Writing the introductory text to a showcase publication, always calls for a moment of reflection, but this year it feels more poignant than ever. Lockdown occurred in the week that this group finished their final collections. The students submitted their work amid a rising spirit of descent, and then dispersed to bedrooms, flats and houses across the Country. Overnight, everything changed.
The thing is, these students have done brilliantly. They have worked in the most varied of circumstances and their creativity, innovation and determination have shone through.
One of the reasons that they have done so well, is because as a cohort they developed such a strong sense of studio community. From the outset they collaborated and encouraged each-other, developing a supportive and inclusive group identity that was always laced with humour. Their studio was routinely a mess, the blinds were askew and the floor was regularly covered in paper and bits of fabric. But in that studio the foundations were laid - and that has made all the difference.
Nothing can replicate a studio environment, but what it engenders in approach, methodology and creative spirit can be applied across all contexts, and it is because of that, that these students have done, and will do, so well.
To say we are proud would be an understatement. We think they are brilliant.