Cultivate @ The Courtyard Winners

Published on 22.05.20

Four of our Level 3 Extended Diploma Art & Design students were chosen by The Courtyard's Cultivate project and awarded professional mentorship whilst they worked on their own brief.

Cultivate @ The Courtyard 2020 

Four of our Extended Diploma Art & Design Students were selected for this year’s Cultivate project back in October. The project supports young artists aged 16-25 from Herefordshire with professional mentorship before the overall winner is presented with a cash prize. Each student has been exploring a different theme on their own terms, with support from mentor Maria Morgan, who is the Visual Arts Project Co-Ordinator at The Courtyard.

“Throughout Freya, Josh, Lauren and Lizzie have continued to push the boundaries, with a desire to create exciting new artworks. Embracing this opportunity to develop their individual inventive visual expression through excellent command of media, techniques and understanding of concepts.” 

Congratulations to each artist as they were awarded £1500 each for art materials since they were chosen for this project. However, the final exhibition was due to open to the public this month but hopefully there will be an opportunity to see the work for real at some future date. Meanwhile, the students have kindly shared some imagery and thoughts regarding their projects: 

Elizabeth Helder – ‘Solitude

Cultivate @ The Courtyard Winners 4

I have explored the topic ‘Solitude’ and investigated this through its negative and positive connotations, looking closely at colour palette and minimalist shapes to convey the feeling of solitude. This feeling being very relevant to many people across the country as we face the current COVID-19 pandemic with everyone in isolation experiencing a form of solitude that contains perhaps both positive and negative elements.

Lauren Nicholson-Little – ‘Fairy Tales and Folklore

Cultivate @ The Courtyard Winners 1

Researching folklore specific to Herefordshire has led to sampling where I have learnt many new techniques, including enamelling, chemical reactions and working on a larger scale, all helping to develop my artistic ability. Continuing this project at home, while college workshops were closed, provided many challenges but I have enjoyed experimenting with new processes and finding solutions by adapting my working methods.


Freya Bain – ‘Borders and Boundaries 

Cultivate @ The Courtyard Winners 2

For Cultivate I have created a collection of prints, embroideries and paper silhouettes inspired by my local Herefordshire landscapes. Having resources funded by the project has been particularly special, enabling me to purchase a printing press and beautiful hand-held tools for carving out intricate details that explore textures through line, colour and shape.


Josh Sankey – ‘Rural Lives 

Cultivate @ The Courtyard Winners 3

For this project I have explored the difference between lives led over the last 70 years, then and now across Herefordshire. This has led me to create both photographic and hand-drawn ink portraits of the individuals I have interviewed.