Whisky and wrinkles inspire Gray’s winners at Weaver Incorporation Awards

Thursday 17 November 2022

Gray's winners of the Aberdeen Weaver Incorporation Awards Career Enhancement, Anja Blake (winner) and Grace Angus (runner up)
Talented students from Gray’s School of Art are celebrating success following 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 Aberdeen Weavers Incorporation 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 School of Art, reflecting the commitment of the Aberdeen Weaver Incorporation towards the development of skills in the textile sector.

Winner of the 2022 prize is Anja Blake who is studying a BA in Fashion. Anja was presented with the J Gray Kilgour Medal, a certificate of excellence and £600.   Grace Angus received a certificate of commendation and the runners-up prize of £300.

Anja Blake

Winner, Anja Blake, who is from Inverness, won the award with a collection of work entitled ‘The Face of Exhaustion’. Anja explores the ageing of the body, looking at wrinkles, creases and bags under your eyes which generated ideas for experimentation and development of her knitted structures.

Upon winning the award Anja said: “The Weavers Incorporation Career Enhancement Awards have not only enhanced my career opportunities for the future by having it on my cv, but have also helped me gain better skills in public speaking and presenting my work. These are skills that will enhance my attributes moving forward and I’m truly grateful to the Weavers Incorporation and to the support from Gray’s, for this award.”

Grace Angus

Runner up, Grace Angus, created a textiles collection called 'Whisky Lounge', inspired by the production and process used to create whisky. She submitted a dress created from fine and elastic yarn and used specialist techniques such as lace holes and laddering. 

Grace said: “The weavers award has been such a beneficial experience. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to take part and receive runner up. The prize will really help to improve and enhance my learning in the near future.”

The Weaver Incorporation's newly appointed Deacon, Martin Wiseman, who hosted this year’s ceremony, said: “I was extremely impressed by the standard of work from students at Gray’s School of Art who are clearly ensuring that the centuries-old principles and practices of the Weavers continue. As an organisation, the Aberdeen Weaver’s Incorporation is extremely proud to support these awards which help nurture and encourage students from Gray’s who are the future of the textiles industry in Scotland.”

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 as they start their careers. This may include, for example, purchasing a piece of equipment and materials, a study trip, or a specialised workshop.

The Dean for Gray’s School of Art, Libby Curtis, Gray's newly appointed Head of Fashion and Textiles, Elaine Gowans, and RGU’s Vice Principal for Economic Development, Donella Beaton, also joined the Weaver Incorporations Career Enhancement Awards evening, which took place on 7 November at Trinity Hall, Holburn Street.

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