New handcrafted awards celebrate success at Gray’s School of Art

Thursday 09 June 2022

Gray's Lecturer Mathew Wilcock makes new Principal's Design & Fine Art Award
A new set of art awards are being specially created to celebrate the return of Gray’s School of Art's Degree Show, ‘Welcome to the real world’, which opens on Saturday 11 June.

The new Principal’s Design & Fine Art Awards, sponsored by RGU Art & Heritage, are being made by former winner of the BBC Great Pottery Throwdown, Gray’s lecturer Matthew Wilcock, who is taking impressions or moulds of the building at Gray’s School of Art and using the School’s Ceramic & Glass Workshop, to make bespoke sculptures.

The awards, which are funded by Robert Gordon University’s Art & Heritage Collection, are being given to students from Gray’s for outstanding achievements.

The works produced by the students will be retained by RGU’s Art & Heritage Collection for displays and as a visual record of the creative output of the University and the North East.

Gray's lecturer, Matthew Wilcock, explains more about the new awards; “I was delighted to be asked to create a lasting memento and keepsake for the students. This is the first time we’ve been able to host a physical degree show in over two years and we wanted to make it really special.

“I’ve created the awards by taking a mould of the steps, in my opinion this is such an important part of the building. Everyone that has entered Gray’s, past, present and future interacts with this part of the building, to be presented with an object that links you to all your peers is truly special.”

The awards will be presented by Robert Gordon University Principal, Professor Steve Olivier at Gray’s Degree Show’s opening launch on Friday 10 June as students from Painting, Photography, Fashion & Textiles, Three Dimensional Design, Contemporary Art Practice and Communication Design gather to celebrate the return of the show.

Principal, Professor Steve Olivier said: “I’m really looking forward to opening Gray’s Degree Show and can’t wait to welcome everyone back to celebrate the work of this year’s graduates.

“The new Principal’s Design & Fine Art Awards recognise talent and excellence at Gray’s School of Art and empower confidence in our students as they build their careers. As a University, we recognise the importance of the creative industries in contributing to sustainable economic development in the North East and Gray’s graduates play a major role in the region’s cultural offering.

“I am delighted we have created bespoke awards for the students to recognise their talent and hard work over the past few years.  Their work will also create a lasting legacy for RGU’s Art & Heritage Collection and help foster art and culture at the University which we hope to share with the public.”

Dean of Gray’s School of Art, Libby Curtis, said: “I am immensely proud of all of the students exhibiting at Gray’s Degree Show. The past two years have been challenging for everyone, but our students have persevered and produced some really thought provoking, innovative projects.

“Gray’s Degree Show signifies a return to the Gray's we know and love, and I’d encourage everyone to come and see for themselves.”

As part of the degree show, visitors will have the chance to enjoy Gray’s new Design Haus, a new state-of-the-art exhibition space, specially created with over two million pounds investment to improve the facilities and design courses.

Elsewhere in Gray’s Degree Show, a series of events will take place including an alumni networking event, an evening reception for those in the creative industries and a range of school workshops for secondary pupils. 

Find out more about the Gray’s End of Year Show, ‘Welcome to the real world’ on Gray’s School of Art’s Instagram / Facebook. An Online Directory will also be published including details of the student’s exhibiting.

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