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Bradford School of Art Students Win National Design-Competition Awards

Two textile students from the Bradford School of Art are celebrating after winning prestigious national design awards.

Organised by the Bradford Textile Society, The Design Competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students from universities and colleges across the UK. Considered to be a leading annual event for the industry, the competition attracts more than 1,000 student entries and offers over £17,000 in prize money.

Jenny Bennigsen, a Textiles Practice Foundation Degree student at Bradford School of Art at Bradford College, was announced the winner of a special Travel Award sponsored by The Cotton Industry War Memorial Trust. Chosen from the prize-winning and commended entries across all sections of the competition, Jenny receives an expenses-paid visit to Première Vision in Paris (a global event for fashion professionals).

Jenny also won a 3rd prize certificate in The Clothworkers’ Company Award and £200. The category recognises a fabric design for fashion/accessories or interior products, which shows an innovative combination of textile processes that could include machine embroidery, beading, and embellishment.

Jenny submitted part of her coursework for the Year 3 Mixed-Media Textiles module which develops skills in hand and machine embroidery, screen printing, fabric manipulation and other mixed media textile processes.

After research in the Bradford College Textile Archive, Jenny was inspired by a collection of tiny Edwardian embroidery designs. These were originally used as a teaching aid in what was then the Bradford Technical College. Jenny developed her own ideas, exploring pattern motifs, placement, and print and stitch techniques. 

Fellow Textiles Practice Foundation Degree student Robert Bray received a Commendation in The J.H. Clissold & Son Ltd Award. The category focusses ona woven fabric design which shows creative potential. Robert’s entry was the result of his 1st year Colour & Material module, during which students develop skills in handweaving and learn to work creatively with colour. 

Hannah Lamb, Programme Leader for the Foundation Degree Textiles Practice at Bradford School of Art, said:

“I was elated to hear the news about our student successes in this year’s competition, especially given that we are a small part-time course competing against large universities and even Masters Degree students from all across the UK. When Jenny told me later that she also won The Travel Award, I was over the moon! The whole textiles team are so proud. We know how talented and dedicated our students are, but it’s great when they win some accolades to prove it.”

 Jenny said:

“I am delighted and surprised I won a trip to Premier Vision – the world’s largest fashion trade show. This is something I used to dream of as a teenager, but I wasn’t able to pursue art and textiles back when I was at school. So, to come back as a mature student and win a prize in a national design competition is an amazing feeling.”

Robert said:

“We were given an image from which we created a piece of art and, in turn, transformed it into textiles. We were encouraged to enter the competition as part of our course, but I did not expect to win a prize. I was very overwhelmed and proud of what I had achieved. I didn’t believe it until I got the certificate through the post!”

Sue Geldeard, Secretary of the Bradford Textile Society, said:
“Congratulations to Jenny and Robert on their success. The competition was originally set up to encourage members of the Bradford Textile Society and students at Bradford Technical College to design yarns and textiles suitable for production in the Bradford textile industry.  It is great that 100 years on, Bradford-based students are still supporting the competition and winning prizes. 

“Jenny was chosen for the Travel Award for her excellent entry in category C1.  The judges were impressed by her beautifully executed technical skills and her commerciality and innovation, all of which followed the ethos of Premiere Vision. Well done to all the Bradford students who entered!”

Jenny and Robert study the Textiles Practice Foundation Degree at the Bradford School of Art. The course has been developed for those wishing to develop professional practice in textile art, contemporary craft, and designer-made products. The unique part-time course format is designed for student from non-traditional learning routes and learners who need to organise study flexibly around other commitments.

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