A University of Chester graduate has been named as one of the world’s most up-and-coming designers of sustainable fashion.

Lili Sipeki
Lili Sipeki

Lili Sipeki is among 10 emerging designers announced as finalists in the highly-prestigious, global 2021 Redress Design Award.

Recognised as the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, the Grand Final Show in Hong Kong was opened with Lili’s collection.

By putting sustainable design talent in the global spotlight, the competition creates a unique platform for passionate and talented fashion game-changers to transform the fashion industry.

Lili’s Redress Design Award collection ‘REuniFORM’, focuses on tackling the large amount of waste that results from school uniforms. She reconstructs secondhand garments to transform them via patchworking techniques and quilting into elaborate, multi-functional and customisable high fashion garments that contradict the very notion of the uniform. Detachable pockets, frills and details increase the value and longevity of the garments.

Lili graduated from the University’s Fashion Design Bachelor of Arts programme in 2020 with First Class Honours and her final degree collection research was focused on creating zero waste sustainable fashion solutions.

Lili, from Hungary, said: “As we are moving towards a more circular fashion industry, we are all responsible to incorporate sustainability into our design process and we should all make it a top priority when developing new designs.”

She added: “It was such an amazing experience being part of the Redress competition. It was a lot of hard work but seeing my designs come to life on the runway made it all worth it.”

Delphine Wilson, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Design at the University of Chester which is in the Guardian University Guide’s top ten University Fashion and Textile courses, said: “Congratulations to Lili on this amazing achievement.

“We’re extremely proud that she has been recognised with this coveted Award, championing designers who are spearheading skilful creative reuse of waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new fashionable products.

“She thoroughly deserves the recognition, also making it to the semi-final of the 2018 Redress Design Award cycle. Lili is making her mark in the fashion industry and will continue to do so; we’re delighted this accolade has highlighted how she is one-to-watch for the future.”

International Judge and Chief Operating Officer of TAL Group, Christophe Degoix added: “Promoting sustainable products is critical to the future of the apparel industry and these young designers across the world are showing us the way.”

Redress is the global leading NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) fighting textile wastage in the fashion industry.

While Lili just missed out on the first and runner-up prizes, her collection will continue to feature in a Redress exhibition.

Further information on the Award is available at: https://www.redressdesignaward.com.

To watch the Grand Final Show, please visit: https://youtu.be/jhpj-NirGe4 and for more about Lili and her work, go to: http://www.sipekilili.com.

Further information

  • Every second, the equivalent of one rubbish truck of textiles is landfilled or burned globally. Source: Ellen Macarthur Foundation (2020), The Circular Economy: A transformative COVID 19 strategy.
  • Textile waste is estimated to increase by 60% by 2030 (from 2017 numbers). Source: Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. (2017), Pulse of the Fashion Industry.
  • Designers are said to influence around 80% of a product’s environmental impact. Source: EU Science Hub (2018), Sustainable Product Policy.

Designers who recently completed their studies at the University have made the shortlist for the biggest-ever online showcase of graduate creatives worldwide, supported by fashion powerhouse Gucci.

Interior Design BA Honours graduates Alexandra Costache and Sophie Downes have been named as finalists in the Global Design Graduate Show 2021.

The 2021 Show, run by Arts Thread – the world’s leading network for emerging designers and artists – in collaboration with Gucci, is the second edition of this initiative and was open to all art and design students graduating in the year 2020-21 (undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate), in any related creative discipline, located anywhere in the world.

Alexandra and Sophie were shortlisted in the Product, Architecture and Interiors category by industry experts after 5,211 students uploaded their end of year projects across four categories this year. The others were: Fashion, Accessories and Textiles; Digital, Visual Communication and Film, and Fine Art, Photography and Craft.

Alexandra Costaches project The Harlech Collective
Alexandra Costaches project The Harlech Collective

Alexandra’s proposition titled ‘The Harlech Collective’ repurposes an existing building to create a sustainable community environment where residents have both private individual living accommodation and a vibrant communal space. Considering the history of the site, the new concept aims to preserve elements of the original architecture and materials whilst creating a new atrium allowing natural light to come through the building to house a range of communal spaces in a unique atmosphere.

