Stunning Range of Creative Work at The Northern School of Art’s Degree Show

Posted on June 6th 2022 by Whats on Northeast

Unveiling new names to watch out for in the creative sector, the showcase featuring work from the wide range of visual arts and stage and screen degree courses is free to visit at No. 1 Church Street in Hartlepool.

Following a launch for students and their families and friends on Wednesday 1 June, The Northern School of Art degree show is open to the public from Monday 6th June – Saturday 11th June 2022 (Monday – Thursday 10am-7pm & Friday-Saturday 10-4pm).

Ahead of the opening event a series of awards recognising academic and creative excellence across the School’s programmes were presented to students by The Northern School of Art’s Principal, Dr Martin Raby, and Chair of Governors, Tim Bailey.

All those nominated for an award received a certificate to display on their exhibition stand and winners were presented with a certificate and prize.

The Northern School of Art’s Principal, Dr Martin Raby said: “The show is a celebration of all the hard work and commitment by our very talented students. It has been wonderful to welcome so many visitors at our preview evening.

“It is a fantastic exhibition and we would encourage everyone to come and see it.”

The Northern School of Art Degree Show highlights outstanding work through a range of student awards and present work from all graduating final year students across all BA (Hons) programmes including: BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Commercial Photography, BA (Hons) Photographic Practice (with Moving Image), BA (Hons) Costume Interpretation with Design, BA (Hons) Fashion with Body Contour, BA (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design, BA (Hons) Film, TV & Theatre Production, BA (Hons) Acting for Stage & Screen, BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage & Screen, BA (Hons) Visual Effects & Model Making, BA (Hon) Illustration for Commercial Application, BA (Hons) Digital Design & Advertising and BA (Hons) Graphic Design.

The Northern School of Art Degree Show takes place at 1 Church Street, Hartlepool, TS24 7DR from Monday 6th June – Saturday 11th June 2022 (Monday – Thursday 10am-7pm & Friday-Saturday 10-4pm). Entry is free.

Further details are available at

The Award winners were as follows (reaction quotes included): 

  • The Design Impact Award 

Winner: Jem Solley, BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Harnessing design to make a true impact is an ambition shared by many, and over the years, The Design Impact Award recognises students from across the design disciplines, that demonstrate their commitment to make a difference to the world and address social issues. The students nominated for this award have the ambition make that impact.

  • Acting Student of the Year Award 

Winner: Rhiannon McMahon, BA (Hons) Acting for Stage & Screen

Awarded to the Acting student who has produced the strongest work across different mediums.

Rhiannon said: “I was very happy and shocked to have been presented with the award. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my three years here and fell honoured and grateful to have won.”


  • ARC Award for Best Solo Show 

Winner: Joseph Casling, BA (Hons) Acting for Stage & Screen

Daniel Mitchelson ARC Stockton Arts Centre Programmer said “We think they’ve found a really, accessible, fun, smart way of talking about some serious issues. I also thought they did a great job of “performing”.  It was a really likable and moving piece.”

Joseph commented: “Winning the award was an amazing feeling. Thank you so much to The Northern School of Art and ARC Stockton for supporting me and helping me develop over my three years here.”

  • BA (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design – Student of the Year 2022 

Winner: Donna Auchterlounie, BA (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design

To recognize the overall performance, approach to studying and achievement of graduating students from the BA (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design Programme.

On receiving her award Donna, who aims to set up her own business after graduating and has just learned she has been selected for the prestigious London graduate show New Designers, commented: “I’m really shocked and a bit overwhelmed because I didn’t think mature students would win this, I feel a bit emotional.

“My time at the School has been just been amazing, it’s been challenging because I’ve got a family as well and managing GCSE’s during lockdown and doing all this but I’ve absolutely loved it. The staff here are just amazing and so supportive, it’s just been great and I feel like I’ve made the absolute best of it and utilised every department.”

  • The Gary Pearson Award (For Breaking Boundaries) 

Winner: Sarah Howitt, BA (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design

This award is in memory of Gary Pearson and is given to a student who has explored and pushed boundaries, whether they be personal, technical, visual or conceptual. During his time studying with us Gary was on a personal journey of self-discovery and we’d like to present this award annually to a student who we feel has explored their own path, been brave, independent, asked questions of their personal practice and broken boundaries in their own journey.

Sarah said: “Winning this award was an honour and a shock, I never expected that I would win. I have loved every second on this course, the members of staff are amazing and are always there for support. This course has given me the opportunity to explore who I am as artist and be who I am. I have experimented with surface design using unconventional materials such as clay, plaster, and wood to explore textures and show the raw beauty. I am beyond grateful to my tutors, technicians, and friends that I have made here.”

  • The Gavin Murphy Achievement Award (Film Student of the Year Award 2022) 

Winner: Oscar Fitchett, BA (Hons) Film, TV & Theatre Production

This is given to the student who has displayed an excellent attitude in helping others and commitment to excellence throughout their studies. This reflects the memory of Gavin Murphy, a former student and staff member who would always go the extra mile to help others in pursuit of their dreams.

Oscar said he was “honoured” to have won the award.

  • Illustration Achievement Award 

Winner: Jade Agar, BA (Hons) Illustration for Commercial Application

This award is given to the student who has shown an exceptional attitude within their practice, commitment to their studies and positive influence within the cohort.

