Type: Gallery
Category: Student stories

Zoe Wenban, a third year Textile Design student, scooped the Batsford Prize for Applied Arts and the Cass Art Award at an awards ceremony hosted by Pavilion Books.

Open to undergraduate and postgraduate students alike, the Batsford Prize offers five categories to enter, promising a £500 cash prize and £50 worth of Batsford books to the winner of each. The Cass Art Award, a bonus accolade presented alongside the primary Batsford Prize, also offers a £500 prize to the winner.

Zoe commented: "It's such a big achievement for me, even though it was completely unexpected to win one, let alone two awards. It's such a boost to my confidence before I begin showing my work in London and start to attend interviews."

This year's theme was Craving Colour, with judges looking for innovative and well-crafted interpretations of colour within the entries. Zoe's portfolio secured her position amongst the winners, she credits her time in Falmouth as the reason for her success.

Zoe explained: "Living in Cornwall has provided me with so much inspiration over the past few years. The design No More Mr Night Sky was inspired by the beautiful blue gradient of the evening sky here.

"I like to think my illustrations and pattern designs are vibrant, playful, and tell a story. However, they secretly bear a dark undertone."

It's not just living in Falmouth that Zoe credits her winning ways to, she holds the Textile Design course at the University in high regard, attributing her varied skills to the tutors and modules. She reflects: "The course is so amazingly taught by our tutors, and we learn such a breadth of vital skills that textile designers use in the industry.

"I specifically remember Design Toolbox in first year, which was really fast paced but gave us so many important workshops in dyeing, moodboard making, pattern repeat, colour theory and even book binding. It was a lot of work but I loved it!"

Even after winning two major awards for her work, Zoe has not been resting on her laurels. She has recently completed two illustration commissions for fellow students, the first being a Cornish recipe book for the Penryn Press Society, available soon from the Students' Union website. The second is an album cover for YLLW, a music project led by Popular Music student Joshua Palk, which will be available on iTunes and Spotify from the 9 June.

On what the future holds, Zoe said: "I am creating new work to expand my final fabric collection even further, so there's a lot more illustrating and print making to do! I hope to keep working on surface design commissions in the future and pursue a career that I'm so passionate about."

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