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Portrait photo of NUA  lecturer Les Bicknell

NUA academic’s book “one of the year’s best”

A book by NUA academic Les Bicknell has been picked as one of the year’s top 10 artists’ books of the year.

Using a known to make an unknown by Les, Senior Lecturer in BA (Hons) Textile Design, has been picked as one of best artists’ books of 2017 by Sarah Bodman, artist and editor of the Artist’s Book Yearbook and The Blue Notebook journal. Through 2017, Les has been artist-in-residence at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at Cambridge University exploring the connection between science and art. His latest work considers the manipulation of matter and making the ‘invisible visible’.

Read more of Sarah’s best book selections

Interior designer from London’s B3 offers her advice to NUA students

Be curious, be brave and write down why you like the places you love. That was the advice to NUA students from Maria Oliva, Project Leader and Interior Designer at B3, the prestigious London interior design company.

B3 specialises in designing interiors for the hospitality sector – from independent restaurants, hotels and bars to major chains like Nando’s and Las Iguanas. On a visit to NUA’s Interior Design course, Maria explained how she moved from studying architecture to working in interior design after graduation. Maria advised students to “always be curious”.

“Always learn new things; never think that you’ve arrived at the final destination, and always push yourself to learn more,” she said. “My second tip would be to be brave. Always challenge yourself to do things you haven’t done before – you’ll learn by doing it. Finally, surround yourself with a good environment – go to places you like and write down why you like those places and what brings a good design to life. Also surround yourself with people who love design so you can absorb from them and the environment.”

Esther Lowles standing next to her winning work at Directblinds.co.uk

Textile Design student wins national design competition

A brush-stroke pattern inspired by the Danish word Hygge – invoking cosiness and comfort in everyday things – by Year Three student Esther Lowles has won a design competition run by a UK blind manufacturer. Esther’s design beat competition from 40 students nationwide to win the £250 first prize from directblinds.co.uk. Esther’s prize included a visit to the company’s factory in Huddersfield to see how her design will go into production.
“The competition was set up as an opportunity for students to gain real world experience of creating successful commercial designs,” Esther said. “The brief was very open, meaning I had to research and come to my own conclusions about what would make my design successful and appropriate for the context. After the designs were entered they were then judged by industry professionals.
“This was an incredibly encouraging experience and I was able to gain invaluable insight into what companies are looking for when it comes to design work for interiors.”
See Esther’s winning design

Graduate creates designs for Anthropologie featured on Netflix Series

After exhibiting at New Designers as part of her time at NUA, graduate Siobahn Palmer was approached by Anthropologie USA, an international fashion and interiors retailer, to produce a collection of designs for a series of luxury tea towels. The designs featuring humorous and detailed illustrations of animals were digitally printed with embroidery detail, with the illustrations originating from hand painted drawings. The tea towels were a best seller and featured within Anthropologie’s Spring/Summer look book as well as being sold by Selfridges, London, Anthropologie’s flagship store in Chelsea and in various luxury department stores in the USA. The designs were also featured on 2017 Netflix series Love, created by renown writer and producer Judd Apatow (Girls, Superbad, Anchorman).

Amelia Ellwood NUA student winning award at New Designers 2017

Textile Design graduate scoops 2017 New Designers Prize

Annually, NUA Textile Design students have the opportunity to showcase their final work at emerging design exhibition, New Designers in London. Recently graduated third year Textile Design student, Amelia Ellwood was awarded the Kalopsia Associate Prize for her abstract and bold interior and fashion prints. Amelia was presented the Award at the Industry Private view in London, June 2017. See Amelia’s work on her website.

Jessica Grady, Textile

Textiles graduate wins Raw Talent 2017

Alumna Jessica Grady (BA (Hons) Textiles, 2014) has recently been chosen as a RAW Talent 2017 award winner. The scheme, run by Art& show, supports and helps to launch the careers of emerging contemporary artists and makers. Jessica’s award includes a free stand at the retail Art& show in York in October 2017. Earlier this year, Jessica was the only British artist invited to the International Show of the Arts of Thread, held in Nantes, France. She was also featured as an emerging artist in the 2017 North Yorkshire Open Studios.

Diversity Now! competition image

Student shortlisted for Diversity Now! awards

Second year Textile Design student Iga Szymanska has been shortlisted in the 2017 Diversity Now! Awards, within the ‘Garment Design’ category. The competition, in its fifth year is supported by Art Thread, in partner with All Walks Beyond the Catwalk and i.D magazine . The National student competition aims to empower the next generation of creatives, from design, film, photography and journalism to create a fashion future that promotes a broader range of body and beauty ideals to truly celebrate individuality. Iga’s submission for the competition ‘You are Beautiful’ aims to challenge the fashion and textile industry on their perception of the meaning of diversity. “In my project, I want to show that it doesn’t matter who you are, what country you’re from, what you do and what you look like. It doesn’t matter as we are all beautiful” said Iga. Find out more about Iga’s project Find out more about Iga’s project.

Amber Sherwoods pop up stand display at Country Living fair

Student wins competition to hold pop-up stand at Country Living fair

Year Three Textile Design student Amber Sherwood, was selected out of over 200 entries to hold a pop-up stand at the Country Living fair, Alexandra Palace during April 2017. The Country Living fair has been running for over 25 years and attracts an average of 16,500 visitors every year. The fair ‘celebrates the wonderful variety of makers, crafters, designers and producers that Britain has to offer’. Ambers’ stand (pictured) was located in the Pop-up Market section of the fair during Saturday 29 April, and included a variety of items such as scarves, necklaces, cushions and stools. Following the fair Amber said ‘We had an amazing day and felt very lucky to have been given the chance to be at the fair, and cannot thank the Country Living team enough’. Take a look at Amber’s website to view her current collection.


Students win at Prestigious Bradford Textiles Awards

NUA Textile Design students have been rewarded at this year’s Bradford Textile Society Awards 2016 – 2017. Established in 1893, the Society’s annual Design Competition, with a total prize money of over £10,000, is unique in its breadth of coverage and attracts almost 1,000 entries from students throughout the UK. This year NUA students were successful in several categories, as follows:

  • Rebecca Wilkinson (Year Two student) won 2nd prize for her submission (pictured) in the Prestigious Textiles award
  • Leah Bolton (Year Two) and Mark Mann (MA Textile Design) were awarded Commendations in the Prestigious Textiles award
  • Jenny Ross-Nevin and Lucy Perfect (both Year One students) were awarded Commendations in the Joseph.H. Clissold Award
  • Shona Morris (Year Three) student was awarded a Commendation for The British Wool Marketing Board award
  • Jessica Gower (Year Two) student was awarded a Commendation for the Clothworker’s foundation award

This competition, one of the oldest of its kind, is regarded by many as the most important event in the annual programme.

Graduate Commissioned by Virgin to complete mural at Gatwick Airport

2016 BA (Hons) Textile Design graduate, Ali Cottrell has completed a commission from Virgin Holidays for a space at Gatwick Airport. Whilst exhibiting her degree show work at New Designers 2016 in London, Ali was offered the commission, to provide imagery to fit an 11-metre wall in their new ‘v-room’, a private lounge space at the airport. Matthew Davies, a Senior Designer at Virgin Atlantic said, ‘Ali’s work is a perfect blend of interesting details, flashes of colour, and references to our destinations.’ Find out more about Ali’s work on her website.

NUA Student ‘Highly Commended’ at International Design Competition

Emily Wilgress, year three BA (Hons) Textile Design student has received a Highly Commended award in the SDC International Design competition 2017. The Society of Dyers and Colourists held the London Region of the annual competition during March 2017, at the iconic Fashion and Textile Museum in London. The competition invites Fashion and Textile Design undergraduates from across the region, to present their design boards to a judging panel of industry professionals. This year’s judges included Kathy Lewiston (Designer), Angela Wright (Colour Psychologist) and Eleanor Maclure (Graphic Designer). The judges congratulated all participants, and said ‘they had all demonstrated a passion for colour and innovative, sustainable design’. Well done Emily!


