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Fund sets Alys on path to glass excellence

Alys Rainbird Stanislava Libensky Award

Alys Rainbird Artwork

The Excellence Scholarship provided Alys Rainbird the necessary financial support that allowed her to focus on her studies and had an instant impact on the work she was producing in her final year of her degree.

Alys applied to the Futures Fund in the second year on her BA in Glass and Ceramics after taking a leave of absence to have a baby.

She explained: “Prior to my leave of absence I constantly got very high marks for my projects and I was considered a very hard working and extremely promising student. On my return I was still as dedicated and hardworking but now had the additional pressures of balancing my practical work and childcare.”

On her return to her course Alys discovered that she was ineligible for childcare support through the Students Loans Company and she couldn’t afford to pay for the childcare she needed to keep coming to university every day.

She said: “As a glass and ceramics student, being in the department is of the highest importance as it is virtually impossible to work from home, due to my need to access specialist tools and materials.

“As well as the practical implications of spending less time in the department, there are also the opportunities that I would miss such as demonstrations, talks from visiting artists, workshops, and the chance to assist artists with their work.

“All of these experiences not only enhanced the work that I was producing but also provided valuable skills and knowledge that had direct impact on my practical work and the grades that I was achieving.”

The money that the student received went towards helping her pay for childcare costs allowing her to have extra time on the department to produce a body of work entitled The Swansong of the Obsolete for her final year project.

“My project explored the perceived history and narrative of lost and discarded objects,” Alys said. “I am fascinated with the way in which ordinary objects can become imbued with history and imagined narratives and although they have been lost or discarded, they often bear the patina of possession and use.”

Due to the time Alys was able to dedicate to this project, the work she produced was of such a high standard that she was accepted on a Masterclass in Scotland and was also shortlisted for the prestigious Stanislav Libensky Award and exhibited in the Dox gallery in Prague.

She concluded: “I would like to thank the donors for the funding. Without the money from the Futures Fund I wouldn’t have been able to achieve excellent marks and produce interesting practical work that has set me up for a career as an artist.”

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