Former Denny bricklayer on cutting edge of social media analysis artwork

Stephen Fitzpatrick is now an innovative artist
Stephen Fitzpatrick is now an innovative artist

An art and design graduate from Denny, who left his previous life as a bricklayer behind, has stormed onto the art scene with an intriguing and innovative take on data analysis.

Stephen Fitzpatrick (27) used 35 million tweets collected around the time of the May General Election, to gather data analysis needed to create his artwork designs.

He worked in collaboration with Stirling based emotional data analysis company Elumini and looked at the eight main emotions and the colours associated with them to create designs which have now drawn the attention of several broadcasting companies.

He said: “Data analysis is a big, big thing right now and I am really excited to be working in this cutting edge medium. It is living breathing art and the more data you collect the more it can change.

“The designs I have already done are linked to the tweets collected around the recent general election and the feelings of people using social media. So it can very topical and tap into the emotions of millions of people around one issue.

“In particular tweets about Labour were scoring very highly in every emotion because they took a bit of a hammering. This evoked lots of negative emotions such as anger, and disgust, but they also prompted positive ones such as trust.

“The results can actually be quite sinister as some people on twitter were quite happy to see them get beaten and this is reflected in the results.”

He now works for Art is an Option in Alloa and graduated from Forth Valley College with a BA in Art and Design earlier this month. He used the data analysis technique in his final degree year and won top prize for his department.

Colin McGeoch, a curriculum manager at Forth Valley College, said: “Stephen was a modest student who took criticism on board and used it to continuously improve his practice. He is an exceptionally capable artist who has a promising future ahead.”