THEY are a sign of the times. Love them or loathe them phones, tablets and screens are part of our daily life.

But one Southampton student is using them as inspiration for the final show of her art course.

Mandy Smith's 'tanoptic' is an imagined world of the future where human bodies have morphed into giant eyeballs.

It's a comment on the ever-present screens that hold our attention for hours at a time.

Now the installation - made from papier mache 'eyeballs' stitched to the walls in nylon tights - will go on show at Solent University, together with work by more than 20 other fine art students for their final year degree show.

Including painting, video, audio and sculpture Mandy, a 46 year old mum of two, said the range of work in this year's show is "exciting."

But for Mandy it's also the pinnacle of a what has been a life-changing few years.

After she was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma - or cancer in her shoulder joint - she was forced to reduce her hours at work.

But when her mum, Sylvia Coffin, died shortly after cancer in 2013 Mandy decided the time was right to do something for herself.

She took a foundation course at Totton College and then started her fine art degree at Solent University.

She said: "It's been wonderful, but also very challenging."

And through her art work she has found a way to keep ties with her mum, who was a talented seamstress.

Mandy, from Diben Purlieu said: "Most of my work uses my experience of the maternal, so through my mum or through my children. I had never picked up a sewing machine when my mum was alive. But I suppose I was trying to connect to her." Tanoptic is also about how our sense of sight is becoming more highly developed the more we use screens.

Mandy said: "Centuries ago we relied on our hands and touch as our primary sense. But now we are looking more at screens and using other senses less. It's inspired by my children and how much they use their gadgets. We have fewer conversations at home now they're teenagers and they are on their screen. I'm more alone."

Besides being influenced by science fiction and future worlds and an imagined future for her children - who spend just as much time as any teenagers glued to a screen - Mandy's artwork also uses everyday life and skills, such as sewing.

She said: "I do like to work domestic and everyday things in my work. It appeals to me to use recycled stuff."

As reported previous work using recycled denim for a sculpture called 'Genes' was shortlisted for the Chaiya Art Awards.

After her course finishes she is considering going on to do an MA either in Southampton or Winchester. She also hopes to develop her heritage printmaking - some of which have been on display at SeaCity Museum, Westquay and Tudor House.

The group of fine art students from Solent University will be showing their creations to the public from June 9. The degree show is open to the public from June 9-14, from 10-4pm. It is closed Sunday and late night opening is on Monday and Tuesday until 7pm.