Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid praises UCLan Saturday Club Exhibition which showcased the work of Preston secondary school pupils

Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid CBE has praised an exhibition at the University of Central Lancashire showcasing the creative work of young people from in and around Preston.

By Aimee Seddon
Monday, 11th April 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 11th April 2022, 12:51 pm

The UCLan Saturday Club exhibition presented the work of more than 60 artistic 13-16 year-olds from 22 schools in Lancashire.

The youngsters take part in free, weekly, art and design or fashion and business classes as part of the national Saturday Club initiative, which is designed to give teenagers a taste of what it would be like to study art-related subjects after leaving school.

This term’s project invited the art and design cohort to take inspiration from Lubaina’s own work to make their own large scale cut out characters, while the fashion and business pupils developed ideas for a sustainable denim campaign.

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Turner Prize winner and UCLan Emeritus Professor Lubaina Himid CBE (centre) praised the exhibition. Here she is pictured with Monica Dean (left) from Corpus Christi Catholic High School, and Esmee Backhouse from All Hallows Catholic High School, with their denim designs.

Speaking at the exhibition in UCLan’s PR1 Gallery, Lubaina said: “This exhibition is really amazing. As creative students you will know that hard work, concentration and imagination are all essential skills you need to be successful.

“Taking part in Saturday Club has given you the best start possible. You have shown that you are capable of making decisions and doing unimaginable things. This is just the beginning. Keep going.”

Monica Dean, 14, from Corpus Christi Catholic High School, who worked on a group project to upcycle a denim jacket and jeans, said: “We’ve never done anything like this before and I really enjoyed it. I’ve learned so much from taking part in Saturday Club. Not only in terms of sewing techniques, but also where ideas, designs and trends come from.”

Fellow fashion group member Freddie Wright, 16, from Hutton Grammar School, added: “Saturday Club has been so much fun. I’ve enjoyed having the freedom to be creative without any restrictions. It’s also been good to work with other like-minded people on a group project.”

Penwortham Girls High School pupil Grace Halsey, 16, from the art and design cohort with her large-scale colourful painting cut out of a girl. She said: “It’s exciting to take inspiration from Lubaina and then for her to see our work. I wanted my piece to include lots of bright colours and be really expressive.”

Running since 2019, The Saturday Club is the only one of its kind in Lancashire, and has welcomed hundreds of local schoolchildren.

Attendees also take part in two annual national events; a masterclass with an industry professional and the Summer Show, where all members exhibit their work at London’s Somerset House.

UCLan Saturday Club art and design tutor Andrew McDonald added: “The show has been a brilliant conclusion to a fantastic year, we now start recruiting for next year.”

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16-year-old Freddie Wright, from Hutton Grammar School with Lubaina Himid

UCLan Saturday Club attendees are from: Albany Academy, Eden Boys, Garstang Community Academy, Kirkham Grammar School, Moor Park High School, Preston Muslim Girls High School, Queen Eliabeth Grammar School, St Cecilia's RC High School, St Mary’s Catholic Academy, St Mary's Catholic High School, All Hallows Catholic High School, Archbishop Temple Church of England High School, Ashton Community Science College, Broughton High School, Brownedge St Mary's Catholic High School, Carr Hill High School, Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Hutton Church of England Grammar School, Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, Lostock Hall Academy, Our Lady's Catholic High School, Penwortham Girls' High School

Monica Dean and Esmee Backhouse, both 14, worked on a group project to upcycle a denim jacket and jeans.
Lubaina speaking at the UCLan Saturday Club exhibition
Members of the UCLan Saturday Club.
The exhibition featured the work of 60 artistic teenagers from 22 schools in Lancashire.