Student talent applauded at UWE Bristol awards

Issue date: 15 February 2017

Celebrating UWE Talent, Wednesday 15 February 2017,Exhibition and Conference Centre on Frenchay Campus

Signing up for TV's toughest endurance challenge, painting an 80 sq. community mural and leading a successful art therapy club are just some of the successes of the finalists at this year's Celebrating UWE Talent awards.

Hosted by the University's Employability and Enterprise team, this annual event recognises the achievements of UWE Bristol students who've represented the University through hundreds of work-based learning opportunities including placements, internships and volunteering in local, national and international businesses.

Students have been nominated in 10 award categories by their employer or a staff member.

Katy Parrott, Zoë Power and Frances Cooper are all finalists in the category of Arts, Creative Industries and Education Student of the Year. The ACE Talent Award highlights the wide range of work based learning projects and placements that take place within the Faculty. The aim of the award is to recognise students who have initiated their own project based work experience and/or placement, and taken time to reflect upon this experience for their future development and career planning.

Katy Parrott, MA Wildlife Filmmaking - Finalist

Recent MA Wildlife Filmmaking graduate Katy Parrott signed up for the ultimate work-experience placement, beating off 1000s of other applicants to fly off to South Africa to take on the challenge of the current BBC Two series Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week.

Katy says, “I felt very humbled and actually quite surprised to be nominated for the ACE Student of the Year Award. My experience being a 'recruit' in the BBC series Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week is far from your average work experience. But it turned out to be life changing. The opportunity exposed me to life in front of camera, on location with a 100 strong crew and more importantly revealed a physical and mental resilience I didn't know I had. And it's a good job I possessed those qualities as 3 days after filming in South Africa for the show, I set off to trek 400km for my Master final film project.

“Partaking in the training inspired me to join the Army Reserves where I am training to be a Combat Medic for an infantry unit in my spare time. Since graduating from the Masters in Wildlife Filmmaking, I have secured a job developing wildlife and adventure film ideas for Monty Halls. My Army and film careers complement each other perfectly and I'm positive that taking part in the show has been the main influential factor for gaining my dream combination of jobs.”

Zoë Power MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking – Finalist

Artist Zoë Power, in collaboration with artist Sophie Rae, was commissioned by local improvement group, The Church Road Town Team to take on the huge challenge of painting an 80 square metre mural during June 2016 on Bristol's busy Church Road.

Zoë says, “I'm delighted to be nominated. Through my experience, I learnt and discovered more than any book or website could ever reveal and definitely furthered my career path as a commercial artist. Some of the challenges included engaging with over 200 people from the local community, many of whom had very differing opinions on the mural design; the physical and mental challenge of painting continuously for over six (quite rainy) weeks and overcoming obstacles at every step including issues with scaffolding and getting paint to stick to an anti-graffiti coated wall.

“The mural has furthered my career as a local artist and mural painter. Since then I have received several public art commissions, including working for Great Western Railway and for Bristol City Council. The mural has been essential to informing my public image and artistic style, which I am now carrying over into my MA studies in printmaking.”

Frances Cooper, BA(Hons) Fine Art – Finalist

Fine Art student, Frances Cooper has been making a difference as a student volunteer working as the Project Leader for UWE Bristol's Creative Club, a volunteer-run arts and crafts session in partnership with The Milestones Trust, for adults with physical and mental disabilities.

Frances says, “I'm delighted that my volunteer work with the Creative Club has been recognised in this way. In addition to the new skills I've developed, volunteering has given me a sense of confidence. It can be quite daunting dealing with people with learning and physical difficulties and it is most certainly challenging, so when you have a particularly successful session with a happy service user it gives you a real sense of achievement. I'm considering doing a Masters in Art Therapy when I graduate and I think work experience in this area will put me ahead of the competition in my application.”

Business collaboration is central to UWE Bristol's success in achieving market leading graduate employment results. Figures show more than 90% of UWE Bristol graduates that worked with an employer during their degree found professional jobs, compared with 78% for all UWE Bristol graduates. UWE Bristol boasts the UK's largest paid internship programme which has secured 2,000 internships since 2010.

James Brickell, Head of Digital Production at the BBC Natural History Unit currently has three UWE Bristol graduates on his digital team. He says, “I have been lucky to work closely with seven or eight of the UWE Graduates over the last few years on a range of projects and been incredibly impressed by the quality of the people I have met. Without exception they have arrived not only skilled and ready to go in a career in TV but all of them have been fantastic personalities who have contributed hugely to the creative atmosphere at the NHU.”

For more information on recruiting students and graduates from UWE Bristol please visit our website.

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