Sophie Downes project Ailwylltio
Sophie Downes project Ailwylltio

Sophie’s project titled ‘Ailwylltio’ (Rewilding) reimagines Dorothea Quarry, an abandoned slate quarry on the Snowdonia Slate Trail, as a cultural hub. The proposal explores the narrative of natural rewilding, and the evolution of a landscape scarred by slate mining.

Lynne Bell, Programme Lead for Interior Design at the University of Chester said: “We are delighted that both Alexandra and Sophie have been shortlisted for the Arts Thread Global Design Graduate Show 2021. Both portfolios demonstrate their exceptional design skills and imaginative approach to the visual communication of their projects. Good luck Alexandra and Sophie.”

To see all of the entrants in all the categories, and for further details about the show, please visit: https://www.artsthread.com/events/globaldesigngraduateshow.

The winners will be announced on Monday October 18.

Welcome to Student News – the University of Chester’s online magazine for all its students.

We’re always keen to hear from contributors, writers, and photographers. If you fancy practising your writing skills and building up a portfolio of work, or simply sharing a passion, then get in touch.

From music reviews; fitness tips; events or volunteering we would love to hear your ideas.

There is no regular time commitment – you can get involved just once or as many times as you like.

Contributing content to Student News can be included as an activity towards the Chester Difference Award and you will also be able to log volunteering hours via your online volunteer profile.

Contact communications@chester.ac.uk to find out more about contributing to Student News.

Students will help to bring historical objects to life in an interactive exhibition marking the start of a wide-reaching one-year initiative led by the University of Chester in collaboration with the Grosvenor Museum and the University of Oxford.

The ‘Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries 1000-1700 (MOB): Exhibiting, Handling and Teaching the Past through Everyday Objects’ project gets under way this month (September). The initiative seeks to challenge perceptions of the medieval and early modern worlds as static and unchanging, and elite narratives of history by focusing on everyday objects.

The first chance to get involved is offered with a pop-up exhibition for people to safely handle medieval and early modern objects from the Grosvenor Museum, as part of Chester Cathedral’s Medieval Discovery Day on Saturday September 11. University of Chester History and Archaeology students will help visitors examine objects such as keys, shoes and ceramics, and the story behind them, while also discussing and gathering feedback on the MOB project and its wider impact.

Students with everyday historical objects at the Grosvenor Museum in 2019 (pre-COVID).
Students with everyday historical objects at the Grosvenor Museum in 2019 (pre-COVID).

The event comes after it was announced earlier this year that the project of almost £100,000 had been made possible by a successful funding bid. The project is funded in the main by a UK Research and Innovation Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Follow on Funding Grant for Impact and Engagement.

The initiative will see a public exhibition created at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester next year, featuring Augmented Reality representing the medieval interior of St John’s Cathedral. It will bring to light objects that have never been exhibited before and showcase the work of school students. An interactive website for visitors and members of the public on the exhibition and objects is currently being designed, to be launched before the exhibition. The grant will also provide the opportunity to set up more pop-up exhibitions and create Object Boxes with medieval and early modern artefacts from the Grosvenor’s collection to be loaned to primary and secondary schools, alongside videos on the objects and how to use them in educational settings.

The project is led by Katherine Wilson, Associate Professor of Later Medieval European History in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Chester and the co-investigator Leah Clark, Associate Professor and Director of Studies for Art History, from the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oxford.

Prof Wilson said: “We are very excited to start the project, to enable the public to view and handle the objects and to create Object Boxes for schools to use.

“By allowing more people the chance to get up close to artefacts that are normally inaccessible, we want to widen opportunities for the public and pupils to experience history, think about how people lived in the past and help us question existing narratives of history through the objects.”

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing added: “This is the start of an exciting project to bring history to life. I’m delighted Grosvenor Museum is involved in bringing this opportunity to visitors, as part of Chester Cathedral’s Medieval Discovery Day on September 11, and going forward, the public exhibition at the Museum and Object Boxes for schools next year.”

The Medieval Discovery Day at Chester Cathedral celebrates the medieval past of the building and area, with a range of fun activities and experiences. Tickets are £10 per adult for the entire day, and children (up to 16 years of age) are free. Pre-booking is advised. For further information, please visit: https://chestercathedral.com/event/medieval-discovery-day/.

Using the existing partnerships set up with the Grosvenor Museum from an earlier AHRC Network Award, the MOB public exhibition will be held at the Grosvenor Museum in the Spring/Summer of 2022. This main exhibition will bring to wider public and non-specialist attention the collections of everyday objects in the museum collections, such as shoes, tiles, pilgrim tokens, chests and keys, and will reveal the ways in which objects allowed people in the past to move across thresholds and boundaries, from public to private spaces, from secular to religious spaces and across global trade networks.

Alongside examples of creative work by regional school students, it will feature Augmented Reality work by Martin Moss of Dextra Visual and an interactive website from the Informatics Centre at the University of Chester, overseen by the University’s Department of Computer Science, for people to immerse themselves in the movement and settings of the objects.

The design and production of Object Boxes and teaching resources will provide a unique and sustainable school enrichment experience to support History at Key Stages One to Four and GCSE level. These Object Boxes will be designed by the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services at the University of Chester, in close collaboration with a teaching advisory team made up of teachers and PGCE students. The boxes will include selected everyday objects from the Grosvenor Museum Collection, as well as lesson plans, worksheets, and creative writing tools appropriate for each key stage and GCSE. Any school that wishes to can access them, allowing all students a handling experience with original artefacts from the medieval and early modern periods.

More information can be found on the impact and engagement work of the MOB grant, with the Grosvenor Museum and with schools, at:https://mobilityofobjectsacrossboundaries.wordpress.com.

Young people with enterprising ideas focusing on everything from the arts to recycling have been given a boost in their endeavours with an exciting adventure combining business workshops and intrepid outdoor activities.

Ten entrepreneurial University of Chester students won a place on the 2021 Santander Universities UK five-day Venture Adventure after a highly-competitive application process.

Students and staff who were part of the 2021 Santander Universities Venture Adventure
Students and staff who were part of the 2021 Santander Universities Venture Adventure.

They enjoyed both business sessions and adrenaline sports at the famous mountaineering venue of Plas y Brenin National Outdoor Centre, in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, during August.

The Venture Adventure develops entrepreneurial thought and action, through a memorable mix of interactive talks and activities including kayaking, open boating, stand-up paddle boarding, raft building, indoor and outdoor climbing and abseiling.

The students and their businesses – some of which are already up-and-running – are:

  • Liam Boyle – Vincovits – a vitamin supplement manufacturing company.
  • Asotah Wisdom – SS Glass and Tiles – converting glass waste into tiles used for walls and flooring purposes.
  • Anthony Isiwele – Dew Drops African Mart – an African food shop in Warrington.
  • Klaudiusz Trzebuniak – KT Enterprise – high-quality hand-crafted wooden furniture.
  • Vijay Manchikanti – VKM Granules PVT LTD – a plastic recycling business, making granules from waste plastic that can be recycled into, for example, kitchen and cosmetics items – reducing single use of plastic.
  • Okodi Donatus – Don Fish Farm – fish farming packaging to enable the fish to remain fresh, visible and healthy.
  • Niccole Sumler – Amerland’s (a word play on America and England as Niccole is from America) – an Art Centre that incorporates creative writing, music, drawing, and cooking in one place. The mission is to help children and teenagers create their voice and boost their confidence through art.
  • Jacob Trainer – My Uni Life UK – a mobile application produced by students for students, to share experiences and support them with student life.
  • Jak Jones – Jak Jones Productions – a freelance videography and photography studio.
Taking the raft built together on the water.
Taking the raft built together on the water.

Student Patrycjusz Szubryt, who is developing Shubrit and Shubrit, a professional consulting business providing a framework for the introduction of successful AI (Artificial Intelligence) during digital process transformations, also won a place and while unable to attend has participated fully in other aspects of the initiative. 

An added highlight for each finalist was receiving a signed copy of the first book by acclaimed entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, founder of Social Chain and the youngest Dragon from Dragons’ Den. Business lecturer Franceska Shollo attended a book signing by the Dragon after bumping into him at a train station, and thanked him with an Instagram film clip of all the students receiving his book. She was delighted when Steven shared the clip to his extensive audience of followers.

