A historic North-East trade body last night hosted an award presentation in honour of the talented students at RGU's Gray’s School of Art.
The Weaver Incorporation, one of the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen, has been presenting their annual Career Enhancement Awards at Trinity Hall since 1987.
Each year, the award is given to an outstanding student on the Fashion & Textiles degree course at Gray’s and it reflects the commitment of the Weaver Incorporation towards supporting the development of skills and helping students prepare for a career in textiles.
The 2018 prize was won by Emma Grieshaber, with Kimberley Monaghan receiving the runners-up award, at a ceremony hosted by Deacon George Henderson.
Emma, who is in her third year of her degree, was presented by Deacon Henderson with the J Gray Kilgour Medal, a certificate of excellence and £600. While Kimberley, who is also in her third year, took home a certificate of commendation and the runners-up prize of £300.
The awards, which are judged on the basis of a submitted portfolio and an interview, go towards helping the students fund an opportunity that will help them in starting their career – for example, to purchase a piece of equipment and materials, a study trip or a specialised workshop.
Emma, whose portfolio of work is based around bacteria and germs found on public transport, is thrilled to have won this year’s main prize.
“When I found out I was the winner, I was in such shock and couldn’t believe it.
“I believe that opportunities like these are so important to young designers. Winning the prize gave me such a confidence boost. The prize money allowed me to learn new skills and helped me become a better designer.
Kimberley, who picked up the runners up award, added: “I have to say I was surprised when I initially heard I had won the runner up spot, however, after the initial shock passed, I was flooded with sense of pride and accomplishment.
“It has let me know that my work and theme, which focused on the restrictiveness of mental illness and learning disabilities, was being understood.
“I think having this type of link and association with such a well-respected trade body such as The Weavers Incorporation is hugely important as it gives the students extra confidence as designers and creatives to know our work is respected by the industry.”
Graeme Nicol, Ex Deacon of the Weaver Incorporation, gave a presentation which provided the historic basis for the award.
He said: “From the 13th century, our trade in Aberdeen had craftsmen of similar skillsets banding together for the same broad reasons: to set and maintain standards of their craft; to ensure that their skills were passed on to future generations; and to support and look after their fellow members.
“When the textiles industry in Aberdeen fell into decline, the concept for the Career Enhancement Award was born. The winner and runner up each receive a cash prize aimed at building on their degree course to provide them with the additional skills and knowledge to progress them towards a fulfilling and rewarding career in their chosen area of textiles.
“We have been extremely proud to help nurture and encourage the students at Gray’s School of Art, to ensure that the centuries-old principles and practices of the Weavers continue on.”
by Rob Smith
Press and Media Enquiries