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64NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN 2011www.nadfas.org.ukNorth West Area funds Young Arts Area Representative Christine Daviesreveals details of an inspiring project in North West NW AREA FOCUS Selected candidates gathered atthe Whitworth Art Gallery inManchester at the end of Mayhoping that they would be successful inbeing awarded the 2011 NADFAS NorthWest Area Fine Arts bursary, generouslysponsored by the Brian MercerCharitable Trust for artists who arestudying Fine Art in one of theuniversities in the North West of Englandand who wish to become practisingartists in the region. Roger Duckworth,the Vice Chairman of the NADFAS NorthWest Area, is a Trustee of the BrianMercer Charitable Trust and brought thefunding to our attention last year. Brian Mercer was an inventive geniusworking in the plastics industry. He hada long-standing interest in art andamassed a prestigious collection offamous modern artists' work fromaround the world, including a portrait of himself by Salvador Dali. In his will he specified that, in addition to asizeable donation to the Royal Society(of which he was a member), the residueof his estate was to be left in aCharitable Trust and the income usedfor liver and eye research and for thebenefit of young artists mainly in theNorth West of England. Variousdonations have been made by the Trustto schools and colleges in the NorthWest and a series of sculpture researchscholarships have been set up inPietrasanta in Italy. The Trust is delighted to beassociated with NADFAS in supportingthis bursary. Information about theaward is sent to all North Westuniversities in February and alsoadvertised in the art press and on the NADFAS website invitingapplications. It was originally offered asa YA bursary, however, it becameapparent that many MA Fine Artstudents fall outside the YA age range,so it was extended to any age. Lastyear, three of the four winners wereaged under 26, and the same numberthis year. Although this is restricted

Above (l-r):Pieces by the threerunners up, Sam Cookson,MichelleHarrison andEstelle Woolley,who eachrecieved £500 Left:TracieShaylor (left)from BoltonUniversity, whoreceived themain award of £6,000, withNorth West Area ChairmanHelen Sugden fine arts students England that nurtures and supports talented artists during their studies to applicants from the North West it has been well received and this yearsaw the number of applications almost double. This year the candidates' work wasreviewed by Pavel Buchler, winner of the 2010 Northern Art Prize, MaryGriffiths, Curator of Fine Art at theWhitworth Art Gallery, Roger Duckworthand John Merrill, Trustees of the Brian Mercer Charitable Trust, JulietStaines, a freelance artist, and theYoung Arts Chairman, Denise Topolski. The decision was unanimousthat the main award of £6,000 should go to Tracie Shaylor from Bolton University. Tracie's work in her finalundergraduate year has concentratedon portraying Feminism and Sexuality inthe Third Wave Feminism Movement,which began in the 1990s. She hasbased her latest pieces on the Anglerfish hybrid which is a representation ofthe 'gender role reversal' and femaleempowerment in society today. Traciedescribed how she has been passionateabout all forms of art since earlychildhood and is equally talentedNW AREA FOCUSNADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN 201165working with oils on canvas as she iswith creating pieces of sculpture inconcrete, casting bronze, welding metal and using the camera to captureintense emotions. She has joined with other artists inBolton and their work can be viewed at www.neoartists.co.uk. This bursarywill enable her to continue to study forher MA at Bolton University. AlanBuckingham, her Programme Leader,also received £1,000 for the Fine ArtDepartment which will benefit allstudents in that Department. Bothawards were presented at their Degree Show.Three other awards for £500 eachwent to Michelle Harrison fromManchester Metropolitan University(MMU), Sam Cookson from theUniversity of Central Lancashire andEstelle Woolley from Chester University. The recipient of the 2010 bursary,Shona Harrison, is completing her MA atManchester Metropolitan University withthe support of the bursary and isplanning to establish a studio in theNorth West. She has had severalexhibitions around the country and hasjoined with other artists from theuniversity to stage these. Pavel Büchler, a Research Professorat MMU, believes the award offers greatsupport to beneficiaries. "There are notmany students today who canconcentrate on their studies withoutworrying about the economic burden offees and expenses. For Shona, thebursary has gone some way towardsalleviating such pressures and and herwork shows it. Above all, however, thebursary has been a greatencouragement and has helped Shonato sustain motivation and belief in herprospects as an artist. "For a small course, such as the FineArt MA at MMU, the £1,000 has made abig difference too. It has enabled us tofund the student's travel to visit theVenice Biennale and to extend ourpatronage beyond the end of the courseand help them to mount an exhibition inHelsinki in the autumn."All beneficiaries from the bursary areto be congratulated on the standard and diversity of their work and we lookforward to visiting their exhibitions in the future.