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UWTSD Surface Pattern Design student begins Internship with Rolls-Royce

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A Surface Pattern Design student from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has started a coveted paid internship with iconic car manufacturer Rolls-Royce.

Rebecca Davies, 23, gets to spend 13 months as part of the company’s exclusive eight-strong design team, which is based between Goodwood and Munich.   

Rebecca is studying for an MDes degree in Surface Pattern Design, specialising in Textiles for Fashion. The course is based at the University’s Swansea College of Art, Dynevor campus. Once Rebecca completes her internship, she will graduate with a Master of Design degree in Surface Pattern Design: Textiles for Fashion.

To win the Rolls-Royce internship, Rebecca had to submit her portfolio and complete a design project. She was then chosen to attend an interview. While all the work from the university students that took part impressed the Rolls-Royce team, Rebecca stood out in the interview and was given the opportunity. She’s delighted with how the internship is going so far.

“I am getting to work with some incredible designers, researching ongoing topics within the company,” she says. “I’m still finding my feet and trying to understand all of the design potential that this company has to offer. I am receiving insight and mentorship from behind the scenes of an incredibly prestigious motor vehicle design company, with an impressive heritage.

“What is made at Rolls-Royce is more than just motor cars. They are fully customisable modes of transport, where the experience of the backseat passenger is considered to be just as important as that of the driver. It’s the pinnacle of luxury, and it is not lost on me how rare and what a privilege this opportunity is.”

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The internship offer came about after UWTSD’s Surface Pattern and Textiles programme met the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design team several years back when they were visiting the BA Automotive Design programme at UWTSD.  They took a detour and visited the much-loved 5th floor studio in the heart of Swansea College of Art, Dynevor Campus. They were immediately impressed by the diversity of creative questioning and design application that they saw from the Surface Pattern students, and this led them to offer the internship opportunity.

“When a company like Rolls-Royce contacts you to seek out suitable candidates for their internship programme it stops you in your tracks a little bit!” says Georgia McKie, Programme Director.

“We always like to say we are more than just a textiles course – this is what they saw in us too. Rolls-Royce were intrigued by the practice of combining many traditional, hand crafted processes with new, state of the art digital applications. This is integral to our outlook, this is our USP.

“We found out that Rolls-Royce work with a multidisciplinary team in their bespoke unit, including their bespoke interiors designers. This ethos aligns to our programme identity perfectly. The transferability of our students’ design skills and graduate attributes never cease to amaze us.” 

Georgia was delighted by the level of skill and effort that all the students put in while competing for the internship.

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“We were so impressed by the way that the students were able to rise to the challenge set by Rolls-Royce to ‘Create a Vision of Modern Luxury and Future Crafts’ – there wasn’t time to feel daunted by the gravitas of the brand!

“Rolls-Royce came to us for the students’ material and craft skills, and their understanding of, and their potential relevance to the luxe design sector. For the students to be able to communicate these attributes so effectively through digital submissions is testament to their advanced multidisciplinary skills which have long been at the core of the Surface Pattern and Textiles programme. The students who submitted projects to Rolls-Royce brought their materiality, patterns, textiles, engraved surfaces and innovative concepts to life, mapped over the dreamiest Rolls-Royce images and styled looks.” 

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Now she is excited to see what Rebecca achieves during the apprenticeship.

“The outcome for Rebecca is a game changer,” she says. “We cannot wait to see how she applies her specialism of designing print and pattern for couture level fashion to bespoke Rolls-Royce projects!

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“Rebecca has thrived on our programme, she epitomises all that we hope for in our students – her drawing, design and material realisation skills are exceptional as are her communication skills, which enabled her success at digital submission level and interview stage. She has embraced every single opportunity that the Surface Pattern and Textiles student experience has offered her.  We couldn’t be more proud.” 

Rebecca says that she is equally delighted with her experience of UWTSD.

“The tuition and the support on this course are like no other,” she says. “I honestly cannot think of any way in which the team could have worked harder or done better by us. We’ve had to overcome a lot of very odd obstacles over the last 18 months, but it hasn’t been lost on anyone on the course how lucky we have been to have such an incredible and committed staff cohort supporting us throughout these years, studying Surface Pattern Design. 

