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    Art student triumphs at prestigious London exhibition

    There was major success for an Abingdon & Witney College student on Thursday night (6 July) at the University of London’s (UAL) annual exhibition, Origins, at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.

    Now in its seventh year, Origins celebrates the works of students studying UAL Awarding Body qualifications. This edition saw around 25,000 UAL students qualify for submission, and over 450 works being submitted for the exhibition. Of these, 117 pieces were selected and put on display by professional curator Elliot Burns, 7 of them coming from Abingdon & Witney College students.

    19 year-old Amelia Al-Attar, who is studying on the Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course, was the student who prevailed and was awarded the overall winner’s prize for her ‘Presence and Absence’ display, which used a blend of photography, simplicity, and emotion to create her unique theme.

    Utilising the skills she has learnt during her time at college, Amelia removed herself from a series of family pictures in a photo album through a complex digital process, contrasting this alongside untouched photos. Clearly, the project resonated with the exhibition judges and, even though rather fittingly Amelia wasn’t there to collect the award, she was understandably delighted with the outcome:

    “The part of my project that I enjoyed the most was learning how to remove and recreate different parts of photographs,” said Amelia. “It was extremely rewarding when the edited images came out successful.”

    She continued: “The course at Abingdon & Witney has helped me to achieve my success massively. The tutors offer ongoing support through tutorials where they help you to see where your project could go next, what your strengths and weaknesses are and also to teach you a variety of new skills that can be used. The course helped me hugely with my university application as I was able to build a strong portfolio from the projects we completed and with my interview skills.”

    Sarah Atkinson, Head of Academic Standards at UAL Awarding Body, commented on Amelia’s stand-out success: “The annual UAL Origins show features a selection of the best art, design and media work produced by students studying on UAL Awarding Body qualifications and culminates in a prize-giving for those pieces that have particularly impressed the UAL Awarding Body Academic Standards team of Chief Examiners.

    Abingdon & Witney student Amelia Al-Attar was awarded a special commendation prize for her work, a set of two traditional family photo albums, at first sight identical but one where her own image had been digitally erased from every print. In addition to being a very technically sophisticated piece the judges were impressed with the alternative narratives that the work provoked in the viewer, posing questions about identity and relationships.”

    Our Level 3 offering across all subject areas has also recently received plaudits – a government report found that students have a better chance of achieving their qualifications with Abingdon & Witney College rather than any other college in England.

    It is not too late to sign up to one of our highly regarded art and design courses this September. Find out more today: www.abingdon-witney.ac.uk/art-and-design

    (July 2017)

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