Master of Business Administration student, Anthony Isiwele.
Master of Business Administration student, Anthony Isiwele.

Anthony Isiwele, a Master of Business Administration student from Nigeria, said: “The Venture Adventure was a one-in-a-million opportunity.

He added: “Plas y Brenin was amazing and jaw dropping; it was fun from day one and exciting to pitch my business idea for Dew Drops African Mart, offering all fresh African foods and condiments in Warrington.

“I feel very privileged to have been chosen to take part and learned so much. Thank you to the University of Chester, Santander and everyone who made it an unforgettable experience.”

Dr Connie Hancock, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Management at the University of Chester Business School said: “The combined resources of the Business School team of entrepreneurial support specialists and Santander Universities, have provided these student entrepreneurs with a superb opportunity to develop their capacity to innovate and transfer a business idea into a sustainable proposition. 

“Our time at Plas y Brenin was filled with learning, challenge and development. This type of student experiential opportunity equips our students with lifelong skills and knowledge. The results were outstanding with impressive business plans and skilled pitch decks being delivered towards the end of the five days.

“We’re extremely grateful to everyone at Santander Universities UK; everyone at Plas y Brenin; our colleagues at the Business School, in particular Dr Henry Sidsaph, Franceska Shollo, Sue Benson and Dr Ying Zhao; Laura James-Mowbray from Angels Invest Wales; Gary Hewins for the Belbin Team Roles session; Kirsty Badrock from the fantastic Venture Programme run at the University; Steven Bartlett for signing 10 of his books and AM Clothing for our branded hoodies.”

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK, added: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK. We’re delighted to support students at the University of Chester and enable them to develop their business ideas further.”

For further information about the Venture Adventure please visit: https://www.instagram.com/ventureadventure2021/.

Artwork by students inspired by Chester and North Wales has been chosen from hundreds of pieces to win a national competition and go on display across the UK.

Earlier this year Network Rail asked art students throughout Britain to design their very own postcard that represented places they missed during the pandemic and were looking forward to visiting again once travel restrictions had ended.

Entrants to the Wish I Was There competition submitted almost 270 pieces of work and University of Chester Fine Art students, Christopher Bunn and Nataliia Marchuk are delighted to be among the winning 20. Chris’s work depicts Llandudno Promenade in North Wales and Nataliia chose the historic Chester city centre as her subject.

Chris worked from his own photographs, sketches and memories, to create the piece where the viewer looks back towards the Llandudno shoreline, instead of the usual viewpoint of looking straight out to sea. The 35-year-old from Sandbach in Cheshire, and whose wife is Welsh, said that Llandudno was a meaningful place for him and he had always thought that even if it was raining in North Wales, he would prefer to be there rather than sitting in the sun elsewhere.

Nataliia’s work shows Chester’s most famous landmark, the Eastgate Clock, at sunset. The 22-year-old, originally from the Ukraine, said she loved sunsets in Chester because you could see the sky very clearly, with all the colours reflecting upon the buildings and streets, and it was her favourite time for a walk.

The paintings are now part of an exhibition celebrating special places the length and breadth of Britain and showcasing the next generation of artists and their extraordinary creativity. Each of the top 20 has also been awarded £2,500.

Chris is chalking up the wins after also recently triumphing in a competition held by My Clubmoor to transform the area around its community hub in the heart of Liverpool. Chris was named as one of three winners of the graphic design/typography/mural competition and will see his work transferred onto the shutters on the local shops next to their Community Hub.

Chris said: “I hope that people will get something positive from looking at my paintings and I am obviously pleased that more people are able to see my work through Network Rail’s competition. I am really happy to be sharing this experience with other artists across the country, and especially the talented Nataliia Marchuk.”

Nataliia added: “I felt very happy and honoured when I found out I had won. In a very subtle way, I shared some of my very dear personal experience through the painting I submitted. It means a lot to me than just a landscape of Chester and it is a great feeling to know that people across the UK can see it. I hope that this piece can make the day of whoever looks at it a bit brighter.”

Bernadine Murray, Associate Professor and Head of Art and Design at the University of Chester, said: “Congratulations to Chris and Nataliia for winning this nationwide competition.

