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University students from Bath Spa and Falmouth work together for final place in coveted Porthleven Prize residency

Ten students from Bath Spa University, and ten students from Falmouth University, have successfully completed their first five-day Porthleven Prize residency, and their fate is in the expert judging panel’s hands for a final place in its prestigious 14-day residency, at the Porthleven Lifeboat Art Studio.

Earlier in March the students from the two universities joined together, bringing with them their unique insight from a differing range of courses and years of study. The aim of this first residency was to provide them with the rare opportunity to learn and work together through co-creation, and take part in workshops with esteemed art academics, in England’s most southerly port of Porthleven. 

The first residency also enables students to think about how they would use the 14-day full residency to advance their practice if successful, and develop work for an exhibition in collaboration with other prize winners.

Using their professional creativity, the successful individuals took on the challenge of responding to the Prize’s theme of ‘provenance’; depicting a place or source of origin, in the heart of Porthleven. Now in its tenth year, many of the Porthleven Prize projects have taken participants beyond their normal fields of expression, through visual and performing arts, music, poetry and spoken word.

Naomi Box, Advancement and Civic Engagement Manager at Bath Spa University said: 

“The Porthleven Prize changes lives! Every student and staff member who is involved finds their way of looking at the world, their practice, and themselves, broadened. Each maker, writer, dancer, musician and individual has evolved as their work takes a new direction. Now in its 10th year the Porthleven Prize has brought students from all years, all disciplines, and since 2022, from two universities together, the results are incredible and inspiring.”

On Wednesday 29 March, all students presented their proposals to a panel of judges, including:

  • Trevor Osborne of the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust (donor)
  • Kate Abbey – Head of Programming and Creative Content at Bath Festivals
  • Mandy Jandrell – Director of Institute of Photography and Falmouth School of Art
  • Dan Allen – Head of School of Bath Spa University’s Bath School of Art, Film and Media
  • Sandra Le Marchant of the Sandra Le Marchant Charitable Trust

Students gave a a five-minute presentation and then had 10-minutes to discuss their ideas with the panel.

The panel will now decide which five successful students from each university will be selected for the further fully-funded, second residency at the Porthleven Lifeboat Art Studio, which is scheduled to take place Friday 5 May – Friday 19 May 2023.

The 14-day residency will be followed by a touring exhibition of their work.

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