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Court Barn Bursary

Court Barn supports students from Chipping Campden School each year by offering a bursary to help them on their career path in the arts. The bursary is integral to the museum’s aim to promote craft and design and provides an opportunity for emerging artists to realise their full potential.

The curator, Sarah McCormick Healy, says “This is a fantastic opportunity for the students to help them at the start of their careers, especially when they are still exploring which area they would like to pursue, it could be art, jewellery, graphic design, metalwork. There are so many options. The money can be used towards material costs, or visiting museums and galleries around the world to draw inspiration. We enjoy working with the school and enaging with the students.


Gemma Clark, winner 2019


Gemma was awarded the Court Barn Bursary in 2019. She undertook a foundation course at Oxford Brookes.

After workshopping lots of different disciplines, e.g. fashion, 3D, textiles, moving image, illustration, graphic design, photography and darkroom etc.she specialised in two paths, graphic design and illustration. Illustration involved developing skills such as bookbinding, rubber stamp printing and laying out your thoughts on design sheets.In graphic design, Gemma developed a basic knowledge of Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. 

Gemma will be starting her Illustration degree at Brighton University in Autumn 2021

During Gemma's time at Oxford Brookes she also started binding her own drawing notebooks. We have a selection of them at the museum for sale in both A5 and A6 size with various paper weights. 





Gemma describes some of her projects here:


















My course ran weekly life drawing classes in the evenings, and I attended them whenever I could. These are examples of some of the work I created: sessions start with very quick poses to warm up, and move on to two or three longer poses. I found them hugely helpful to train my eye with proportions, light and perspective.



This is from the graphic design brief. We were tasked with creating book covers for an essay called Non Places: An Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. One main focus for this project was to use typography creatively: you can see I cut the title out of paper and photographed it in front of different locations. The second focus was to use Adobe InDesign and Photoshop to create a cover with accurate measurements for printing. This sort of induction has meant I am far more confident with Adobe software than I was a year ago. 



An early brief for illustration students was to create an illustration for a passage of fictional text. I chose a description of a city called Utensia from the Alice in Wonderland series, which is a city made entirely of kitchen units and populated by utensils! This is one of the worksheets in which we were encouraged to experiment as much as we could and suspend our judgement until we’d finished. Working like this allows us to make more varied and exciting work, which we can evaluate and refine later.





This was the outcome of the Utensia illustration project. My experimentation led me down a completely unexpected route: papercraft! I created a small cardstock oven, which opened onto a tiny handcrafted book full of scraps, string and hand carved rubber stamp prints. This was one of my very first handmade books.




I worked on this alongside my other projects. This is a hand-sewn book full of colourful pages and receipts collected over a few weeks. It acts as a record of sorts - I was interested in receipts as a passive record of daily life, coming together to create a bigger picture. It was my first stitched book- it uses a modified version of Coptic stitch for single pages. 






Since lockdown, I’ve had the chance to refine and practice my bookbinding. It’s become a passion project: creating sketchbooks with high-quality paper, but that still look beautiful and are special objects even before being filled. I wouldn’t have discovered my love for bookbinding if I hadn’t been on my foundation year. Oxford Brookes has a dedicated bookbinding workshop, and the Court Barn bursary allowed me to buy resources to use in binding and in so many other areas of the course














Email: turquoisecho@gmail.com

Instagram: @seaside.illustration

The blog I documented my foundation year https://turquoisecho.art.blog/ - this is no longer updated but is comprehensive and quite interesting! 

The blog I am using currently https://seasideillustration.art.blog/