“The judges have recognised their extraordinary work – and its power to move people. They are perfect choices for the exhibition to inspire visitors to think about the places that are special to them – and take a trip somewhere they’ve been longing to visit.”

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Chair of Network Rail, said: “The standard of art submitted has been beyond exceptional and reflects how much we have all missed travelling.

“The railway has a long history of creating works of art to promote the destinations that people can travel to by train, and the art submitted completely and utterly reflects that. This art will become a part of history, documenting what has been an unprecedented time for all of us.”

The postcard exhibition ran at London Waterloo station for two weeks and is now touring the country, with a final stop in Scotland, as follows:

  • Reading Station: August 2 to 8
  • Liverpool Lime Street Station: August 9 to 15
  • Leeds Station: August 16 to 22
  • Glasgow Central Station: August 23 to 29.

For further information on the competition, and to visit an online shop where the artwork is available as postcards, greeting cards and posters, please visit: https://www.wishiwasthere.love and look out for the #wishiwasthere hashtag on social media.

To see more of Chris’s work, please go to: www.facebook.com/chris.bunn.712 www.instagram.com/cbunn_oilpainter or https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-bunn-9b89a71b8/.

To take a look at more of Nataliia’s work, see: www.instagram.com/natalia_march_art.

The University of Chester Art and Design Department’s social media accounts can also be followed at: www.instagram.com/uoc_artanddesign and www.facebook.com/uocartanddesign.

Greater success is in sight for graduates chosen as winners of the 2021 Enterprise Challenge after they impressed an expert panel of judges with their visionary idea to transform the eyewear industry.

Juan Rosalina Tejoprayitno and Daniel Barnes were selected from more than 70 entries and 10 finalists for the coveted title, in the University initiative run by The Graham Shapiro Foundation and powered by ARCET Global.

Enterprise Challenge 2021 winners, Lina Tejoprayitno and Daniel Barnes, at their Trafford Centre Pop Specs kiosk.
Enterprise Challenge 2021 winners, Lina Tejoprayitno and Daniel Barnes, at their Trafford Centre Pop Specs kiosk.

Juan Rosalina, known as Lina, and Daniel have won £1,000 plus a mentorship programme from the Foundation to further develop Pop Specs, their business which aims to change the way people buy prescription glasses.

The pair met while studying for their Master’s in Business Administration at the University’s Business School and quickly became best friends. During the first lockdown of 2020 they set upon the idea to create trendy, affordable, and instantly ready specs. Dan’s expertise in optics and Lina’s ability to get the job done helped them to make Pop Specs a reality; a dream come true.

Using high-tech, cutting-edge machinery, customers can visit a kiosk, and benefit from a fitting service and styling advice. They only need to wait 20 minutes to get their new single vision glasses – including the frame, lens and anti-glare coating, for just £25 to £45. The fashionable frames along with the affordable price range and speed are making Pop Specs stand out from online competitors and other glasses stores.

They currently have a kiosk at the Trafford Centre in Manchester and plan to open in more prime locations.

Lina, who was born and raised in Indonesia and studied her undergraduate degree in Chicago, said: “Thank you to Graham Shapiro, the Foundation, ARCET Global, the University of Chester Business School and all the judges for this award.

“It means so much to us and will help us to expand the business and help others we work with and offer a service to.”

Daniel, from Chester, said: “We believe our idea will revolutionise the eyewear industry and this award chosen by inspiring business leaders gives us greater confidence and incentive.

“Being a start-up venture, it inspires us to push harder and further. Thank you for all the work in offering this opportunity.”

Graham Shapiro, driving force for the Challenge and Entrepreneur in Residence at University of Chester Business School, said: “Congratulations to Lina and Daniel. The competition was intense and very competitive; the level of initiative and enterprise has been incredible – but they are very deserving winners with their new take on how people visit eyewear retailers and purchase their glasses.

“On behalf of The Graham Shapiro Foundation, I would like to thank all participants for taking part in the Enterprise Challenge 2021.

“The aim of these awards is to encourage entrepreneurial endeavour, reward initiative and recognise that good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, at any time – and the competition has highlighted some remarkable examples.

