Falmouth University appoints new honorary fellows

24 July 2023

Honorary Fellows 2023 with Dawn French
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Category: University news

Falmouth University is delighted to announce the appointment of four new distinguished individuals to its academic community as Fellows.  

The four have significantly impacted creative and artistic practice around the world and each has a strong link to Falmouth’s community of creative practitioners. They join the University’s dynamic fellowship community of creative and artistic professionals from around the world. 

hew locke being awarded his fellowship by Dawn French
Hew Locke

Hew Locke OBE receiving his Fellowship in 2023 from Chancellor Dawn French

Hew Locke (OBE)

Graduate of Falmouth University, Hew Locke (OBE) becomes a Fellow, having completed his BA in Fine Art at Falmouth College of Arts (now Falmouth University) in 1988.

Collecting his Fellowship award from chancellor Dawn French, he told graduates: "I spent my time at Falmouth experimenting. I specialised in impossible projects and glorious failures. The largest watercolour in the world didn’t work out, collecting sea glass and melting it down for windows didn’t work out either.

"I know the challenges that you’re facing seem immense. I believe the main thing is to just keep going. Don’t question too hard when you want to try some strange, new direction, just do it. Make connections with other artists...make the work your friend, as it’s my friend.  I wish you all and your friends (and your art friend) the very, very best for the future..."

Morwenna Banks

Morwenna Banks: actor, comic and screen writer, was conferred as an Honorary Fellow.

Now with a long list of writing credits including the Hollywood film, Miss You Already, award-winning TV series Funny Woman and Slow Horses, Morwenna said: “Initially when I was asked to accept to accept this honour, I was going to politely decline. I had a massive attack of Imposter Syndrome: I felt I didn't deserve it.

"I grew up a stone’s throw from here and had absolutely no roadmap or precedent in my life for being a writer and performer - I didn't know it could even be a job. I had no connections, and was miles from anywhere, so the idea of a creative place like this University existing here in Falmouth back then was unimaginable, but the reason I decided to says ‘ Yes’ was because of my Mum.

"Mum died a few years ago but she was born and bred in Cornwall. She brought us up on her own, lived and worked right near here all her life. And when I decided to write and perform, Mum never questioned it: I was never an imposter in her eyes, I was just doing my job. Thank you to my wonderful local family and friends some of whom are also here. Thank you to Cornwall for giving me a unique world view. Today is an honour and Mum...this is for you!”

Morwenna Banks becomes honorary fellow
Morwenna Banks becomes honorary fellow
petroc trelawny becomes Falmouth honorary fellow
petroc trelawny becomes Falmouth honorary fellow

Petroc Trelawny

Petroc Trelawny, a well-known Cornish figure and cultural advocate at Radio 3 (and described by one critic as "Butter on the pandemic breakfast toast" for his smooth broadcasting style) also collected his Honorary Fellowship. He told graduates about the "risky" choice he once faced of choosing between studying in Cornwall or moving away. He said: "The national body at the time said that the Art College in Falmouth should be shut and that it was academically isolated. If only that civil servant writing the report could see us now. It’s remarkable to know that what was once an art school has grown into a celebrated university of the arts. Music, theatre and dance can be studied at the highest level in West Cornwall. This is truly a wonderful thing and credit must be given to inspired academic staff, the founders and the students bringing their talents here & allowing them to be nurtured and developed in Cornwall.  

"Everyone in this room is aware of the vast importance of the creative industries to both Cornwall and the UK. You are the people who have this opportunity. You are the people who have this responsibility. In the short term, it might be tough, but if you persist, you will get there and what you do will be more welcome and more important than ever before. Never forget the power of the arts to inspire and give hope..."

Charles Wace

Charles Wace established Twofour productions, one of the biggest media independent production companies in the UK, is a Chair of Screen Sector Trade Body PACT and a Director of Creative England.  The new Honorary Fellow told graduates at the Film of School and Television that now was an exciting time to join the screen sector.

He said: "When I started cameras and edit suites cost tens of thousands of pounds. Now you can edit and create content in your bedroom. This allows many people to set up their own business. The creative industry at its best is an industry that celebrates and rewards entrepreneurship.  

"I’ve had the privilege of knowing many students from Falmouth over the years. Falmouth University students always stood out to me. Flexible, a great attitude with a good approach to life. This is an industry that is evolving, changing and growing year on year. You’re entering a wonderful, fast moving, super exciting industry and there’s no better time to be celebrating content creation in all its many and exciting forms...."

Charles Wace headshot
Charles Wace headshot

Speaking ahead of the University’s 2023 graduation ceremonies, Professor Emma Hunt, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive said: "I’m delighted that four new Honorary Fellows join our esteemed community of creative professionals and are to receive the highest honour that Falmouth University can bestow. They represent the very best in their field, spanning a range of creative disciplines including journalism, fine art, acting, writing as well as broadcasting. We’re proud to be able to welcome them as Honorary Fellows and I’m sure they will inspire future generations of Falmouth students looking to hone their skills and passions."

Falmouth 2023 Fellows: Biographies

Charles Wace, Deputy Chair of Falmouth’s Board of Governors, began his career in newspapers and broadcast media before founding Twofour, one of the UK’s largest independent production companies, in 1998. With headquarters in Plymouth, Twofour had a turnover of around £60million when Charles stepped down as its Group Chief Executive 15 years later. He has since chaired PACT, the UK screen sector trade body for independent production and distribution companies, and holds posts as Director of Creative UK, Chief Executive of investment company Limesnapper and Chairman of Beagle Media, a corporate communications and thought leadership company based in Cornwall.  

A graduate of Falmouth University’s Fine Art BA and a member of The Royal Academy of Arts, Hew Locke’s achievements as a sculptor and contemporary visual artist include Procession, a large-scale installation at Tate Britain, and his façade commission Gilt at The Met, New York. Born in Edinburgh, Hew spent his formative years in Guyana. He attempted to paint the biggest ever “from life” watercolour in his first year as a student here and recalls a sailing trip on Cornwall’s Helford River, which prompted a lifelong interest in making boat sculptures. His works feature in permanent collections at the British Museum, New York’s Brooklyn Museum and The Pérez Art Museum Miami. 

From Skins and Shameless to The Thick of It and Breeders, Morwenna Banks has starred on screen in a multitude of leading roles. Her voice features in animations including Peppa Pig (as Mummy Pig, Madame Gazelle and Dr Hamster), the Oscar nominated short film Jolly Roger and Paddington Bear. She has also written extensively for television, working with Jo Brand on Channel 4’s Damned, on the award-winning Slow Horses for Apple TV and adapting her own radio drama Goodbye into the film Miss You Already starring Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore. Born in Cornwall, Morwenna is a patron of West Country charity Drama Express, which enables young people with additional needs to participate in the performing arts.  

Classical music radio and television broadcaster Petroc Trelawny is best known for presenting Breakfast on BBC Radio 3. Raised and educated in Cornwall, Petroc started his career at BBC Radio Devon and became one of the nation’s youngest newsreaders, presenting bulletins for BBC Plymouth’s Spotlight. He read the news for British Forces broadcasting Service during the Gulf War and in 1992 joined Classic FM as the first presenter of the new radio station’s afternoon show. During more than 25 years with Radio 3, Petroc has co-hosted the station’s drive-time arts magazine In Tune and introduced broadcasts including BBC Proms and the Leeds International Piano Competition. 

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