Students at Leeds College of Art Inspired by…. London’s V&A Museum

12 May 2014

Three students from Leeds College of Art’s short course programme have been selected by the V&A museum to exhibit their work at a London Gallery. 

Students from a selection of the College’s short courses submitted artwork for the ‘Inspired by’ competition. Carole Barnbrough, Jackie Middlebrook and Wendy Fisher, from Millinery and Dyeing and Print-making courses, were chosen from a total of 441 entries to exhibit their final pieces at Morley Gallery in London.

'Inspired by...' is an annual art competition for people on part - time courses, and is supported by NIACE, the National Institute of Continuing Education. Participants create a work of art or craft inspired by collections at the V&A and other museums and galleries up and down the country. Entries are judged by a panel of curators and educators from Morley Gallery and members at the V&A. The successful entries will be exhibited at Morley Gallery between May 20 and June 19.

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‘The competition offers a great opportunity for students to research the inspirational collections at the V&A and give them a brief to work towards. Using skills learnt in the autumn term, continuing students were able to focus on the processes they most like to work with. Wendy worked on a large experimental silk piece, using natural dye and devore processes. It was exciting to see the piece develop each week. Her selection to exhibit is well deserved,’says Tutor Kirstie Williams from the Dyeing and Printing-making evening course at Leeds College of Art.

The works have been judged by an esteemed panel of judges, including several V&A curators, with the best entries selected for the public exhibition. The works on display reflects a variety of media, from textiles, fashion and jewellery through to sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and painting, and draw from an even broader range of artefacts for inspiration. 

It was a very difficult job to make a shortlist as they were such varied, interesting works!  As always there were lots of surprising responses to the collection which is great to see and reinforces how inspiring our museum can be,’says Alice Sage, Curator Museum of Childhood. 

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Tutor Sue Carter from the Millinery evening course at Leeds College of Art says: ‘The advanced millinery class at Leeds College of Art is aimed at students who are technically skilled and who want to push the design side of their work. The group visited the Discovery Centre in Leeds during the autumn to look at some objects in close proximity and to consider how museum collections could provide inspiration and starting points for their designs. The V&A competition was a perfect vehicle for continuing this process’.4

Prizes of £50 will be awarded to winners in eight categories of works: Ceramics, Glass & Stained Glass, Jewellery, Sculpture, Textiles & Fashion, Theatre & Performance and Printmaking, Drawing & Painting and V&A Museum of Childhood. Special prizes will also be awarded by the V&A and NIACE, the National Institute of Adults Continuing Education.

Prize winners will be announced at the Private View Monday 19 May 6 - 8pm. For more information please visit the - Inspired by…website.

Inspired by is supported by NIACE and is part of nation-wide Adult Learners’ Week celebrations for 2014.