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Festival of Arts' prizes put photography student in the frame

Tuesday 3rd April 2018

Student Alison James has received a boost to her ambitions to run her own creative business, picking up three prizes as part of the Nuneaton Festival of Arts in its 70th anniversary year.

Alison, who is studying for a degree in visual media at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College’s creative arts campus in Hinckley, was awarded first prize for her stunning photographic work in three classes.

On her graduation later this year, Alison plans to use her skills to start her own business through sales of her work including photography based on heritage techniques.

Alison said, “I was shocked when I heard the news as I certainly hadn’t expected to win so many prizes. I have a lifelong interest in art and have enjoyed learning about many aspects of visual art during my college studies including life drawing, textiles, as well as working with glass and ceramics.

“I started studying at college as a mature student after a background in charity retail. After successfully gaining a Level 3 Photography qualification, I went on to complete the Access to Higher Education course, followed by the Higher National Diploma in Photography, and now I am in my final year, working towards my degree."

“I have really enjoyed my college experience and my qualifications will help me to establish myself on a commercial footing. I am in the process of building a website and online shop, and look forward to starting my business later in the year." Alison's portfolio is available to view online at

The Nuneaton Festival of Arts has been running since 1948 in celebration of performing, visual and creative arts.

Alison’s prize-winning photographs include past and present shots of Nuneaton Art Gallery and Museum overlaid showing how the scene has changed over the decades. A candid shot of some visitors to Blists Hill Victorian Town also impressed the judges, along with a close-up of a harvest mouse in the animal life category.

College tutor Hazel Simcox said, “This is fantastic news and recognises Alison’s strength in her photographic practice, especially at it follows her recent success in the Ilford international photography competition. We wish Alison all the best with her future plans after she graduates.”

Alison’s prize-winning images will be on display at the Nuneaton Art Gallery and Museum until 22 April 2018.

This latest success story follows closely on the news that fellow higher education student, Emma Spencer has reached the final of international photography competition, the Sony World Photography Awards. 

Below: Alison's winning images

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