Aberdeen Weavers continue commitment to further careers of talented Gray’s students
An Aberdeen trade body has committed to helping further the careers of students at Gray’s School of Art for at least another decade.
The Weavers Incorporation, one of the seven incorporated trades of Aberdeen, announced that it will continue to present its annual Career Enhancement Award to students for at least a decade at this year’s presentation ceremony at Trinity Hall.
The awards have been presented to outstanding students on the Fashion and Textiles degree course at Gray’s since 1987 and reflect the commitment of the Weavers Incorporation towards supporting the development of skills and helping prepare students for a career in textiles.
The 2015 prize was won by Joanna O’Brien, with Rebecca Moir receiving the runners’-up award.
Ian Dale, Deacon of the Weavers Incorporation, said: “We are extremely pleased to continue to help nurture and encourage the students at Gray’s School of Art through the Career Enhancement Awards, which reflect the principles and practices of the Weavers over the centuries.
“The standards and quality that we have seen in this award has risen year on year, and it is fantastic to see the very high level that Gray’s School of Art is at.”
Josie Steed, Course Leader for Fashion & Textile Design at Gray’s School of Art, said: “The Weavers Career Enhancement Award provides a catalyst for our students at all stages of the application process. By writing, presenting and delivering a proposal to the Weavers, our students develop lifelong skills in how to present themselves to others outwith their tutors and peers, and to consider and plan their career journeys.
“We are extremely grateful to the Weavers Incorporation for their continued support and look forward to continuing to work with them in the coming years.”
Joanna, who is now in the final year of her degree, was presented with the J Gray Kilgour Medal, a certificate of excellence and £600 while third year student Rebecca took home a certificate of commendation and the runners’ up prize of £300.
The awards, which are judged on the basis of a submitted portfolio, go towards helping the students fund either a piece of equipment or a trip that will help them progress towards a rewarding career.
Joanna, whose portfolio was a collection of knitted samples and garments based around the concept of cocooning the body, said: “I was inspired by the idea of creating a large scale conceptual piece of knitwear which was based on the shapes of cocoons and the idea of the body being trapped inside the garment.
“I applied for the award as I thought it would be a good experience to put together a portfolio and give me the opportunity to present and talk about my work.
“Winning the Weavers Career Enhancement award has been a great opportunity for me, from the experience I gained from putting together my portfolio to the benefits of receiving funding for my work. Alongside these benefits, it has also been great to be part of such a great award, which has been involved with supporting students from my course for many years now.”
Joanna has used her winnings to purchase her own domestic knitting machine which will be useful for furthering her skills and knowledge of machine knitting.
“I plan to use the rest of the award money to help fund the different yarns and materials that I will be using to create my graduate collection for my final year of study”, she added.
Rebecca submitted a portfolio which was inspired by the adverse effects weather has on the environment.
She said: “I applied for the award because I really wanted to push myself to present my work in a professional manner. I had never done a presentation in front of a professional panel before and felt this would be a very useful experience to me as a designer.
“Winning the competition meant a lot to me, it definitely boosted my confidence, and made me feel like all my hard work had paid off. The money was extremely useful to my studies as well.”
Rebecca purchased a table loom with her prize money and is now trying to get to grips with that as she hopes to use it in her next project.
She concluded: “I would definitely encourage other students to enter the competition not just for the money but to experience what it’s like to present your work in a professional manner.”
Communications Officer | Design and Technology
Robert Gordon University