Plymouth College Honorary Fellows 2016 - l to r - Sir John Sorrell CBE, Katie Greenyer and Lady Frances Sorrell OBE

Sir John Sorrell CBE calls Plymouth College of Art “one of the best art schools in the world”

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Plymouth College of Art awards Honorary Fellowships to Sir John Sorrell CBE, Lady Frances Sorrell OBE and Katie Greenyer at 2016 graduation ceremony

At the Plymouth College of Art 2016 Graduation ceremony in the Theatre Royal Plymouth, the college awarded Honorary Fellowships jointly to Sir John Sorrell CBE and Lady Frances Sorrell OBE, and to Katie Greenyer, Creative Director of Pentland Brands, the London-based fashion group whose labels range from Red or Dead to Speedo, Berghaus and Ellesse.

Every year Plymouth College of Art awards Honorary Fellowships to recognise exceptional achievement in the creative arts, as well as recognising individuals that have achieved significant social change through the arts and culture.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Sir John Sorrell CBE said: “First of all, thank you to Plymouth College of Art for this great honour, and I really mean that, because this is one of the best art schools in the world. There is no question of that. This art school sets the bar for other people to follow.

“People look at Plymouth to see what Plymouth is doing, because you are one of the main leaders of the way, and Andrew Brewerton, if I may so say, is one of the great leaders of art and design education in this country.

“The second thing I want to say is congratulations to you. All of those who today have finished the beginning of a long, I hope, creative journey, and you’re about to go into the UK’s creative industries, and I’m sure you’ve heard all this before but I will say it very quickly, mainly for parents and family members and carers here, because this industry you’re going into delivers over £84 billion to the UK’s economy.

“It employs over 2 million people and it’s the fastest growing sector in the United Kingdom. I always say that creativity doesn’t recognise boundaries or barriers, and you are the people who will lead the way for this country, and indeed I think the world, in thinking about how to solve some of the problems we all face, so huge congratulations to you today and I hope that you enjoy it.”

Sir John Sorrell CBE and Lady Frances Sorrell OBE
Sir John Sorrell CBE is a UK Business Ambassador, appointed by successive Prime Ministers to help promote Britain’s Creative Industries abroad. He is chairman of University of the Arts London, founder and chairman of the Creative Industries Federation and co-founder and chairman of the London Design Festival. Lady Frances Sorrell OBE is Chancellor of the University of Westminster, an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA, and holds Honorary Doctorates from the Open University, Coventry University and University for the Creative Arts.

Sir John Sorrell CBE and Lady Frances Sorrell OBE have worked together for nearly 40 years. In 1999 they set up the Sorrell Foundation with the aim of inspiring creativity in young people and more recently founded the Saturday Club Trust, a charity to manage the national network of Saturday Clubs that offers young people aged 13-16 the opportunity to study on Saturdays at their local university or college for free.

Plymouth College of Art is awarding an Honorary Fellowship jointly to Sir John and Lady Frances Sorrell in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the UK design industries and to social transformation through the work of the Sorrell Foundation, including working with more than 10,000 young people through programmes including: joinedupdesignforschools, the Young Design Programme, Myplace, Design Out Crime and the National Saturday Club network.

Katie Greenyer
Katie Greenyer is Creative Director of Pentland Brands, the London-based fashion group whose labels range from Red or Dead to Speedo, Berghaus and Ellesse. She has worked at some of the world’s most famous fashion houses, including Vivienne Westwood, Benny Ong, Paul Costello and Christian Lacroix, and has done design work for Next, Jigsaw, Dr. Martens, and French Connection, as well as working alongside Rock Townsend architects to design Pentland’s iconic London headquarters, which resulted in Pentland winning the prestigious British Council of Offices Award in 2003.
Plymouth College of Art is awarding an Honorary Fellowship to Katie Greenyer in recognition of her outstanding achievement in the field of fashion design, as well as her passionate advocacy for the role of young people in the design industries worldwide.

Katie Greenyer recently opened Palace Court, Plymouth College of Art’s new dedicated city centre Pre-Degree campus for 16 to 19-year-olds studying creative Extended Diplomas. At the opening she said: “The creative industries rely on new blood and the next generation of design talent, and where better to find new talent than in a dedicated campus for young people who get to immerse themselves in their creative studies?

“We all have a responsibility to nurture the talent of tomorrow and not to limit their opportunities by shunning creativity in education in favour of traditional subjects.”

Honorary Fellows at Plymouth College of Art
Past recipients of Honorary Fellowships from Plymouth College of Art include: children’s book artist David McKee; painter Albert Irvin RA; Joanne Anning, former CEO of Jeremiah’s Journey; Louise Tilbury, Plymouth School of Creative Arts Project Manager; Tobie Gorniack, Founder of Street Factory; French glass artist Antoine Leperlier and independent cultural broker, Peter Jenkinson OBE.

The Honorary Fellowships this year will be awarded by Professor Andrew Brewerton, Principal of Plymouth College of Art, at the college’s 2016 Graduation Ceremony, where more than 250 students will graduate with a range of creative degrees at BA (Hons), Foundation and Masters levels, including Animation, Photography, Graphic Design and Ceramics.

2016 graduating students
The achievements of students and graduates from Plymouth College of Art in the past year will also be celebrated at Graduation 2016, including national and international award wins and prestigious achievements by graduates such as Hannah McArthur, Luke Axworthy, Elena Brake, Paul Chanter, Russell Cleave, Tarig Elmakki, Fern Robinson and Hannah Webb.

BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts graduate Hannah McArthur was a finalist in this year’s international World of Wearable Art competition, showcasing her work at the finals in New Zealand.

BA (Hons) Jewellery & Silversmithing graduate Luke Axworthy, who won Undergraduate Student of the Year at the college’s 2016 Graduate Shows, was awarded The Goldsmiths Company Silver Bullion Grant.

BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate Elena Brake won a two-year funded Royal Society of Arts Redrow Joshua Reynold Fellowship, as well as winning Plymouth College of Art’s Corporation Award: First Prize at the college’s 2016 Graduate Shows. Since graduating Elena has exhibited at the UK Young Artists National Festival in Derby, 2016 and will be taking her final major project from the college to The Kitschen – Cooking Up a Debate at Iklektic Art Lab, London in December.

BA (Hons) Film graduates Paul Chanter, Russell Cleave and Tarig Elmakki won the Nahemi Audience Award for Best Film, as well as Royal Television Society (RTS) Devon & Cornwall Best Drama Nomination and Plymouth Film Festival 2016 Best Student Film.

BA (Hons) Contemporary Crafts graduate Fern Robinson, who won the Victoria Sewart One to Watch award and was awarded the Bovey Tracey Award by Sarah James of The Contemporary Craft Festival, has been spotlighted by the Confessions of a Design Geek blog and worked as part of the college’s first partnership collaboration with Princess Yachts, creating a piece of collaborative work with BA (Hons) Textiles graduate Hannah Webb that was unveiled at the Cannes Yachting Festival.

Speaking of her time at the college, Fern Robinson said: “The facilities at Plymouth College of Art are incredible, particularly in the craft department.

“The staff there are also all practicing artists successful in their field and share so much of their knowledge with us. I chose to study in the college because of the close-knit community, and the support provided by tutors to every student.

“I have had some great opportunities as well, like exhibiting at the Contemporary Craft Festival, seeing the Schmuck show in Munich and curating an exhibition with the Crafts Council Collection – to name a few.”


(from a press release)