Entrepreneurial award win for textiles talent

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Jess Kirkpatrick

Passion for the environment inspires ‘cohesive, creative and commercial’ portfolio

A lifelong passion for plants and endangered species has inspired a talented textiles design student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to win a prestigious enterprise award.

Jessica Kirkpatrick, 22, from Lytham St Annes, won the sought-after Creative Lancashire Award for Enterprise at UCLan’s recent 2020 Degree Shows award ceremony which for the first time took place live on-line. 

In her final collection, ‘Living Specimen’, Jess combined her talent for drawing with experimental processes such as screen printing and mark making to create eye–catching prints. Incorporated into wallpaper and fabric designs, the entrepreneurial graduate has created a variety of products which are now available to buy from her on-line shop.      

Jess, who has just graduated from the BA (Hons)Textiles Design programme, explained: “My lifelong passion for the environment and the living world inspired me to create a body of work which focused on endangered species and the habitats in which they live.  I wanted to create designs that can educate people on species they may never have heard about before.

“Hopefully my work will capture people’s attention and help to start conversations, whether it’s asking about the unusual creature climbing through the branches or, how the print would look as a whole in their home.

“I try to capture flora and fauna as realistically as I can,” Jess added. “In fact, I’ve been making my own scientific discoveries along the way.”

We are delighted to recognise Jess this year. She has not only created a cohesive, creative and commercial portfolio of work but also made a powerful statement about environmental issues and endangered species.

Ever year students from across the University’s creative disciplines are entered for the award with the winner having to demonstrate excellence and a high level of professionalism or industry readiness.

This year the judging panel included Chair of Creative Lancashire Jenny Rutter, a producer with two decades' experience supporting and developing creative practice in the North West. Jenny is also a director of British Textiles Biennial

Commenting on Jess’s achievement Jenny said: “We are delighted to recognise Jess this year. She has not only created a cohesive, creative and commercial portfolio of work but also made a powerful statement about environmental issues and endangered species. We are convinced she has all the qualities needed to forge a successful career in the years to come."

As part of her award, Creative Lancashire has now facilitated a meeting for Jess with the creative team as Standfast & Barracks, a world leader in fabric printing, to provide feedback on the imaginative student’s portfolio and advice on the next steps in her career.

In addition to Jess, UCLan’s 2020 Art show awards saw seven other students from a variety of creative disciplines recognised for the quality of their work. The winners were: Nellie Jenkinson, Architecture Technology; Brandon Kinder, Product Design; Ellie Spicket, Graphic Design; Tiwiyari Ndora, Fashion Promotion; Nathan Johnson, Photography; Andrea Banks, Foundation – Art & Design (3D) and Lukasz Kyc, Games Design.

Images of Jess at work in her studio can be found in our Flickr Gallery.

Chris Theobald | 27 July 2020