Published on 24 January 2022
Five young art and design students have been handed the opportunity of a lifetime, to work with one of the world’s most creative minds and take their studies to the next level.
Mike Davies CBE is an internationally renowned architect with 40 years of involvement in projects such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Lloyd’s of London, the Millennium Dome and Heathrow Terminal 5. Mike is famed for his unique approach to urban design using the latest in technology, scientific research development, and for his distinctive red clothing.
Now five University of Sunderland students have been named the Mike Davies Scholars 2021-2024. Over the next three years the students - Meg Campbell, Sally Fox, Hannah Garrett, Sara Heraoua and Madi Stoica – will receive financial support and one-to-one mentoring from Mike Davies CBE.
Meg Campbell, 23, from Hartlepool is studying Illustration and Design at Sunderland. She says: “I really want to learn from Mike Davies. I admire him and his work, and he could help guide me in so many ways. I'm really excited to have my mind opened.”
Meg is hoping that - pandemic permitting – she will be able to interrail across Europe taking photos for her studies and visiting international art galleries.
“Mike Davies seems like such a fantastic person to know and learn from, and the funding is a good way to invest in equipment and experiences that would aid me for years to come.”
Sally Fox, 26, from Teesside is studying Glass and Ceramics and hopes the award will open her opportunities to work with others, influenced by Mike Davies.
“In the future I hope to be able to showcase my work in some galleries with a network of likeminded artists who I could collaborate with and possibly share a studio space with. One of the things I love about university is being around people who are passionate about similar things to me and so I'd love to keep that going and not be shut away working on my own.
“I know Mike is really creative and so I'm sure he'll have lots of ideas and it would be fun to brainstorm with him.”
Fashion Design and Promotion student Hannah Garrett is hoping that the financial and professional support she will receive will help her create work that is currently beyond her means.
“Being mentored by someone who has impacted the world so much through his work like Mike Davies is a great opportunity for my future,” says Hannah,18, from Shropshire.
“I dream of revolutionising the fashion industry through fashion sustainability, LGBTQ+ rights, black rights, feminism and more. But to explore fashion sustainability and trying natural fabrics unfortunately is out of most fashion students reach due to the sheer price.
“I would love to attend fashion events like exhibitions, fashion weeks, catwalks but most importantly I can get the equipment that I need so I can work anywhere.”
Sara Heraoua, 19, from Sunderland, is in the first year of her Illustration and Design degree.
She says: “I am passionate about art and the mentoring and finance would be such a great help in my studies. I am also really looking forward to meeting Mike Davis as he is such an inspiring man.
“I hope to gain some insight into how to turn your ideas and plans into reality. I am so grateful to have been chosen for this scholarship.”
First year Photography, Video and Digital Imaging student Maddie Stoica, 18, from Romania, hopes that the Mike Davies Scholarship will help her get a foot on the ladder of the industry.
“I hope to get the opportunity to speak to people who are already in the photography and film industry. That is where I see my future.
“Being able to work in a team with the other Mike Davies Scholars will help me and I hope the others, to take more opportunities that we might not take alone.”
Professor Kevin Petrie, Head of the School of Art and Design at University of Sunderland said: “It was a great privilege to be involved in the selection our new Mike Davies Scholars and see their passion to use creativity to make the world a better place. It has also been wonderful to work with Mike on developing a number of life changing schemes for the benefit of our students at Sunderland.”
Every year the University of Sunderland offers tens of thousands of pounds worth of funding to current students, to help improve their studies, professional practice and employability. DOSH, the Development Office Scholarship scheme, offers students studying at Sunderland non-means tested, non-repayable scholarships from £250 to £10,000.
The University of Sunderland is supporting MadeAtUni: Creative Sparks, a national campaign to showcase the creative talent produced by UK universities and encourage the Government to promote and support the importance of creativity and creative courses.