22 July 2022

This year’s Principal’s Summer Art Show prize has been shared between two incredible final year artists.

The annual Summer Art Show showcases the culmination of students’ work across A Levels in Fine Art, Graphics and Textiles, and also the pre-university Foundation Diploma in Art & Design.

This year’s Principal’s prize after the exhibition, which was attended by a host of visitors, staff and students, was awarded jointly to Hannah Robertson and Leah Holland.

In an event which turns the entire Art & Design department’s purpose-built building into a gallery for the evening, Principal Mike Kilbride narrowed down Hannah and Leah’s work for special praise amongst a plethora of creative abilities and flair, citing this year’s choice particularly difficult.

Mike said: “In the past there has always been one piece or one body of work that stood out. This year, there are two artists whose body of work is of such exceptional quality that it is frankly impossible to separate them."

He explained: “Hannah’s body of work was universally impressive: her technical skill was astonishing and her interpretation captivating. She did what only really great artists can do - she gave three dimensional life and depth on two dimensions. I was taken with all her work but my favourite and the piece I would like to bring into the college collection was the family scene with the pram in the background. This had a particular personal evocation for me as well as just being endlessly interesting."

“Leah showed a range of multiple skills: her photography, particularly the three full length portraits as a piece was stunning. Professionally printed, these three pieces, I would like to bring into the College’s collection. However, the dress shown in these pictures was conceptually interesting - quite beautiful in execution whilst also demonstrating immense craft."

Mike continued: “Whilst these two artists in particular took my attention, I would also like to give mention to Ruby Larsen and Jem Barnes for their extraordinarily skilled and interesting graphics work, Dan Dawson for his stunning fine art piece, ‘Women on a Bed’ and Matilda Bracewell and Ce Nedra Riley for the concept, skill and craft of their FAD (Foundation Diploma) pieces.

Praising the specialist teachers in the Art & Design department, Mike said: “All the College artists should be congratulated for the excellent work they produced, but special and particular mention must go to the art staff who create the wonderful environment that allows these young people to flourish.”

For more on studying Art & Design A Levels at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, click here.