UWTSD Fine Art student wins The Josef Herman Foundation Art Award 2020


Congratulations to UWTSD Fine Art graduating student Abigail Fraser who has won The Josef Herman Foundation Art Award 2020.

UWTSD Fine Art graduating student Abigail Fraser who has won The Josef Herman Foundation Art Award 2020.

The annual award from the Josef Herman Foundation is in memory of Carolyn Davies, who passed away in 2018. Carolyn was Chair and Trustee of the Herman foundation, and an advocate for the Arts in the Swansea area. She was particularly interested in helping and supporting graduates to secure creative opportunities.

Gwenllian Beynon, Welsh Co-ordinator and senior lecturer at UWTSD’s Wales Institute of Science and Art (WISA) said: “Carolyn was inspirational and a true advocate of promoting the arts whenever the opportunity came her way. Her key focus was centred on creativity and the journey through the artistic process.”

The award is open to graduating Fine Art students from Swansea College of Art, UWTSD, and is funded jointly by the Josef Herman Foundation, together with David Morris (Carolyn’s husband).

Abigail, who studied part of her degree through the medium of Welsh, received £500 and will be offered the opportunity to have a solo exhibition of her work at the Welfare Hall in Ystradgynlais and/or to give a talk or workshop explaining her thoughts on the creative process to achieve their desired outcomes. The Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown means these opportunities will be on hold until a later date.

Gwenllian Beynon together with the Josef Herman Foundation coordinate an annual programme for schools to work with Swansea College of Art Fine Art students and the Josef Herman archive. In recent years Carolyn Davies was instrumental in this partnership.

Speaking on behalf of the award panel Gwenllian said: “Abigail’s work is positive, colourful and up to the minute, it is fun as well as political as she expresses the memories through Covid-19.

“The panel felt that her work was adaptable to the digital as well as the physical platform and in this case was really strong. They really liked that the work can exist in both these ways, in these challenging times for artists.”

Gwenllian said the panel had received presented a strong body of work from the graduating Fine Art student cohort which made the decision-making process both challenging but also enjoyable.

She added: “It was fantastic to see such strong work being produced by the students. We offer our congratulations to Abigail for her portfolio and for the work that she has done for her end of year presentation and wish her and her peer group all the best for the next stage in their art journey.”

Professor Sue Williams, Programme Manager of Fine Art: Studio Site & Context at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art said: “Our third year students have produced an extraordinary body of work under the umbrella title Everyday Violence & Repose as a response to lockdown and they should all be very proud of their great achievements. I firmly endorse the decision made by the Josef Herman selection panel and their reasons for their choice. Abi’s work is articulate and encompasses a broad perspective of visual languages, from the painted surface to the digital art form, demonstrating the speculative processes that we encourage students to explore and embrace.”

As well as studying Fine Art, Abigail is also an artist in residence at 'GS Artists Swansea' under the direction of influential artist Jane Simpson.

Originally from Treorchy, Abigail attended Ysgol Gartholwg before studying at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Swansea.

Abigail said: “It is an honour to receive the Joseph Herman foundation prize this year. As a current graduate of UWTSD Fine Art Swansea it feels extremely empowering to receive an award for my artwork. I feel that the award gives me the confidence to continue following my dream of becoming a professional artist post my graduation. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.”


UWTSD Fine Art graduating student Abigail Fraser who has won The Josef Herman Foundation Art Award 2020.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk