From education to employment

Exhibition by emerging Wirral talent opens at Williamson Art Gallery

Principal Sue Higginson, Award winner Kirsty Anne Wilson & Daniel Norman, Arts Manager

Titled Fusion, the exhibition showcases work by Wirral Met College degree students on Fine Art, Illustration with Animation and Photography courses.

The College has been holding annual degree shows at the Williamson Art Gallery for over twenty five years. This year’s show carries on this tradition of celebrating the latest emerging talent from the region.

The exhibition of work from 17 graduating students covers diverse topics from social housing, chronic illness, mythological characters and menstruation.

Friends, family and colleagues gathered at the Williamson Art Gallery on Thursday 12 May for a private view.

Photography student Kirsty Anne Wilson, from Neston, was given a special recognition award by the College on the night. Her artwork will now join the College’s growing alumni collection across all five of its campuses.

Reacting to the news, Kirsty said: “I am totally surprised but really proud that my artwork has been recognised for what it is. There is a lot of good work here and it could have gone to anyone. I’m just really proud that a story like mine has been recognised.”

Kirsty’s thought-provoking self-portraits titled ‘Inescapable – a journey into the unknown self’, is a personal journey exploring who she is and her place in the world. Kirsty’s work depicts the experiences felt of learning to live with a chronic illness and pain in the face of ongoing adversity.

Created using a variety of photographic practices including digital and analogue, the black and white photographs explore the themes of pain, illness and loneliness, but also bravery, hope and determination to never give up.

Kirsty said: “I wanted to highlight the hidden side of chronic illness and disability. Everyone sees the wheelchair but they don’t see what goes on behind that and the truth of how hard it can be. I wanted the project to open that up.”

36 year old Kirsty started at Wirral Met on the HND Photography course, before progressing on to BA (Hons) Photography Top Up. The year degree allows students to ‘top up’ their existing skills into a full honours degree.

“My time at Wirral Met has been a huge journey. For my first two years on HND Photography I spent 90% of my time in hospital. This past year I’ve been out more than in hospital and I’ve actually been able to enjoy the course and focus on my work. I couldn’t have done it without my amazing tutors.”

Kirsty is continuing her studies with a PGCE at Wirral Met from September, with the hopes to become a photography teacher. She is also working with the Royal Photographic Society.

Principal of Wirral Met College, Sue Higginson, said:

“Fusion Exhibition showcases the fantastic achievements of our graduating students and marks the start of their professional journey as artists.

“With the origins of the college starting as an Arts School, we are proud to champion creativity and provide an opportunity for students to share their work with the wider community.”

The Exhibition is open Wednesday to Saturday until Saturday 21 May, 10.30am – 4.30pm, in Galleries 1 and 13. Entry is free.

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