Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Skip to main content

Three emerging artists have been selected as the winners of a new competition launched by Solent University, Southampton to champion the artistic pursuits of college students across England.

1st May 2024
Art and designPhotographyHomepage - News - Standard

The competition, which was spearheaded by Solent’s Course Leader in Photography, Nina Sverdvik and Course Leader in Fine Art, Nic Chamberlain invited college students to submit their artworks – whether photography, portraits or mixed-media pieces – to be part of an open exhibition in Southampton’s Guildhall Square.

Out of close to 200 submissions, 30 pieces have been selected for display, while three have been chosen as winning submissions for their outstanding skill and captivating nature. Daniel Crow, Director of ‘a space’ arts and a judge of the competition, says:

"It has been great to work alongside Solent University to curate this exhibition, and an honour to select works from such a great cohort of talent. It’s encouraging to see the artists of tomorrow are so talented, making work relevant to today’s society, and that they see Solent University as the place for them to take the next steps in their education and creative careers.”

Aiming to elevate the profile of emerging artists, Solent’s competition is the first of its kind to be hosted by the University, with submissions coming in from all corners of the country. Mia Delve, ‘a space’ arts’ Creative Programme Manager announced the winners on the night, while handing out accolades for highly commended artists.

First place went to Ella Davenport, a student at City of Portsmouth College, whose sculpture, ‘Roofscape’, wowed the judges. On her piece, Ella says:

“I was drawn to the roofscape as it gave a very different perspective on both sound and visual surroundings. I took inspiration from the aging lead pipes and surrounding infrastructure and generated a sculpture of scale.”

Taking home second place was Aleksandrs Puhovs, a Barton Peveril College student whose beguiling image of a public payphone and its shadow caught the judges’ attention. In third place, The College of Richard Collyer student, Keeley Webster-Richardson embraced photographic print and the art of collage to raise awareness of climate change. Keeley says:

“The message behind this piece of work is how fragile our environment is and that if we don’t look after it, it will slowly get disrupted and distorted until it’s no longer recognisable.”

All three winners received cash prizes and art and photography supplies of their choosing, alongside an opportunity to visit Solent University for a taster day, touring their extensive facilities. Nina Sverdvik, Course Leader for Photography, says:

“Having the opportunity to see and celebrate the artistic outputs of college students along the coast and further afield has been wonderful. Seeing those artists come together and champion one another was even more rewarding. Initiatives like this for burgeoning artists working across all disciplines are important, and we are so excited about this new competition and its future.”

Following the opening celebration on Tuesday 30 April, the exhibition is now on public display, and open to all, until Thursday 2 May.

Read more about the competition here.