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Fisrt Class Honours Degrees For College Artists

10th July 2009 <b>Fisrt</b> Class Honours Degrees For College Artists

Two Calderdale College students have been awarded first class honours degrees on the BA (Hons) Visual Arts Degree course. Ruth Beazley from Mill Bank and Sheila Woodhead from Luddenden Foot were among eight students to complete their degrees, run in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, at the college’s Todmorden campus.

Two Calderdale College students have been awarded first class honours degrees on the BA (Hons) Visual Arts Degree course. Ruth Beazley from Mill Bank and Sheila Woodhead from Luddenden Foot were among eight students to complete their degrees, run in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, at the college’s Todmorden campus.

Ruth began studying at Calderdale College five years ago on an Access course after a 40-year career in education and social services management. “I’d wanted to be an artist all my life and enrolled on the course to fulfil a lifelong ambition”, she explained. “I’m absolutely delighted at having gained a first.”
 

Ruth’s project, ‘Could Have Been Me’ uses old photographs to explore her own identity, superimposing her own features onto pictures of female mill workers who lived in a hostel in Triangle in the 1950s. Displayed alongside the original photos, the concept of identity is blurred. “It’s an attempt to explore the past and present and a personal association with these women”, she said.

Sheila Woodhead is a sessional worker for Calderdale Vulnerable Children’s Service and also works with children with disabilities. She’s been working full time throughout her studies, starting on the Access course, then completing a further three years. “I took up art to have a complete change in my life and stumbled on the course in Todmorden by chance”, she said. “It began as a hobby and then I couldn’t stop!”

Sheila’s display ‘Aviary’ features birds and cages and incorporates a beaded dress bodice. Her inspiration began with a bird cage discovered in a shop in Todmorden. “I’m often inspired to begin work with a found object and to see what happens next”, she explained. “I’ve also linked my work to Kafka’s words “A cage empty looks for what might fill it”.

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