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Aberdeen Weaver Incorporation announces annual RGU award winners

Tuesday 02 November 2021

Weaver's Incorporation Award Winner, Gemma Berrisford (left) and Megan Naysmith (Runner up)
Talented students from Gray’s School of Art celebrate success at an awards ceremony at the historic North-East Aberdeen Weaver Incorporation.

The Weaver Incorporation, one of the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen, has been presenting its annual Career Enhancement Awards at Trinity Hall since 1987.

Each year, the award is given to an outstanding student on the Fashion & Textiles degree course at Gray’s and reflects the commitment of the Weaver Incorporation towards supporting the development of skills and helping students prepare for a career in textiles.

Winner of the 2021 prize is Gemma Berrisford from Stonehaven whilst the runner-up award has been awarded to Megan Naysmith from Aberdeen.

This year’s ceremony is hosted by Adam Byrne, Weaver Incorporation Deacon.

Gemma Berrisford, who is in her final year of her degree specialising in knitwear, will be presented with the J Gray Kilgour Medal, a certificate of excellence and £600. While Megan Naysmith will receive a certificate of commendation and the runners-up prize of £300.

The awards, which are judged on the basis of a submitted portfolio and interview, go towards helping the students fund an opportunity that will help them in starting their career – for example, to purchase a piece of equipment and materials, a study trip or a specialised workshop.

Gemma who has won the award for her collection of work inspired by the Grunge era says: “To win the Weavers Incorporation Award is a huge achievement. It is such a privilege to win, I still can’t quite believe it! The Award will make a significant difference to my graduate year at Gray's. I’m using the prize money to buy a knitting machine to help me work from home and to develop my collection of yarns so I can try out different textures and thicknesses. This will help my experience as a knitter and achieve my final project aswell as preparing me for a career in the knit industry post Gray's.

“My work is influenced by the Grunge era and my primary research was based on mark making onto various papers of different textures. My project then developed into mark making directly onto my knit samples and dipping pieces of knit directly into paint to give the 'grunge' style I was aiming for.”

Runner up, Megan Naysmith draws on her experience working in the construction industry prior to starting her degree at Grays. Her work is underpinned by sustainable design and takes inspiration from the surrounding built environment in Aberdeen, using upcycling techniques to give old construction wear a new lease of life.

Megan, who is in her third year at Grays said: “I am absolutely delighted to win the runner-up award for the Weaver Incorporation Award. It really means a lot to receive such recognition for my work. I would tell anyone considering of studying fashion and textiles at Grays to go for it!    It is a fantastic course and is one of the few universities which offer both Fashion & Textile design within the same course.”

Graeme Nicol from the Weaver’s Incorporation tells us more about the importance of the award: “We are extremely proud to help nurture and encourage students at Gray’s School of Art, to ensure that the centuries-old principles and practices of the Weavers continue on.

“The past couple of years have been particularly challenging during Covid-19 and I am extremely proud of the talent and work that this year’s students have produced. As an organisation, the Weaver’s Incorporation is committed to supporting the development of skills and to preparing students for a career in textiles and our award is one way of developing talent.”

The Weaver Award Ceremony took place on 1 November at Trinity Hall, Holburn Street. The event was attended by Gray’s School of Art and winner, Gemma Berrisford, Gray’s School of Art student and runner up, Megan Naysmith, Libby Curtis, Head of Gray’s School of Art, Keith Gray, Lecturer from Gray’s School of Art, Adam Byrne, Weaver Incorporation Deacon and Graeme Nicol, Weaver Incorporation.

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