“In terms of opportunity to create and apply our designs I struggled to find any other course that offered the same facilities. Also, I can’t talk about the support on this course, without mentioning the work put in by our technicians, Sharon Cooper, and Lloyd James. From day one they are there to be as available as possible to help and support us with the facilities, they are invaluable alongside all of our lectures.”

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Rebecca adds she would highly recommend her course to others.

“If you love to draw, be creative, innovate and just generally just want to make the surfaces of the world beautiful, then go for it!” she says. “The sense of community has only grown throughout my time on the course. You will receive the support of not only the lecturers and your fellow students, but of the graduates that have come before you. If you choose to take the course, I hope it helps you find your design joy. That’s what it has done for me.”

Once she graduates, Rebecca hopes to continue to build her professional portfolio through both professional and personal projects.

“It would be a dream to get to keep designing patterns, but I am also keen to continue to build my understanding of the design industry and from as many perspectives as possible,” she says.

UWTSD’s Surface Pattern Design programme team are working with Rolls-Royce on an ongoing talent recruitment strategy, so other students on the programme will be enjoying a Rolls-Royce live brief in the not-too-distant future. 

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“We are resourceful on behalf of the students; we are demonstrative in the way that we grab every worthwhile live brief and project on their behalf,” says Georgia. “Despite the challenges of the last 16 months we have had some incredible opportunities come our way, there is a palpable sense of the design world bouncing back, and they are reaching out to the next generation of design talent. This is wonderful to be a part of.”  

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Art

Former Ospreys player and Paralympic athlete showcases his artwork in new exhibition

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Ospreys rugby player turned Paralympic discus thrower Harrison Walsh from Swansea is this month showcasing his talents away from the athletics stadium and in an art gallery.

London’s Zari Gallery is featuring The Art of the Athlete – an exhibition which runs from 9-27 May and is inspired by sport. Walsh – who is hoping to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer – is just one of the artists and he has submitted portraits of Kelly Holmes and Roger Bannister:

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Harrison Walsh

“My work is in pen and ink and I tend to sketch when I’m away at training camps. It’s a bit surreal to be part of an exhibition but I feel really honoured to be part of it.”

The exhibition will raise funds for The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund and the Lloyd Cowan Bursary which was set up by Olympic 400m Champion Christina Ohuruogu after the death of her legendary coach. Both causes raise funds for the next generation of athletic stars.

Walsh spent his youth climbing the Welsh rugby ranks. A professional rugby player for the Ospreys, the prop had played for Wales’ under 16s, 18s and had been selected for the under 20s. But his dreams were dashed in a career-ending injury at the age of 18 in 2015.

But since discovering athletics, Walsh has won bronze at the European Championships in the discus and holds the world record in the shot. And after just four years of training, he was selected for the Tokyo Paralympics

“My time in rugby was cut short so I didn’t achieve my success in but I feel it is bubbling now and that my time is coming.

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“I love throwing. Athletics has given me so much; it’s the best thing to ever happen to me. If I could ony say to that scared 18-year-old, you’ll find a real passion and you’ll be ok.”

Harrison’s work will be on display from 9-27 May 2022 at Zari Gallery, 73 Newman Street, London, W1T 3EJ.

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National Gallery masterpiece visits Haverfordwest

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The Riverside Library, Gallery and Visitor Information in Haverfordwest is welcoming a very special exhibition this spring, thanks to the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour, sponsored by Christie’s.

Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by Edgar Degas will form the centrepiece in an exhibition drawn from the National Welsh Portrait Collection at The National Library of Wales, which will be held at the Riverside Gallery, Haverfordwest.

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The exhibition will contextualise the painting through an exploration of the female form in art, and analyse the theory of the male gaze in portraits through the eyes of both female and male artists such as Seren Morgan Jones and Sir Kyffin Williams.

The exhibition will be open from 14 May – 3 September 2022 and will run alongside the current exhibition Pembrokeshire: Past & Present.

Mike Cavanagh, Head of Cultural, Leisure, Tourism and Registration Services for Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity finally to be part of the Masterpiece Tour after the pandemic forced us to put our plans on hold. The arrival of the Degas will have a huge impact on the community and the county’s many visitors, and will inspire, illuminate and raise ambition within the county.”

Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at the National Library of Wales added: “It is wonderful to be able to work with Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Gallery to bring the ‘Masterpiece Tour’ to this region of Wales which gives the residents of Pembrokeshire and those visiting the area the opportunity to see the Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by Edgar Degas.”

An exciting series of events and activities are being planned to support the exhibition, such as a special talk about the masterpiece painting by one of the National Gallery’s curators.

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Lead image: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas. Helene Rouart in her Father’s Study. (Image: The National Gallery, London)

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Hospital’s key workers put in the picture by grateful pupils

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If a picture is worth a thousand words then they are all thank yous when it comes to this painting gifted to the staff of Morriston Hospital.

The stunning artwork was created by talented Bishop Vaughan Catholic School sixth former Emily Paradice-Ruan in a bid to thank key workers for the role they played during the heights of the pandemic.

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Bishop Vaughan Catholic School sixth-former Emily Paradice-Ruan (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

The thoughtful gesture is particularly relevant as the Morriston-based school operated as a childcare facility for key workers during lockdowns with many of those who passed through its gates having parents who worked in the hospital.

Emily, who has depicted the various roles carried out by NHS staff in her painting, enlisted the help of dozens of primary school pupils by getting them to leave their fingerprints in a large rainbow which makes up the background.

Emma Pole, head teacher at Bishop Vaughan, said: “We have very close links to the hospital due to the fact a number of our children have parents working there. We knew what they were going through and we wanted to present it and to say thank you.

“It’s intended to reflect the many roles which the health care sector were fulfilling during the pandemic and the fact that they were putting their lives on the line for us every day. They were certainly experiencing tougher and bleaker times than any of us could ever have imagined.”

Mrs Pole explained that the artist, who was very keen for the hospital to have the painting, had ensured as many pupils as possible had a hand in the work.

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“As a school we were closed during lockdown but open as an emergency childcare setting, welcoming the children of those key workers each day.

“Those children contributed to the picture. The painting was something that Emily did in her own time and she came into school to do it in that childcare phase, with the children.

“Emily carefully formulated it so she painted key workers and those in different careers in the foreground with a rainbow in the back, as the symbol of the pandemic, and within it are the fingerprints of the key workers’ children.”

The painting was presented to the hospital by the school’s head girl and boy, Lauren Powell and Lloyd Thomas, as Emily is away at university.

Lloyd, as aged 17, said: “It’s quite special given everything that’s happened over the last couple of years. We are tremendously thankful for our key workers here at Morriston Hospital.

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“This repays only a fraction of our gratitude for all the work they do here, we’d like to do a lot more. We just hope that this picture is a nice symbol of saying thank you.”

Carol Doggett (left), Interim Director of Nursing at Morriston Hospital accepts the painting from staff and pupils of Bishop Vaughan School outside Morriston Hospital. (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

While 16-year-old Lauren added: “We just wanted to thank everyone for the incredible effort made by the Morriston team during the pandemic.

“I’m really grateful that we could show how thankful we are for all the key workers who risked their families and themselves during the pandemic. They are all just so amazing.

“I’m really glad I was able to see their reaction to the painting. I’m glad they liked it.

“I think it’s really special that the key workers’ children have their fingerprints in there because it shows how everyone was affected, and how we can all group together in times of need.”

The painting will be hung in the hospital’s main corridor, alongside a plaque noting the artist and school, so it is visible to all visitors.

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Carol Doggett, Interim Director of Nursing at Morriston Hospital, said: “It’s an honour to accept this artwork on behalf of all the staff here.

“It truly recognises the journey we have been on over the last two years. I think it will go a long way towards helping us look at that and reflect on that journey, and consider how we move forward.

“The children have really captured the emotional response from the public during the times that we have had the waves of Covid that we have experienced and managed.

“Removing the wrapping off the package was very emotional. We didn’t know what to expect and were so pleasantly surprised.”

Lead image: Bishop Vaughan pupils Lloyd Thomas and Lauren Powell with the painting donated to Morriston Hospital. (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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