BA Design Crafts students win prestigious prizes at the British Art Medal Society


28.04.2021

Congratulations to UWTSD Swansea College of Art Design Crafts students Kate Scale and Juliette Zelleke who have both secured prestigious national design prizes at the British Art Medal Society.

UWTSD Swansea College of Art Design Crafts students Kate Scale and Juliette Zelleke have both secured prestigious national design prizes at the British Art Medal Society.

The 28th British Art Medal Society Student Medal Project ‘Black Art Matters’ announced its winners on April 10, after a challenging year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  A total of 14 UK colleges and one from Bulgaria, participated, creating one of the most accomplished results the judges have seen.  In the category of cast bronze medals - from a total of 74 entrants, second year UWTSD Swansea College of Art Design Crafts student Kate Scale scooped the prize awarded for the most ‘Cutting Edge’ medal, given by the Worshipful Company of Cutlers. 

The medal, cast in bronze was in Kate’s words inspired by “research into the journey many young, black artists made in the 1950s and 60s, alone to places like America and the UK, where they had no support or encouragement and suffered terrible prejudice along the way.  She added: “To then see them push past this and succeed in their journey was incredible and endearing.  They showed so much strength and resilience and that in itself deserves great acknowledgement.  My medal 'No Barricades' was to remember that strength and to continue to stand up for what you believe in.  The BAM competition has made me realise that cultural awareness is a necessity in all of our lives.  It's vital that we educate ourselves to recognise different cultures as this leads to more understanding and for us all to feel accepted in our multicultural society. It was really lovely to hear that my medal had won a prize in the 'Black Art Matters' medal competition as I thoroughly enjoyed each part of it and learned so much.”

Marcy Leavitt Bourne of British Art Medal Society said: “The judges also appreciated the research that Kate had undertaken, looking at the abstract work of Mavis Pusey from 1960s to the end of her life.  Kate acknowledged her inspiration, citing the artist in her statement.  It was an excellent choice for the theme of ‘Black Art Matters’ and brings attention to the work of a pioneering black artist whose career included painting and print making in New York and Paris.  Creating a medal, using geometric shapes and negative space was innovative, and deserving of the Cutlers’ prize.”

In addition to this prize, third year Design Crafts student Juliette Zelleke was awarded a merit for her bronze medal inspired by childhood stories in Tanzania, by the judges who wanted it noted as a very good medal using both sides well to tell the story.

Juliette said: “I cannot be prouder of myself and everyone else that won prizes, I can only imagine how hard it was for the judges. My medal 'Tears of a mother' was inspired by the art of African storytelling, and the stories that I grew up with. All these stories have lessons behind them, and the story of the cheetah's tears has always been a favourite as it shows strength and healing. Competing in this competition brief has allowed me to push myself further because I knew I was going to be competing with the best.”

 Second year UWTSD Swansea College of Art Design Crafts student Kate Scale scooped the prize awarded for the most ‘Cutting Edge’ medal, given by the Worshipful Company of Cutlers.

Anna Lewis, UWTSD Design Crafts lecturer, who co-ordinated the live brief as part of the degree module said: “The staff team here at Design Crafts are thrilled for both Kate and Juliette at this exciting news, many congratulations on your well-deserved prizes. This is the first time we have entered the competition as our degree is in its infancy and will be graduating its first cohort this summer.  It has been a very challenging year especially with workshop access restricted in lockdown and I would like to thank all students that took part in this project on your hard work, dedication and enthusiasm. We are all very proud of you especially as the competition was so high and we hope to pursue more live briefs like this in the future. Thankyou also to the British Art medal Society for this wonderful experience for our students.”

The Student Medal Project is supported by the Goldsmiths’ Centre, the Worshipful Company of Founders - which awards the first prize of £1000 - and the Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers Alias Wire Workers; Thomas Fattorini Ltd, which awards the second prize of £500. The Worshipful Company of Cutlers, Pangolin Editions, G W Lunt and others provide further prizes for Design/Prototypes and cast medals.  Several exhibitions are planned for 2021, if permitted in Cornwall and Cardiff.

Third year Design Crafts student Juliette Zelleke was awarded a merit for her bronze medal inspired by childhood stories in Tanzania.

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

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk