Jane Bridges, who is in her second year of studying towards her BA (Hons) Contemporary Surface Design & Textiles degree at Bradford School of Arts & Media, has won a prestigious design prize enabling her to showcase her work at an influential international trade show in New York.
As one of four winners of the SURTEX International Student Design Competition: designext, Jane’s prize includes five nights in New York and her own booth at SURTEX, where agents and representative of companies from throughout the world will be keen to find the best designs to develop on products including wallpaper, floorcoverings, decorative fabrics, stationery, greetings cards, giftware, ceramic, packaging and publishing.
At the Show, which runs from 15th to 17th May, Jane will be competing against the other three winners for the Grand Prize which includes $1000, a special mention on SURTEX website for a year and recommendation letters to prospective employers. Jane submitted an interiors collection called ‘Modern Heritage’ which was a mixture of weave and print mixing influences old and new in a palette of heritage colours. She said, “I used sketches hand drawn from my initial research in various National Trust properties and added new motifs from modern objects; things found around the house, picked up in charity shops or found in old books.”
Course Tutor, Tami Stewart advised “The competition entry was based on predictions for 2020. For Jane to be one of the winners of this prestigious international design competition is enormous in terms of her CV and the links she can make. Her work will be displayed at this important marketplace and will be reviewed and critiqued by industry professionals.”
The prize is vindication of Jane’s decision to return to study as a mature student after taking a career break when she had children. She explained, “I did a degree in modern languages after school and then worked in travel and advertising. I always wanted to do something more creative so I enrolled on the Foundation Degree in Arts for Creative Industry, although I have followed the contemporary surface design route throughout. Ideally I would like to become a freelance designer, fitting commissions around my family. This has really boosted my confidence and shown I can do it. I have to pay the air fare but otherwise all my expenses are funded by the prize. I am absolutely delighted as you couldn’t buy an opportunity like this; just to visit SURTEX would be incredible, let alone be showing my work and be under consideration for the overall first prize. My children, who are six and eight, are really proud of me. All my friends are very positive now they realise what I am doing. I think some of them thought I was just doing a bit of craftwork! Another degree is an investment in my future and I have been very focussed on using my time to build a new career.”
Tami Stewart added “Our students have been submitting entries for the SURTEX Student Design Competition as part of their second year print project since 2004 and we have previously had two honourable mentions and one second prize. In 2005 Justine Haley received an honourable mention for her ‘Citrus Bar’ print collection designed for a themed bar in a boutique hotel; in 2006 Maitena Anda won the second prize for her collection titled ‘Gaudi, 1884-1926-2006’ – a printed textile and surface collection of designs for a special dinner party celebrating the life and work of Antonio Gaudi, and in 2008, Laura Harvey was awarded an honourable mention for her collection titled ‘Comic Collision’ – a collection of printed leather and canvas aimed at fashion accessories as bags, purses and belts.”