“I also want to thank our expert judges: Alissa Koopal, Cody Gapare, Joel Blake OBE, John Mohin OBE, Martin Nolan and Rob McKay; my Trustee Mark Hamill and his company ARCET Global for the incredible online awards platform and virtual ceremony, Associate Prof Connie Hancock, Dr Henry Sidsaph and the marketing team at the University of Chester.”

Mark Hamill, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ARCET Global said: “ARCET Global is proud to be able to support such a fantastic initiative. As young entrepreneurs ourselves, we know just how important these opportunities are. Kudos to The Graham Shapiro Foundation and University of Chester for bringing this to life.

“Well done to all the finalists, to make it that far is a huge achievement in itself, and a huge congratulations to Daniel and Lina, we wish you and Pop Specs all the best in the future.”  

Dr Connie Hancock, Associate Professor and Head of Department for Management at Chester Business School added: “Lina and Daniel are extremely worthy winners – and this award recognises their innovation and drive. We are extremely proud of all they have achieved – and are set to further achieve.

“We are privileged to be able to support students and graduates with this Enterprise Challenge made possible by Graham Shapiro, the Foundation, ARCET Global and our amazing judges.”

The Graham Shapiro Foundation is a charity that supports mental health, well-being, innovation and young entrepreneurialism in the UK and ARCET Global is a leading provider of professional services.

To watch a video of the virtual awards ceremony, which was initially live streamed on Wednesday July 14, videos from all the finalists, and for further information about the Enterprise Challenge, please visit: https://arcetglobal.com/uc-enterprise-challenge.

More about Pop Specs is available at https://www.pop-specs.com, https://www.facebook.com/PopSpecsTraffordCentre and https://www.instagram.com/pop.specs.

Full details on the judging panel:

John M Mohin OBE D.Univ, Chairman of Graham Shapiro Design; Alissa Koopal, Chief Executive Officer at Pennine Events Ltd; Rob McKay, Managing Director of Sherrington Associates; Martin Nolan, Business and Leadership Coach; Cody Gapare, Founder of multi award-winning C-Lash as seen by Eylure, and Joel Blake OBE, Business Leader, Entrepreneur and Public Speaker.

Stand-out work from ones to watch in the art and design world has been celebrated with milestone-marking University of Chester degree awards.

Judges were given extremely difficult decisions to make in selecting winners in this year’s University Art and Design Shows awards, with a breadth of awe-inspiring work to choose from.

But after careful consideration, winners have been chosen from the Un-locked Show of work from third years, which represents the culmination of students’ degree studies, and End of Year Shows exhibiting the work of first and second year students.

The Shows, taking place online this year, place the work of students from seven undergraduate programmes in the spotlight – these are: Fashion Design; Fashion Marketing and Communication; Fine Art; Graphic Design; Interior Design; Photography; and Product Design.

The overall winner of the Un-locked Show, chosen by the Vice-Chancellor, was Interior Design student Jamie Johnson Gore.

Jamie designed a multi-dining space to provide a meeting point to connect the canal network and offer a place to relax, socialise and engage with the city of Chester, contrasting against the isolation of life living on a canal boat.

Jamie, from the Wirral, said: “After making a significant career change and feeling apprehensive about starting university, I feel that winning the University of Chester Vice-Chancellor Choice Award and seeing my work as part of such a successful exhibition has given me a great sense of pride for what I have achieved over the last three years.

“Working hard to gain new skills and experiences has given me the confidence to believe in my own ability and enabled me to pursue a career within the Interior Design industry immediately after completion of my degree.”

Rose Meredith, who was awarded the Evoke Creative prize for Product Design students, for her outstanding final degree project and overall excellence throughout her three-year course, also described her joy at being chosen.

Rose created a set for designers to use to encourage a better relationship between play spaces and natural surroundings, as well as risk and safety, considering play values, and parental involvement.

Rose, from Prestatyn in North Wales said: “It’s a privilege to have such supportive connections such as Neil Clark from Evoke Creative; I was extremely grateful for their endorsement and generous prize.

Product Design student Rose Meredith and Evoke Creative CEO, Neil Clark
Product Design student Rose Meredith and Evoke Creative CEO, Neil Clark

“Receiving my results was a huge relief after the completion of my degree work and I’m excited for the future for both myself and all my peers.”

