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Lyn draws out her path to success with Futures Fund support

Lynn Killeen

Exhibition ‘Lost Souls’ August 2016, Lyn Killeen and Jane Sutcliffe.

Fine Art graduate Lyn Killeen turned to the Futures Fund for help in getting her business off the ground after receiving a first class honours degree in 2015.  

The financial support she has received from the Futures Fund, combined with the opportunity to work and learn from business experts at the University’s Enterprise Place, has enabled Lyn to transform her business into a thriving start-up.  

Since launching earlier this year, Lyn has completed numerous projects across the region, and has worked on the nationwide 14-18 Now initiative which aims to commemorate those who fought in the first World War.  

Lyn is hugely thankful to the Futures Fund and the Enterprise Place for helping her to develop the business acumen to go alongside her obvious artistic ability.  

“Since being accepted for support from the University of Sunderland Enterprise Place I have produced a comprehensive business plan to help me focus on my aims and goals,” she said.  

“I have registered as a self-employed as a sole trader and am trading as a freelance artist as well as developing my artist professional practice.”  

Thanks to the support she has received, Lyn was able to secure an art studio at the world-class National Glass Centre, which has acted as a hub for the various projects she has taken on.

She added: “My studio at the National Glass Centre has provided me with an excellent base from which to plan my participatory arts projects and also to develop my own artist practice.”  

The artist recently completed the six-week People into Enterprise course, which assists creatives looking to make it big with the often tricky task of turning their business into a success.  

The insights Lyn received from this gave her the confidence to try more ambitious projects, most notably the Lost Souls exhibition which was unveiled at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea last August. In a collaboration with Jane Sutcliffe, Lyn paid tribute to the Maritime history of the area and to the brave lifeboatmen and women who lost their lives at sea trying to protect others.  

The piece proved to be as atmospheric as it was moving, attracting visitors from across the North East and receiving recognition from local newspaper and radio.  

“The exhibition reflects the sacrifices made to enable the current generations to live to tell the tale,” she explained. “By engaging with our emotions we raise concerns to portray a poignant message with a contemporary edge.”  

“We have evaluation cards with lots of positive feedback which will contribute to strengthen funding applications in the future.”  

With her business going from strength to strength, Lyn looks to set for a long career working in Art. She praised the Futures Fund and was of the firm belief that the support she received was critical to her success.  

She concluded: “I’d like to give a huge thanks to the Futures Fund. Without its support, I genuinely don’t think I would be where I am now.” 

The Internships and Enterprise project is receiving up to £2,359,457 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. ‌The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. ‌Established by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Article written by Matthew Shevlin, University of Sunderland Journalism graduate.

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