News and events

UCLan artist recognised for community work

26 March 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Abi receives commemorative award at celebratory exhibition

An art exhibition at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is celebrating the work of a former fine art student who passed away in 1997 and the work his family has since done to support budding new artists.

The Buckroyds exhibition at the University showcases work produced by Tom Buckroyd during his time at UCLan and that of six other fine art and drawing and image making students who have benefited from an annual award set up by Tom’s family since his death.

Each year a promising UCLan art student has been handed the Tom Buckroyd award which provides the recipient with £500 towards an art project.

This year’s winner, 48-year-old Abi Townsend, won the prize for her community art projects in the town of Bentham where she lives. She commented: “I am delighted to receive this award.  It’s really encouraging and something to be shared with the community.  I think it’s fantastic that Tom Buckroyd’s family continue to support this prize as I think creative ventures are a great way of enhancing people’s lives.”


Abi’s work focuses on sourcing and using local materials as well as up-cycling unwanted materials so that nothing goes to waste.  She is also continuing the Bentham tradition of weaving.  Her latest piece of art work, a rustic peg loom, is made entirely from local wood and uses cut up old clothing to form a woven piece.


“The ethos of my art work is to support local producers as much as possible and show that nothing needs to go to waste and can be re-used to create something new.  My projects are about connecting people, skills and opportunities whilst considering local needs” said Abi.


Senior lecturer in fine art at UCLan, David Mackintosh, commented: “It is very generous of Tom Buckroyd’s family to continue to support this award and help to develop UCLan’s art students.

"Abi’s work is very engaging and she is using her skills to make a difference in her local community. Her work is something that can be appreciated by everyone.”

Abi’s work along with pieces from previous winners of the Tom Buckroyd award; Alex Daw, Andy Greenacre, Linda Erliz, William Titley and Michael Walker, is currently on display at UCLan in Hanover building until the 29 March.

The exhibition is curated by David Mackintosh and presents a specially selected collection of Tom’s work alongside individual pieces by previous beneficiaries of the award who have continued to develop as artists after graduation. For more information visit