Jade said that she was “pleasantly shocked and surprised” to have won as she “really didn’t expect it.”

  • The Daniel Ross Fine Art Prize for Consistent Excellence 

Winner: Adam Shaw, BA (Hons) Fine Art

The Daniel Ross Fine Art Prize recognises a student who has consistently excelled across all aspects of their studies during the three years of their programme. It bears the name of a student who excelled in everything he did during his time at The Northern School of Art.

  • The Barbara Hackwood Prize for Outstanding Creative Development 

Winner: Chloe Smith, BA (Hons) Fine Art

This BA (Hons) Fine Art award recognises the student who has shown the most progress and development during their three academic years with us. It bears the name of Barbara Hackwood who was a much loved member of staff at the Northern School of Art.

  • Middlesbrough Art Weekender – New Graduate Award 

Winners: Sophie Coleman and Lauryn Brede

Middlesbrough Art Weekender (MAW) is a visual arts festival that occurs across the town of Middlesbrough in galleries, institution, project spaces, museums and public and meanwhile spaces. The festival is open to all artistic mediums and can take the form of, but not limited to, exhibitions, installations, performance, talks, workshops, participatory projects and everything in-between.

The New Graduate Award is a post-education professional development opportunity offering a range of benefits designed to support the two winners in transitioning from student to working artist and includes, studio, space, mentoring and opportunity to exhibit alongside the MAW programme at this year’s event in September.

Lauryn commented: “I didn’t really expect it, I’m very happy. My time on the Fine Art degree was really good. It’s given me time to explore what I want to do rather than being restricted.”

Sophie added that she was also surprised: “I was really excited, I wasn’t expecting it. I found the course amazing, it’s been really good for the way I’ve developed my work.  I’ve come along in ways I just haven’t expected. Just the entire thing has been really amazing.”

  • Fashion Achievement Award 2022 

Winner: Molly Dixon, BA (Hons) Fashion with Body Contour

To recognize the overall, development, progression and achievement of individual students.

Molly said: “I’ve put a lot of effort in so it’s very nice to get the award. The course has been very challenging but very interesting and I’ve gained a lot of new skills that I’m looking forward to going out and developing further.”

  • BA (Hons) Costume Interpretation with Design – Student of the Year Award 2022 

Winner: Borbala Iszlai BA (Hons) Costume with Interpretation with Design

This award is an acknowledgement of a high degree of commitment and professionalism throughout the graduating students from BA (Hons) Costume Interpretation for Design.

Borbala said: “It was such a surprise I wasn’t expecting it at all.  I have to thank my tutors and friends and family because without them I wouldn’t be here.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at The Northern School of Art, everyday was like just coming and being like a big family just supporting each other which was really nice,” adding, “I hope I will get into the film industry or opera in the future. To work in horror specifically, monsters and Dracula and things!”

  • Principal’s BA (Hons) Dissertation Prize 2022 

Winner: Luke Alan Honeywell, BA (Hons) Fashion with Body Contour. Dissertation: The Judgement of the Disfigured, is it Nature or Nurture?

This award is now in its fourteenth year, and was created as a means to recognise the high standard of work that is being presented by our Level Six students. The prize is awarded in recognition of those whose research and debate resulted on an innovative approach to their subject, to the research, and to the debate.

Luke said his dissertation was a passion project that originated from his own personal experience with colitis. “It was something I’ve been wanting to do for a really long time: to talk about how people with disfigurement and visual difference are judged differently and how that can impact peoples lives on a day to day basis and just give a voice to those people who aren’t able to express how they feel due to the judgement faced by society throughout history.”

He said the BA (Hons) Fashion with Body Contour course had provided “the freedom to study what you want on each module, so you get all of these different skills from pattern cutting to sewing and digital skills that are really valuable. It sets you up to be able to go into any place within the fashion industry.

“I’ve loved being able to do anything I wanted and, with our small close-knit class it’s made it really collaborative which has made it really lovely.”

  • Anjool Malde Award 2022 

Winners: John Mannick – BA (Hons) Commercial Photography and Debbie Todd – BA (hons) Photographic Practice with moving image

The Anjool Maldé Memorial Trust, a UK registered charity, was set up to keep alive Anjool’s legacy of a kindred and enlivened spirit that lit up so many lives and inspired and helped others to make most of their talents. The Photography Award is an exciting addition to the current memorial awards already in place in his name and have quickly grown in prestige and have become highly coveted marks of honour with the beneficiaries going on to achieve higher and greater things.

The Photography Award gives recognition for the talent of one student from the BA (Hons) Commercial Photography programme and one from BA (Hons) Photographic Practice (with Moving Image).

Debbie Todd commented: “It was a lovely surprise because you couldn’t really guess who would win it as it’s such a diverse range of work. I am really chuffed!

“I have really enjoyed the course. It’s been a massive challenge because I’ve done lots of things I haven’t done before which then accumulated in the degree show event which is a fantastic experience.”

  • Principal’s MA Dissertation Prize 2022 

Winner: Chloë Leeson, MA Design History

In 2020, The Northern School of Art launched its postgraduate provision, including new Master’s programmes in Design History and Creative Design Enterprise. This award, in its inaugural year, recognises the advanced ability of MA Design History students in creating original directions through in-depth research, innovation and advanced scholarship.

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