Exhibition inspired by The Bowes Museum showcases designers of the future

Exhibition inspired by The Bowes Museum showcases designers of the future

9 April - 12 June, 2019

Students from The Northern School of Art (BA) Textiles & Surface Design degree programme have collaborated with The Bowes Museum to create an outstanding collection of new surface designs for fashion fabrics, gifts and products for public viewing from 8th April to 12th June 2019 at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP.

This exciting new interpretation of The Bowes Museum’s collections are the basis for this unique exhibition curated by Lianne Hubbert and Lyndon Lowe, lecturers at The Northern School of Art.

Jayne Hemmins, Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design, at The Northern School of Art, said: “We are delighted to be working with The Bowes Museum and presenting this wonderful collection of new designs and products within this prestigious setting.

“It is an amazing opportunity to show contemporary designs from our talented up and coming designers against the backdrop of the Museum’s stunning collections.”

As part of their studies, the students visited the Museum to draw inspiration from the varied and rare objects found within its collections. From initial sketches and notes, the students developed their ideas through a range of design and making techniques from both traditional printing and embroidery skills to cutting-edge digital applications.

Malcolm Clements, contextual studies, scholarly activity and research coordinator at The Northern School of Art, said: “As well as creativity, the students also study the history of design and have focused much of their work on eighteenth and nineteenth century decorative arts.

“We have visited The Bowes Museum a number of times to utilise the Museum’s costume, textiles and ceramics collection, so it is great to see how the essence of these historical styles has informed their creative work.”

The Northern School of Art textiles and surface design programme allows students to learn a wide range of practical and technical skills including screen-printing, dyeing, hand and machine embroidery, digital print, laser-cutting, fabric manipulation and making skills housed in an extensive suite of studios and technical workshops which include the dye lab and sewing, textile, print and embroidery rooms.  

Ms Hemmins continued: “At The Northern School of Art, we work hard to ensure our students are provided with opportunities to showcase their work to the public and industry throughout their time with us; gaining valuable experience and contacts for working in the creative industries.

“We are very grateful to The Bowes Museum for providing our students with this exciting opportunity to exhibit and work with their staff and collections.

 “It is experiences like these that ensure our graduates are ‘ready to work’ and our alumni work throughout the design community including household names such as Top Shop, Urban Outfitters, River Island, Ikea, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Surfacephilia and  Bobbin & Bone; we also enjoy a wide range of industry links from Alexander McQueen, Graham & Bell to House of Holland.”

Clair Dowgill, BA (Hons) textiles and surface design student at The Northern School of Art, said: “It’s been a brilliant experience working with The Bowes Museum and being able to see the full journey of our designs on display – from design to finished product.

“We hope the public enjoy viewing the new exhibition as much as the students have enjoyed designing them!”

Julia Dunn, education and learning coordinator at The Bowes Museum, said: “It’s been a delight to work with the enthusiastic and talented students from The Northern School of Art; it’s always wonderful to see a new audience come and enjoy the collections at the Museum - drawing on the brilliance of the past to create a new generation of exciting designers.

“We also hope the exhibition will inspire students who are studying art and design in secondary education or preparing their GCSE coursework - it is very important to us to engage with young people and aspiring new designers to inspire and nurture their talent.”

Alongside the preparation for the exhibition, staff from The Northern School of Art have completed a range of scholarly activity and research including research in drawing, design aesthetics and a symposium exploring the development of visual language.

The Bowes Museum is open daily (closed only 25 & 26 December & 1 January; admission costs apply) - visit www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

The Northern School of Art is the only specialist provider of creative degrees in the North East; it is rated TEF Gold which means its students receive outstanding teaching which is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The School is an established provider of skilled graduates to the screen, stage, design and creative industries offering degrees in fine art, illustration, graphic design, digital design, event design, photography, acting, film, television and theatre production, production design, visual effects, costume, sound design, lighting, post-production, fashion with body contour, textiles and surface design, and Master’s degrees in design history and creative design enterprise.

The Northern School of Art Open Days take place at its Hartlepool campus on Saturday 8th June, Thursday 4th July and Saturday 28th September from 10am to 2pm where you will be welcomed and encouraged to explore it specialist, industry-standard facilities, workshops, studios, editing suites and technical rooms.

Places are still available for courses starting September 2019, to find out more, please visit www.northernart.ac.uk


For further information or to arrange an interview/photography or filming, please do not hesitate to contact:

·         The Northern School of Art: Cassandra Ferguson on 0785 2993990 or Cassandra.ferguson@northernart.ac.uk  or Rachel Smith at Rachel.smith@northernart.ac.uk

·         The Bowes Museum: Alison White, Media & PR Officer. Switchboard 01833 690606, Direct 01833 694616 Email: alison.white@thebowesmuseum.org.uk

High resolution versions of the photos can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dv0swr5yurrx901/AAAEExz-9CS8yRMFfGR2-lSwa?dl=0

Photo + image captions

- Jayne Hemmins, Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design, at The Northern School of Art

- Malcolm Clements, contextual studies, scholarly activity and research coordinator at The Northern School of Art

- Students from The Northern School of Art (BA) Textiles & Surface Design degree programme have collaborated with The Bowes Museum to create an outstanding collection of new surface designs for fashion fabrics, gifts and products which are on display at the museum until 12 June

Notes to editors

About The Northern School of Art:

·         The Northern School of Art is the only specialist art and design school in the North East, with a further education site in Middlesbrough and a university-level campus in Hartlepool.

·         With over 140 years of experience The Northern School of Art offers award-winning courses in both further and higher education.

·         The Northern School of Art was awarded Gold by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) meaning its students receive some of the highest standards of teaching in the UK

·         The 2018 National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS) reported that over 90% students were satisfied overall with their experience at the college, the highest score of all similar arts institutions across the UK.

·         The average employability statistics for graduates to be in employment or further training six months after graduating sits at over 96%.

·         The Northern School of Art tutors are industry professionals, with a wealth of experience and many are practising artists and designers and the School offers the latest in teaching and learning facilities and uses industry standard equipment.

·         Famous alumni include Sir Ridley Scott and Mackenzie Thorpe.

·         All of The Northern School of Art courses are validated by Arts University Bournemouth

·         www.northernart.ac.uk


The Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes.  Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in.  The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods. 


The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum receives support from Arts Council England. Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk


The Bowes Museum has undergone major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation.


The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 03000 262626, www.discoverdurham.co.uk


Categories: News

The Bowes Museum is closed!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Caf� Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

Do please remember, however, that the Museum�s park and grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 � 4.00 daily, and that we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, clues can be found here.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.