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The University of Southampton

From fine art to fashion: showcase for emerging artistic and design talent

Published: 19 June 2006

Hampshire's largest temporary art gallery opens in Winchester on Saturday 24 June when the University of Southampton's School of Art launches its annual undergraduate Degree Show. The Show celebrates the work of Winchester School of Art's (WSA) talented young artists and designers and marks the end of three years of study.

On show will be works from students in the Fine Art disciplines of painting, printmaking, sculpture, and visual art and the Design disciplines of knitted, printed and woven textiles, fashion and textile art.

Professor Bashir Makhoul , Head of School, comments: "This year's show represents the culmination of an outstanding year for WSA, with a large number of students nominated for and winning prestigious awards and employment in the industry."

Visual Art student Natalie Buckley was selected for the International Student Film Festival at the University of Winchester. Sarah Chan was short listed for the Mercury Art Prize for her work which explores the realm of fantasy through oil paintings that refer to both the decorative and the uncanny.

WSA fashion students took part in London Graduate Fashion Week again this year. The event provides fashion students with an opportunity to present their collections to the professional world of buyers and designers. This year, Knitted Textile Design student Abbie Storey won the Visionary Knitwear Award, one of only three prestigious catwalk awards presented at the event, for her opulent but modern collection inspired by 1920's theatre.

Evidence of the far-reaching influence of London Graduate Fashion week is also being enjoyed by WSA fashion graduate Joanna Mammatt, who last year won the award for accessory design in the River Island Bag customisation competition. Thanks to the award, the designs Mammatt presented in her final year at Winchester are now available in River Island stores.

Second-year Knitted Textile Design students have also been garnering recognition for their innovative design work. Caroline Gardner and Emily Cornick were named finalists in the Anna Purna Espa knit competition and the Society of Dyers and Colourists project respectively. Woven Textile Design students Samantha Davidson and Bethany Athill won prizes in the prestigious International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) competition. As a result, their work will be displayed on the IWTO stand at the international industry trade fair TEXWORLD in Paris. Finally, Textile Art students Fiona Gilcrist, Carla Mines, Holly Wilkinson, Emma Caple and Jess Hebden will be assisting internationally-acclaimed textile artist Alice Kettle on a large commission in the coming months.

Professor Makhoul continues: "With accolades such as these, it is little surprise that many students graduating from textile design, textile art and fashion courses have already launched their professional careers, with many selling work and taking on commissions with fashion houses and mills, as well as securing employment within the exceedingly competitive fashion and textile industries. We wish them the best of luck in what already looks to be a very bright future."

The 2006 BA Degree Show takes place at Winchester School of Art, Park Road, Winchester between 24 and 30 June. The Show is open Monday to Friday 11am - 8pm and Saturday 11am - 3pm.

Notes for editors

  1. Members of the press are invited to attend the private view on Friday 23 June between 6pm and 9pm. There will also be a catwalk show by fashion students at 4pm. If you would like to attend or send a photographer, please contact Winchester School of Art on 023 8059 6912.
  2. Winchester School of Art merged with the University of Southampton in 1996. Founded in 1860, WSA has an international reputation for research and teaching in art, art history and design.
  3. The University of Southampton is one of the UK's top 10 research universities, with a global reputation for excellence in both teaching and research. With first-rate opportunities and facilities across a wide range of subjects in science and engineering, health, arts and humanities, the University has around 20,000 students and 5000 staff at its campuses in Southampton and Winchester. Its annual turnover is in the region of £287 million.
    Southampton is recognised internationally for its leading-edge research in engineering, science, computer science and medicine, and for its strong enterprise agenda. It is home to world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton; the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research; the Optoelectronics Research Centre; the Textile Conservation Centre; the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease; and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies.
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