Rose, who will be studying for a Product Design Master’s in Manchester from later this year, added: “All the work presented at the exhibition was inspiring to see, I feel proud to be a part of the University of Chester.”

More than 30 awards and commendations were decided in total for graduating students, level five (second year) and level four (first year) students. All winners receive certificates while the level four, five and the Un-locked overall winner, in addition, receive Amazon vouchers while Rose was also presented with a VR headset by Evoke.

Associate Professor Bernadine Murray, Head of Department for Art and Design said: “The judges were highly impressed with the outstanding ideas, the quality of the finish, the professionalism, the range of approaches and skills on show. Our students have excelled themselves and not made the selection of winners an easy task.

“Congratulations to all who have been named in these awards – it’s wonderful to hear the students’ happiness and honour in winning, and the confidence it has given them for their next steps.

“We’ve held an online ceremony but look forward to an event, to celebrate in person, when we are able to – as well as seeing what our students achieve next. They’ve already made an impact and are set for further great things in the art and design world.”

To see the Shows, log onto the Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC) Gallery website at www.cascgallery.co.uk and tour through a 3D version of the city centre gallery on the Artsteps platform. Alternatively, flick through a slideshow of all the work directly on the website.

For more from the Art and Design department at the University of Chester, please visit their social media accounts at: www.instagram.com/uoc_artanddesign

and www.facebook.com/uocartanddesign.

Product Design can be followed at: www.instagram.com/productdesign.chester,

Fashion Design at: www.instagram.com/fashionatchester and Fashion Marketing and Communication at: www.instagram.com/uoc_studio_204.

The CASC Gallery is also on social media at: www.instagram.com/cascgallery and www.facebook.com/CASCgallery.

In addition, Art and Design publications from students and staff can be viewed on Issuu: https://issuu.com/artanddesignatchester?issuu_product=header&issuu_subproduct=document_page&issuu_context=link&issuu_cta=profile.


The award-winners

Graduating students:

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Choice and overall winner – Jamie Johnson Gore (Interior Design);
  • The People’s Choice, voted for by the general public – Annie Maskell (Graphic Design);
  • Evoke Creative prize for Product Design – Rose Meredith;
  • Helen MacDougall – University Prize for Fine Art;
  • Jade Gore (Fine Art) – The Alex Roberts Prize – acknowledging the art and creation of their work using traditional methods and techniques;
  • Jagroop Bains – The Storrar Cowdry Solicitors Prize for Fine Art;
  • Emelia Brooks – University Prize for Graphic Design;
  • Sarah Sadler – University Prize for Photography;
  • Highly commended – Caitlyn Jones (Photography); Hannah McGuckin (Fashion Marketing and Communication); Jade Williams (Fashion Design); Dean Lockett (Fine Art); Danielle Maw (Product Design); Chloe Craig (Graphic Design);
  • Commended – Aimee Arrowsmith (Photography); Helen MacDougall; Chloe Longley and Sandra Lagzda (all Fine Art).
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost’s Choice:
  • Highly commended – Susan Grundy (Fashion Design); Naomi Lehepuu (Fashion Marketing and Communication); Theerapong Saobuppha (Fine Art); Melissa Dasher (Graphic Design and Photography for Graphic Design work); Jamie Johnson Gore (Interior Design) and Oliver Rowan (Product Design);
  • Commended – Ellie Lyon (Fashion Marketing and Communication); Niamh Dickinson (Fine Art with Photography, for Fine Art work); Orlaith Keating (Fine Art); Muthuthanthrige Fernando (Graphic Design) and Rita De Oliveira Cruz (Graphic Design);
  • Overall winner – Carla Saunders (Graphic Design and Photography for Photography work).

Level five (second year):

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Choice – Nia Robinson (Fine Art); Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Choice – Heleena Houston (Fashion Marketing and Communication).

Level four (first year):

  • Executive Dean for Arts and Humanities’ Choice – Josh Shaw (Photography).

Students are helping to forge a more ethical future for the fashion industry after working with a global manufacturer of eco-friendly faux fur and a leading animal charity to create statement garments.

Final year undergraduate Fashion Design students have embraced the opportunity to be part of the KOBA School project run by faux fur producer Ecopel and PETA UK (the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Ecopel supplied 25 metres of sustainable and vegan faux fur for five students to feature as part of their designs. The clothes are currently being showcased in their final degree show collections.

