Inspirational student builds career foundation at UCLan

20 June 2018

Life experiences inspire art project

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student from Preston has overcome homelessness and taken steps towards her dream career.

Sheldon Thomason was left homeless at the age of 17 but has since got her life back on track after studying an art and design foundation entry course at UCLan.

Having worked in a series of jobs to make ends meet, last year she made the decision to return to education and pursue a qualification.

Her final year project, titled ‘playing throne,’ was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and comprises 18 packs of large red playing cards in the shape of a throne.

Using a layering technique, Sheldon, 19, used glue to place down a total of 936 individual playing cards.

Sheldon said: “Being homeless at a young age wasn’t the best start in life for me and so I wanted to use this experience at UCLan to create a piece of artwork that represented a sense of escapism and a way out for people who have been or are in a similar situation to me.

"It has been a tough year for me but my tutors at UCLan have supported me at every stage over the past year. I am so glad I chose UCLan to study my foundation degree."

“The course allowed me to create my own brief for my final project and although developing this project had its challenges, I wanted to use it as a platform to share my experiences with others.

“UCLan has enabled me to develop a deeper passion for art and I am now looking at career opportunities in interior design which is something I never thought would be possible."

Sheldon intends to continue using her design skills and is determined to make art and design part of her future.

Her design will be on display at UCLan’s Preston campus from Friday 15-Friday 22 June as part of the Lancashire Arts Festival Degree Show.

Sheldon Thomason
Sheldon Thomason