Student work on display at Y Fforwm


Staff and students attended the opening of the first exhibition to be hosted at Y Fforwm, the new home of UWTSD’s library and learning resources in Swansea.

Derek Bainton Helen Jones Alison Harding Gwen Beynon

The exhibition is called Pictures and Words and is a celebration of illustration and design for books, featuring work from current students and recent graduates from UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art. Derek Bainton, Head of School of Graphic and Digital Arts at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to open the first of many public exhibitions here at Y Fforwm. Setting up has given us such a bubbling sense of excitement in this new building and we’ve had the chance to look at the brand new state of the art buildings here at UWTSD’s SA1 Swansea Waterfront development. It’s an exciting time for our students, it’s an exciting time for the university and it’s an exciting time for Swansea itself.

“The exhibition is a celebration of the work of our graduating students and our incoming third year students. It includes a selection of works for pictures books where the artists are also the writers, they’ve written and illustrated the books on display. There’s also a selection of illustrations for book jackets, some of which have been entered for the Penguin Random House Student Award. For the past five years, we’ve entered this competition and it’s a really great opportunity for students to have an industry-facing project to work on. In that time, we’ve had student work shortlisted three times out of about 2,220 entrants which is a great achievement.

“Finally, there is a panel which exhibits work that is slightly more playful by our Artists in Residence, Aidan and Tasha. The Artist-in-Residency programme is an opportunity for graduates to come and work alongside our students whilst also adding to their portfolio of work, and I want to thank Aidan and Tasha for all of their help setting this exhibition up.

“There’s never been a more exciting time for illustrators in publishing. A graphic novelist has recently been long-listed as a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, which I think demonstrates the importance for author-illustrators in adult fiction. We look forward to continuing to prepare these creative artists for a long and successful career in this creative industry.”

Student montage

Alison Harding, the Executive Head of Library and Learning Resources, added: “We’re so pleased that Y Fforwm has this exhibition space available. The library is one of the few spaces left where we are considered citizens and not consumers, and where all people are treated equally. But it isn’t a neutral space and we hope that the beautiful artwork that we have on display places us a building that is about narrative and about words and about stories.

“The library is open to all of our students and all of our staff. It may house books that are useful for the Faculty of Architecture Computing and Engineering and Yr Athrofa: The Institute of Education, but we are a building that is open to all and we welcome you to use it as a space to study, to be, and to enjoy.”

The exhibition was opened by Helen Jones, Head of Children’s Books and Reading Promotion at Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru (Welsh Books Council). She said: “I’d like to extend my sincerest congratulations to all the students, graduates and staff involved in putting on such a fantastic show. The variety and wealth of creativity in the work displayed here is testament to your commitment and talent. One of our main objectives at the Welsh Books Council is to support the publishing industry in both Welsh and English. If we can promote opportunities for authors, illustrators and publishers, we can work towards ensuring a vibrant economy within Wales. Thank you again for your kind invitation and I wish all students a happy and fulfilling career in their future endeavours.”


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