buy and sell digital artwork, with digital artist Beeple recently selling an NFT of his work for $69 million at Christies, catapulting him into the top three most valuable living artists. 

Following in Beeple’s footsteps, the young artists have combined a series of powerful images they have captured to create a unique digital artwork which will be auctioned later this month. Any money raised through the auction will be shared among the students and used to buy equipment for a physical exhibition of their artwork. 

One of the students involved in the project is Simon Woodcock, whose moving project ‘Talk to the Trees’ captures the journey of his mother-in-law Joan as she battles with dementia.  

Simon said: “Joan always had faith. She’s always been independent, bringing up four kids alone on a cleaner’s wage but now, dementia has robbed her of that independence, and robbed us of Joan. But sometimes, the old songs come back, and in those moments her eyes sparkle and her clear, beautiful voice sings out.” 

Photo by Simon Woodcock

Scarlett Danher’s photographs follow the story of a young man, Declan, as he explores his gender identity.

Scarlet said: “This photoshoot is meant to reflect the gender boxes people have been put into and consequently are now trying to get out of. These pictures are in black and white to emphasise that while gender is not black and white, freedom of expression should be.” 

Photo by Scarlett Danher

Student Mason Bernstein’s photography captures his hometown Skelmersdale, in Lancashire, and the legacy of the New Town Act of 1946. His work captures the straight lines and sharp edges that accentuate the brutalist architecture built in the early 1960s that still exists within the town today. 

Photo by Mason Bernstein

The online auction will take place on OpenSea Platform and will open on Friday 21st May at 14:34 and close on Friday 28th May at 14:34.  

The winner of the auction will receive high resolution TIFF and JPEG versions of the file and all 260 individual images at the original size and resolution.