Friday, 13 September 2013

Leeds Castle encourages local students to get creative!

Leeds Castle has announced the winner of a design competition, run last year in conjunction with Invicta Grammar School in Maidstone.
Students were encouraged to get creative and design some new characters for Leeds Castle, which would appeal to a younger audience whilst still reflecting the history of the castle.
Hannah Marno, aged 18, was the winner for her excellent creation of a full set of characters, each with their own personalities and fitting the brief exactly.
Retail Manager at Leeds Castle, Bob Needham said:
“We were really excited and impressed with all the entries we received and very grateful for the time, consideration and effort that has obviously gone in to the work. They were all great pieces and there are obviously some budding artists and designers at Invicta Grammar School!”
Hannah’s characters include a knight called Sir John, a Princess ‘with attitude’ called Catherine, Arthur the Peacock, Lancelot the Black Swan and the Merlin the White Swan.
Since the competition ended last year, Leeds Castle has been working with Hannah to adapt and develop the characters, which have been reproduced onto life-size cut  outs, for the enjoyment of younger visitors to the Knight’s Realm Playground at the Castle.
Due to the outstanding quality of the illustrations produced, Leeds Castle also commissioned Hannah to produce more drawings of her characters, which will shortly be launched on a wide range of merchandise in the retail outlets at the Castle. 
The merchandise includes notebooks, mugs, key rings and stationary ranging from £1-£5.
Hannah recently finished her last year at Invicta Grammar School and is about to start College where she will study for a degree in Graphic Illustration, which will hopefully lead to a career in the creative industries sector.
Hannah was also one of only two students from Invicta Grammar School to receive a bursary from the Benenden branch of NADFAS, to support her development as an artist. 
Invicta Grammar School, which specialises in business and enterprise,  has built a successful business partnership with the Castle over the last few years and is proud of this first successful retail venture which has given school pupils the opportunity to work on live commercial briefs provided by business partners – an important aspect of the educational experience.
The retail partnership will continue with two new cushion designs, which will be available in time for Christmas from the Leeds Castle shops.

One cushion will depict the black swan and will be produced using the Invicta CAM embroidery machines. The other design will feature a jacquard fabric, designed by Invicta student Lucy Hennessy, woven in Italy as part of the British Council Comenius partnership with Invicta’s business partner school Enrico Tosi, in Busto Arzizio near Milan in northern Italy.  

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