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Batsford Prize winners kick off AUB summer awards season


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Several students of BA (Hons) Textiles at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) have come away with commendations at the 2024 Batsford Prize – two wins, two runners-up and two further shortlistees.

Rose Cordery came away with two awards, winning the overall Batsford Art prize and the Textiles Art prize with her project, Unravelled.

“This was a body of work exploring the unravelling from ideals of femininity and the association of women with florals and passivity,” Rose explains.

“I feel so delighted and grateful to have won these prizes; it’s been a wonderful opportunity, and it was really exciting to see my work exhibited at the gallery. Connecting with other creatives in a celebration of all the shortlisted works was really lovely, and I’m so thankful for this significant opportunity.”

For the Batsford Textiles Art prize, Ella Nathan and Hannah Elliot were both named runners-up, while Cerys Watkins and Holly Whiffen were also included in the shortlist.

To fulfil the Gravity theme, Ella submitted a recent project that explores Still Life, “…a principal genre of Western Art that I could translate through my painterly approach to Textile design.”

She explains, “My collection of printed fabrics, papers and tiles uses vibrant colours and gestural marks to combine the negative space of my compositions with looser textural elements.

“It was a great experience, and to come co-runner-up in the competition has given me confidence as a designer to present my work and discuss my creative processes. Having shared this experience with other peers from my course, I felt extremely supported in exhibiting my work for the first time.”

The graduate awards season has only just begun for both Rose and Ella, as they, along with their classmate Phoebe Wilkinson, have also made the shortlist of the prestigious Tex+ prizes.

Rose’s submission to Tex+ is a mixture of work from Unravelled and her major project, Vessels.

“Drawing parallels between the exploitation of women and nature, this body of work was informed by natural imagery as vessels of life, such as seed pods, fruit, flowers and earth, in addition to vessel symbolism in Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’,” she explains.

Meanwhile, Ella will present her graduate collection, Iberian Impressions, an interpretation of Portuguese and Spanish landscapes that uses a rich colour palette to mimic the surroundings of the Algarve and Galicia regions with traditional print processes.

“With my focus being on drawing and painting, I am hopeful that the judges will be able to understand the authentic and artisanal qualities of my work,” Ella says.

Ella and Rose both praise the teaching and training on BA (Hons) Textiles at AUB and the impact it has made towards their technical abilities and practice.

“Both the encouragement and exceptional teaching from the tutors at AUB has shaped me as a designer and artist…” says Rose, “…providing me with skills and an outlook that will stay with me beyond university.”

Rose and Ella are not the only ones sharing commendations recently. Fellow AUB Textiles student Phoebe John had an eventful month in May as her work won two competitions – one run by Artsthread in collaboration with Champagne Pol-Roger, the other run by Sbri, a local leather accessories business.

These wins at the Batsford Prize continue a legacy of successes by students of BA (Hons) Textiles at AUB. Last year, Pia Elliot was named winner of the Batsford prize for Applied Arts and Textiles.

This year’s graduating BA (Hons) Textiles students will present their work at AUB’s Undergraduate Summer Shows on campus from 28 June until 5 July.

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