Textile Design Students present made at Craftco Gallery

Eight students from BA (Hons) Textile Design Course are exhibiting new work at the Craftco gallery in Southwold. The exhibition, made, is the culmination of a project which saw the students develop their practice and steer it towards the creation of ‘objects of desire’. The students have collectively worked together on the initial proposals for the exhibition right through to the development of the final pieces, all in the short space of two months. made will display items with both creative and practical value, but with innovative thinking at their core, including items created through spinning, weaving, knitting, embroidery and printing. Some of the design concepts exhibited at Made may be taken further and exhibited as part of the Textile Design students’ Degree Show in the summer of 2017. The exhibition is open 29 January – 23 February 2017. For full opening times and more information visit the Craftco website.

Les Bicknell

Artist in Residence for Senior Lecturer

Les Bicknell, Senior Lecturer in BA (Hons) Textile Design has secured Arts Council funding for an artist in residence at the Maxwell Centre NanoDTC in Cambridge for a year. Les has designed his project, unfolding thinking, to deepen a discussion of the connections linking contemporary art and innovative scientific thinking. Les will be working inside the labs at Cambridge University, making a space and engaging with research students to establish a body of new artwork interlacing with aspects of nanotechnology. His aim is to build a closer relationship with the scientific community, developing audiences for the arts and recognising the potential of the arts in science, technology, engineering and maths. Follow the project on the unfolding thinking website.

Lecturers and Graduate published in Futurescan 3

Three members of the BA (Hons) Textile Design Course team and a MA Textile Design graduate have contributed to a seminal publication for research in Fashion and Textiles. Senior Lecturers Les Bicknell, Grainne Swann and Jill Rodgers have published papers in Futurescan 3: Intersecting Identities. 2015 MA Textile Design graduate, Lydia Bartlett has also published a paper, Innovation through Interpretation: Investigating indigenous and historical material culture as a design tool . Les Bicknell’s paper, ‘smocking is evil? unpicking and rebinding’ (pictured), explores the role of the fold within historical and contemporary textiles. Jill and Grainne presented at The Futurescan 3 conference, Jill explains “It was an exciting opportunity for us to present to colleagues across the national and international Fashion and Textiles sector. Feedback from the conference was extremely positive and the publication of the paper opens up the work to new audiences.’ Find out more about Futurescan 3 conference and publication.

Charlotte-Eve Lindsey

Student selected for National Centre for Craft and Design Best of British

As part of their Best of British graduate talent exhibition, the National Centre for Craft and Design (NCCD) showcased Textile Design graduate Charlotte Eve Lindsey in the autumn of 2016. Charlotte Eve Lindsey’s work was selected by the NCCD to be included in their Class of 2016 show highlighting the best of Britain’s graduate talent. As part of its mission to celebrate and promote contemporary art and design, the Centre dedicates its top floor once a year to the work of those artists they identify as Britain’s rising stars. Their aim is to support and spur on the artists they see to be pushing boundaries with innovative working and thinking in their creation of exquisite objects. Charlotte’s work was on show at the top floor of the Centre from 10 September to 5 November 2016. Read more on the National Craft and Design website.

A photo posted by Norwich University of the Arts (@norwichuniarts) on

NUA at New Designers 2016

Textiles students from the graduating 2016 cohort had the exciting chance of showcasing their work in London’s Islington Design Centre in June. New Designers, the premier exhibition for graduate emerging design and textiles talent is a premier feature in the NUA Textiles calendar, with NUA students having a chance to showcase their work at the launch event. The private view kicked off the exhibition to hundreds of industry and media guests, trendsetters and design experts followed by a four day-long public exhibition. Print designer, Ali Cottrell was featured as a Graduate Highlight during the event.

Students with awards and car panels at NUA

Students design textile interiors for sports car

Year 2 Textile Design students gained essential industry experience by designing interiors for a high-performance sports car. Students were invited to join the project lead by Trident Sports Cars’ Head of Interior Trim and alumna, Rachael Martin. The students worked with a team at Trident Cars to design interior textile panels for the super car and were then presented awards by the Director of Trident Cars, Daniel Monaghan at NUA in June 2016.

Lecturer’s book on Photoshop and Illustrator within Textile Design published

Robert Hume, Lecturer in Textile Design, has been published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Robert’s book, Fashion and Textile Design with Photoshop Illustrator shares professional techniques and tips, whilst addressing creativity and self-expression. Robert said about the book, “I have drawn on my experience both as a designer and an educator to shape the book and there is a lot of emphasis on how drawing can be used imaginatively within the applications. The worksheets I developed for students at Norwich University of the Arts and the experiences with them in the Textile Design department created a good starting point for the book.”.