All the materials used are from Ecopel’s disused stocks, promoting the concept of up-cycling, and a selection of KOBA® bio-based fur made using the Sorona® technology.

Delphine Wilson, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Design, said: “The students’ enthusiasm and creativity has shone during this project. They have really enjoyed being part of the KOBA School – and have created stunning pieces from the faux fur.

“It has been a welcome highlight, especially in these times of a pandemic – and helps to spread among the new generation of designers the message that animal-free and sustainable materials are fundamental in fashion.

“We’re extremely grateful for the great opportunity to work with the feel-good materials, provoke discussions about animal use in fashion, and inspire change for a greener and more responsible textile industry.”

Student Georgia-Lea Clutton Baxter said: “It’s been really exciting to work with Ecopel faux fur on my final collection, as part of the KOBA School.

Student Georgia-Lea Clutton Baxter working on her design
Student Georgia-Lea Clutton Baxter working on her design.

“I am in love with the variety of faux furs Ecopel sent – the quality is amazingly soft and I was thrilled they had a pink option. My collection is about dyslexia and seeing the positivity within it, particularly for children, so I wanted to use bright colours and this fur’s been perfect for my designs.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity and here in Fashion Design at the University of Chester, we believe that animal-free and sustainable materials are the future.”

Arnaud Brunois, from Ecopel, said: “We are particularly happy to help the new generation of designers. The creations made by the students are beautiful and demonstrate the fact that faux fur is a great versatile and progressive material that combines positive values such as creativity, sustainability and respect for animals.”

Elisa Allen, PETA Director, added: “The future of fashion lies in humane, eco-friendly materials, not animals’ fur and skins. We’re excited to help bring Ecopel’s innovative textiles to the University of Chester for a collaboration that showcases the many dazzling possibilities of vegan fashion.”

Ecopel has developed high end faux fur for more than 300 top fashion brands. For more information on Ecopel, KOBA® bio-based fur and the Sorona® technology please visit: www.ecopel.com.

For further details on PETA UK, please go to: www.peta.org.uk.

To see the students’ collections, take a look at www.cascgallery.co.uk/fashion-design-2021 which is part of the Un-locked online exhibition of work by graduating Art and Design students.

A video of students talking about being part of the KOBA School project can also be viewed at: https://youtu.be/pD16RDCXmrk while designs and more about the initiative can be found at: https://www.instagram.com/fashionatchester and https://www.facebook.com/fashionatchester.

University student volunteers are supporting Chester Cathedral colleagues to ensure historic books are conserved for future generations – and the public is invited to watch the work in action.

History and Archaeology students will carry out the work at the Cathedral, as part of a free Chester Heritage Festival week-long event this month.

Experts Naomi Watts-Kitto and Emily Lanigan, from the Cathedral’s Works Department, will train 16 student volunteers to assess the state of books in the Cathedral library, collected by Bishop of Chester, William Jacobson in the 19th-century.

Emily Lanigan
Emily Lanigan (pictured) and Naomi Watts-Kitto from Chester Cathedral will lead History and Archaeology student volunteers in the conservation work.

They will prioritise them for conservation, and complete aspects of the conservation such as cleaning and binding. The work will be open to the public to view in the Cathedral nave, where the students will be happy to discuss their work.

Dr Thomas Pickles, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Chester, said: “This is a great opportunity for Chester students to learn new heritage skills for their future careers, to contribute to the upkeep of the Cathedral’s wonderful book collection, and to raise awareness of the Cathedral as a public place for the people of Chester.”

People can drop in to the Cathedral at St Werburgh Street and see the work on the collection, from Friday June 18 to Friday June 25. The event is open daily (except Sunday) between 10am and 4pm, with COVID safety measures in place. Entry is free, however donations are welcome.

Chester Heritage Festival aims to bring the city’s history to life and to tell the stories that have accumulated over two millennia. The annual event is a partnership led by Cheshire West and Chester Council, Chester Civic Trust, Marketing Cheshire, Chester Cathedral and others, with a host of live and online events organised up until June 28.

For further information on the Festival and the book conservation event please visit: www.chesterheritagefestival.co.uk.