2018 Awardee: Jean Oberlander
Jean gained a First Class Honours Degree from Gray’s School of Art, where she studied BA Fashion and Textile Design. The course enabled her to experiment within both spheres of material and body using hand and machine knitting. Her degree collection won the Alexandrina McKenzie Legacy Award, a Highly Commended in the BP Graduate Design Award, and was selected for the Visual Arts Scotland Graduate Showcase at the Royal Scottish Academy.
In 2017 Jean moved to London after gaining a place on the MA Textiles course at the Royal College of Art, specialising in Knit. Her MA dissertation received a distinction, and she gave a paper at the “In the Loop” knitting academic conference in July 2018.
Jean continues to work between the body and space to create knitted pieces that are both familiar and unfamiliar. She uses knitting, mark making and writing in her practice to convey the metaphors of the knitted stitch. In the future, she aims to build on her MA and continue to push the boundaries in knit further.
How the Award Helped
Jean received a Dewar Arts Award to support her MA studies at the Royal College of Art.
On achieving her award, Jean said: “Without the Dewar Award I would have not been able to attend the RCA at all. The support meant I was able to pay for tuition fees and materials, without which I would have not been able to make work of any standard. I am so grateful for the continued support in my education, it means so much to me and being on this course has enabled me to build more confidence in my work as well as making connections and experimenting in a supportive and innovative environment. I am eternally grateful for the support in making sure I am able to build a better future for myself.”