Designer Weaves her Magic

Designer Weaves her Magic

4th July 2013


A TEXTILE designer has woven her magic into a wining design after picking up a top college honour.

Cleveland College of Art & Design textile student Gill Kirk, 49, was presented with the Joe Cole award for best artwork for her tulip collagraph.The textile collage was selected from hundreds of entries by students, at both the college’s Middlesbrough and Hartlepool campuses, by judge and former CCAD fine art lecturer Ken Young.“The Joe Cole award is the college’s top honour and is given to the student who produces the best overall artwork each year,” said Ken.Joe was a well-respected former head of foundation art who came to work at CCAD after leaving the Royal Air Force in 1947. He died in post in the 1980s and a fund was set up to provide an annual award in his name.“I chose Gill’s work as the overall winner because it was a nice drawing, very interesting textually with good composition and surface quality,” Ken said.  “The whole work was very active and I very much liked the way that she introduced her textile work with stitching detail in the flower petals. I’m sure Joe would have approved.”Traditionally the winner’s art is bought by the college for £100 and hung alongside work by previous Joe Cole award recipients. But Gill will now have to reproduce a copy of her collagraph after the original was bought by the college’s principal Martin Raby.“I saw Gill’s work go up on display before we opened for our degree show,” he said.“I thought it was so good that I bought it for my wife before Ken had a chance to judge it – so we asked her to commission another.”Gill, who also teaches outdoor pursuits in the Dales National Park near her hometown of Pateley Bridge, added “I thought it was an honour when the principal asked to buy my work but because the standard of work is so high here I was literally skipping around when I heard that I’d won the Joe Cole Award too.“I’d always wanted to study art since I was 18, but my father said no. Now I’m here at 49 and it’s fabulous, I love every minute of it.“I’ve always drawn and I also love flowers so my work captured the essence of everything I enjoy. “It all seemed to come together when I was making it and I was really pleased with the outcome, which is just as well as I have to make another now.”Gill is now hoping to run workshops as an artist in residence in Harrogate and will also be exhibiting her work at the town’s conference centre from July 13-16.For more information on CCAD courses contact (01642) 288888 or log on to

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