(L-R:) Jane Barbour, Art Teacher at Lurgan College; Faye Gardiner (runner-up) from Lurgan College; Emma Thompson, Retail Officer at National Museums NI; and Emma McKay, Art Teacher at Lurgan College.
A student from Lurgan College has her designs on sale at Ulster Museum and the Courtauld in London after placing runner-up in a UK-wide competition.
Faye Gardiner's winning designs are now being featured on note pads.
The competition which was run by Ulster Museum and The Courtauld in London, asked students aged 14-18 to create a surface design inspired by the Omega Workshops, a group of designers who sought to translate the ethos of the Bloomsbury Group into beautiful, tangible objects.
It received over 40 entries from schools across Northern Ireland and England, but it was an all-Northern Ireland shortlist with the winning entry from Lily Stuart and second runner-up Molly O’Grady’s both from Our Lady and St Patricks College, Knock. Lily’s design features on a tote bag whilst Molly’s designs feature on note pads also.
The winning products currently on sale are in collaboration with a new exhibition launched by Ulster Museum and The Courtauld. Bloomsbury: A Collective showcases pieces from the Bloomsbury Group - a group of artistic and intellectual friends, who came of age just as the conservative Victorian era of the 19th century was ending.
Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive at National Museums NI said: “I want to congratulate Lily, Molly, Faye and all the young people who entered this competition. The vast range of entries demonstrates the incredible talent and artistic flair of our young people, and I hope exhibitions such as Bloomsbury: A Collective, and museums in general, continue to inspire them, and likeminded people, in sparking their creativity.
“I am delighted that we are able to continue this valued partnership with The Courtauld by delivering projects that allow our audiences to engage with us in diverse and immersive ways.”
The new exhibition includes works from The Courtauld collection and Ulster Museum in order to take an introductory look at the Bloomsbury Group, specifically three central artists within it— Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant..
Anna Liesching, Curator of Art at National Museums NI, who curated the exhibition said: “As a loose and changing mix of people, the Bloomsbury Group were searching for new ways of thinking, living and loving. Pioneers of their time, I think many people today can relate, to much of what they represented.”
The exhibition also shares work by the Omega Workshops: a group of designers who sought to translate the ethos of the Bloomsbury Group into beautiful, tangible objects. The works on display from The Courtauld were gifted from Roger Fry’s estate, who founded Omega Workshops, and is often considered the curator of the Bloomsbury Group.
Katherine Dunleavy, National Partnership Coordinator, at The Courtauld, said: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Ulster Museum and to share some exceptional works from our collection with their visitors and local communities. The Bloomsbury Group included some of the most daring and influential artists of the 20th century and we hope these rarely displayed works, alongside key pieces from Ulster Museum’s collection, will provide audiences with a fascinating insight into their lives and work.”
Ulster Museum’s partnership with The Courtauld is part of the Courtauld National Partners Programme which aims to share their collection with audiences across the United Kingdom.