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Exhibition inspired by The Bowes Museum showcases designers of the future

Students from The Northern School of Art (BA) Textiles & Surface Design degree programme have collaborated with The Bowes Museum to create an outstanding collection of new surface designs for fashion fabrics, gifts and products for public viewing from 8th April to 12th June 2019 at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP.

This exciting new interpretation of The Bowes Museum’s collections are the basis for this unique exhibition curated by Lianne Hubbert and Lyndon Lowe, lecturers at The Northern School of Art.

Jayne Hemmins, Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design, at The Northern School of Art, said: “We are delighted to be working with The Bowes Museum and presenting this wonderful collection of new designs and products within this prestigious setting.

“It is an amazing opportunity to show contemporary designs from our talented up and coming designers against the backdrop of the Museum’s stunning collections.”

As part of their studies, the students visited the Museum to draw inspiration from the varied and rare objects found within its collections. From initial sketches and notes, the students developed their ideas through a range of design and making techniques from both traditional printing and embroidery skills to cutting-edge digital applications.

Malcolm Clements, contextual studies, scholarly activity and research coordinator at The Northern School of Art, said: “As well as creativity, the students also study the history of design and have focused much of their work on eighteenth and nineteenth century decorative arts.

“We have visited The Bowes Museum a number of times to utilise the Museum’s costume, textiles and ceramics collection, so it is great to see how the essence of these historical styles has informed their creative work.”

The Northern School of Art textiles and surface design programme allows students to learn a wide range of practical and technical skills including screen-printing, dyeing, hand and machine embroidery, digital print, laser-cutting, fabric manipulation and making skills housed in an extensive suite of studios and technical workshops which include the dye lab and sewing, textile, print and embroidery rooms.

Ms Hemmins continued: “At The Northern School of Art, we work hard to ensure our students are provided with opportunities to showcase their work to the public and industry throughout their time with us; gaining valuable experience and contacts for working in the creative industries.

“We are very grateful to The Bowes Museum for providing our students with this exciting opportunity to exhibit and work with their staff and collections.

“It is experiences like these that ensure our graduates are ‘ready to work’ and our alumni work throughout the design community including household names such as Top Shop, Urban Outfitters, River Island, Ikea, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Surfacephilia and  Bobbin & Bone; we also enjoy a wide range of industry links from Alexander McQueen, Graham & Bell to House of Holland.”

Clair Dowgill, BA (Hons) textiles and surface design student at The Northern School of Art, said: “It’s been a brilliant experience working with The Bowes Museum and being able to see the full journey of our designs on display – from design to finished product.

“We hope the public enjoy viewing the new exhibition as much as the students have enjoyed designing them!”

Julia Dunn, education and learning coordinator at The Bowes Museum, said: “It’s been a delight to work with the enthusiastic and talented students from The Northern School of Art; it’s always wonderful to see a new audience come and enjoy the collections at the Museum – drawing on the brilliance of the past to create a new generation of exciting designers.

“We also hope the exhibition will inspire students who are studying art and design in secondary education or preparing their GCSE coursework – it is very important to us to engage with young people and aspiring new designers to inspire and nurture their talent.”

Alongside the preparation for the exhibition, staff from The Northern School of Art have completed a range of scholarly activity and research including research in drawing, design aesthetics and a symposium exploring the development of visual language.

The Bowes Museum is open daily (closed only 25 & 26 December & 1 January; admission costs apply) – visit www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

The Northern School of Art is the only specialist provider of creative degrees in the North East; it is rated TEF Gold which means its students receive outstanding teaching which is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The School is an established provider of skilled graduates to the screen, stage, design and creative industries offering degrees in fine art, illustration, graphic design, digital design, event design, photography, acting, film, television and theatre production, production design, visual effects, costume, sound design, lighting, post-production, fashion with body contour, textiles and surface design, and Master’s degrees in design history and creative design enterprise.

The Northern School of Art Open Days take place at its Hartlepool campus on Saturday 8th June, Thursday 4th July and Saturday 28th September from 10am to 2pm where you will be welcomed and encouraged to explore it specialist, industry-standard facilities, workshops, studios, editing suites and technical rooms.

Places are still available for courses starting September 2019, to find out more, please visit www.northernart.ac.uk