John MacAulay Image

Lecturer shortlisted for Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2016

NUA Lecturer John MacAulay has been shortlisted from over 740 artists for the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize for his painting What;s Going on In the World Today (pictured). John is one of 25 who have entered the next stage of the awards and his work will be exhibited until early July in the Ashurst Emerging Artist Space and offices, while the judges consider the winners announced this summer. To find out more visit the Ashurst Art Prize website.

Textile by Lizzie Kimbley

NUA Textile Design students gain best ever results in national textile competition

NUA students across all three year groups have been awarded a range of accolades at the highly regarded Bradford Textile Society Design Competition. 2016 was the first time that students from all three year groups of the BA Textile Design course and the MA Textile Design course received awards. Lizzie Kimbley, who is studying BA Textile Design, won first prize in the Woolmark Company Award and will receive a one week work placement in the studio of international womenswear designer, Teatum Jones. NUA students won a range of prizes in several categories at the prestigious awards. Established in 1893, the Bradford Textile Society is the oldest textile society in Britain, if not in the world. Its prize schemes, which have been the source of encouragement and inspiration to textile students and practising textile designers, and have helped to stimulate new developments in textile design and construction, and finishing and printing techniques. This competition, one of the oldest of its kind, is regarded by many as the most important event in the annual programme.

Hollie Quinn by her piece Peregrine

Second prize in Bishop’s Art Prize awarded to Textile Design student

Third year student Hollie Quinn won second prize in the Bishop’s Art Prize for her hand woven scarf ‘Peregrine’. Hollie used natural wool from British sheep breeds to represent Falcon bird patterns. Hollie exhibited her designs in Norwich Cathedral on 12 April and was awarded a prize of £500 by the Bishop of Norwich. Find out more about the annual Bishop’s Art Prize.

Rosie Butler-Hall is presented with award

Student wins accolade in international competition

Textile Design student, Rosie Butler-Hall, has received a Highly Commended place in the International Design Competition 2016 held by the Society of Dyers and Colourists in London. Rosie presented her concept in response to a brief of ‘Making it Personal’ to a panel of industry professionals at London’s Fashion and Textiles Museum. The Society was established in 1884 and has gone onto become a world renowned society, with the International Design Competition launched in 2002.


NUA Lecturer awarded Best New Designer

NUA lecturer and designer Kit Miles has been awarded the Homes and Gardens Award for Best New Designer at an awards ceremony held at the British Museum. His wallpaper design ‘Ecclesiastical Botanica’ was awarded for its dedication to drawing and attention to ‘exquisite detail’. The award is a culmination of a growing presence of Kit’s brand in the industry with his work now on sale at Liberty as a concession and his wallpaper designs in Luxury hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental and the Groucho club in London.


Student finalist in Hilarys Blinds competition

Year three student Ches Young has been shortlisted for the Hilarys Blind competition. In September 2015, Hilarys Blinds set an open challenge for up-coming creatives to design a Scandinavian-themed fabric for a Roller blind. Entrants had to consider the evolution of Scandi style, current trends, and how their final piece would sit in today’s marketplace. View Ches’s work and all of the shortlisted entries here. Read an article about Ches’s work here.


Graduate starts interior textiles business

Graduate Holly Montagnon (2015) has launched her own interior textiles brand called Violet Olivia, offering printed textile fabrics for the home with designs born from her love of the countryside and the British coastline. She says: “I am passionate about interior textiles and really enjoy the design process. My work, which is digitally printed, has a hand rendered feel which comes directly from my drawing approach.”


Conversation quilt project will aid dementia patients

A pioneering approach to helping people living with dementia using artwork with visual and sensual properties to aid responses on an emotional level is being trialled with the assistance of textiles students. The project was led by Grenville Court Care Home, which briefed students on how colour and texture can stimulate the brain and generate positive, calming responses amongst people whose cognitive function has degenerated significantly. The Year Two students developed proposals in response to this brief, with Margaret Bacon’s ‘Conversation Quilt’, designed to assist dementia patients and their families to talk about topics which spark memories, being taken forward. Find out more about the Grenville Court project.

Bishop's Art Prize

Student commended in Bishop’s Art Prize

Year Three student Zoe Nunn received commendation in the Bishop’s Art Prize 2015.

Supercar outside NUA

Students work with international super car manufacturer Trident

Textile Design students have contributed concepts and designs for the interiors of a new Norfolk-built supercar. The students were invited to participate in the project headed by Trident Sports Cars Head of Interior Design Rachael Martin, herself a graduate of the University.

Student in patterned dress

Student interviewed about Gt Yarmouth themed dress

Year Two Textile Design student Alison Cottrell has been interviewed by the Eastern Daily Press about her Great Yarmouth-inspired textile designs, which have been transformed into a dress. Read the interview on the EDP24 website.

judging process

Judging panel awards student prizes

The Wolterton Committee, headed by Lady Walpole, visited the Textile Design studios to review the student work entered for this year’s Angela Houston Constructed Textile Research and Travel Award. The two winners, Lizzie Kimbley (Year One) and Hannah Sabberton (Year Two), will each receive £250 funding for materials, travel opportunities or further workshops/training to further their studies.


Bradford Textile Society success

Year One students have swept the top two places in the Clothworkers’ Foundation Award for Woven Fabric for Interiors at this year’s Bradford Textile Society Design Competition. Winner Bethany Franks took the top prize of £250, while Lizzie Kimbley was awarded £150 for her second place in the category. Year Two student Margaret Bacon received a commendation in the Clothworkers’ Foundation Award for a fabric for either fashion or interiors which shows an innovative combination of textile processes. NUA graduate Linda Sadler also earned commendations from the British Wool Marketing Board Award for a fabric of any construction for interiors or outdoorwear which enhances the intrinsic qualities of natural British wool and the Clothworkers’ Foundation Award for a fabric for either fashion or interiors which shows an innovative combination of textile processes.

Amber Stefani

Student wins SDC bursary

Graduate Amber Stefani (2014) has been named as a runner up in the inaugural Bursary Recognition Award by the Society of Dyers and Colourists. The award aims to highlight the outstanding work of the bursary recipients who have pushed the boundaries of their innovative colour research and study with the help of SDC funding. Amber (pictured, right) works with colour and transparency with an interest in stained glass windows and the hexagon shape produced by bees to create a honeycomb.

Textiles work

Student placed in Batsford Prize

Katrina Ellis, a Year Two student, has been placed as a runner up in the Fine/Applied Arts category of the Batsford Prize. An annual competition for all undergraduate and postgraduate students, the Batsford Prize set as its theme this year ‘Past and Present’. Katrina, who won £50 worth of Batsford books, was among four NUA students who were shortlisted in the competition.

Jill Rodgers

Lecturer to present paper at national conference

Senior Lecturer Jill Rodgers has had a paper selected for Futurescan3: Intersecting Identities, the national conference of the Association of Fashion and Textile Courses. She will be joined at the conference by MA Textile Design student Lydia Bartlett, who will also present a paper.

Textiles work

Students selected for Angela Houston Awards

Charlotte Hall (Year One) and Johanne Couldrey (Year Two, work is pictured) have been named as the recipients of the 2014 Angela Houston Constructed Textile Research and Travel Award. The students were selected by Lady Walpole and members of The Wolterton Committee to receive research/travel awards of £250 each and an opportunity to exhibit their work at the 13th Costume and Textile Fair in the Hall at Wolterton Park.


Course exhibition promotes fashion creativity

An exhibition of student work from the Fashion and Textile Design courses has presented a range of creative garments and materials to the public. Organised by the Fashion Communication and Promotion course in conjunction with Norwich Fashion Week, the event was launched with an evening of talks that addressed issues of tradition, craftsmanship and innovation from speakers including Beatrice Korlekie Newman, Daniel Harris and Nick Thompson, co-founder of Knit, an award winning creative agency based in Norwich, will talk about their work and share insights on their innovative practice. Read a review of Creativity and Craftsmanship in the Eastern Daily Press.

Illustrated cushion

Graduate launches fabric collection

Mimi Emmett, 2014 graduate, has launched her debut fabric collection featuring illustration and digital design work. Mimi’s work has previously been selected for the New Designers showcase and the Dulux Design Service New Talent Show. Her work is featured on the Hospitality Interiors website.

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