• Henley DFAS

Young Arts News


The Arts Society Chiltern Hills area covers Buckinghamshire as well as parts of Berkshire and Oxfordshire, including Henley. There are currently 15 Societies and approximately 4000 members within the area. More information can be found online. TASCHA has always been very active in the field of grant giving. The generosity of our Societies enables us to support additional funding for students, up to the age of 25, studying some aspect of decorative art at institutions local to us. We all know how competitive it is for our young to get jobs now in the field of the arts and these awards help students to gain the extra experience and know-how that can make all the difference.

For the past several years we have awarded some money to students at Bucks New University in High Wycombe to help them with their studies. These include funding for furniture restoration, glass blowing, lithograph printing and textile design. Gemma Singleton and Emily Hopkins won awards last year and we are delighted to show examples of their work.

The Bishopsland Educational Trust  located near Reading, teaches Silversmithing and Jewellery making. For several years we have made donations to the Silver Fund and given awards to gifted students to help them with their work. Visit their website to learn more about this unique institution. Katie Watson’s work is an example of the amazing work created at Bishopsland.

The awards for 2020 are:

Bucks New University £1000, comprising 4 awards to students across the departments plus an award for the foundation year to pay for an extra-curricular lecturer.

Textile and Surface Design 2 X £200

Product Design 2 X £200

Foundation Year 1 X £200 for an extra-curricular lecturer.

Bishopsland  £1000 to the silver fund. All the students benefit from this. £750 is set aside for individual student awards of 1 X £300 and 1 X £450.

We believe that it is important and worthwhile to support students to further their creative and artistic inclinations after leaving school. We also find it rewarding to see their efforts when they display their achievements at the End of Year Shows in the summer.

(More information)


Emily Hopkins

As a textiles surface designer, Emily is constantly inspired by the natural world. Her goal is to create work that celebrates the brilliant ways nature and man can come together to produce exciting new materials. Emily goes beyond biophilic design and often uses or include living organisms in her work. Sustainability is a huge influence on her practice as she believes it should be to all makers. Innovations in textiles are vital in creating materials that are ethically produced and have minimal effect on the natural environment. Emily explores this in depth and use experiments with bacteria and micro imagery to fuel her designs. The making is the most important element of her design. Kombucha leather is her main material which she grows herself. This fermented tea, SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and other ingredients, creates a layer of bacterial cellulose which she then dries to make a sustainable, vegan, leather alternative. She am currently creating this revolutionary material, along with natural dyes and sustainable paper, for interior applications such as window coverings, screen dividers and lighting pieces. 


Gemma Singleton

As a printed textile designer, Gemma’s practice involves traditional screen-printing techniques to create fabrics for interior application. Within her final major project collection, she explored the visual benefits of biophilic design with reference to Japanese art and culture. Following a recent journey across Japan, she was influenced by the beauty of ukiyo-e art whilst exploring a contemporary approach towards colour. As the natural world is a fundamental form of inspiration to Gemma, she coupled this with her curiosity for the concept of biophilic design and how visuals of nature can be just as mentally stimulating as the real thing. The collection explores a range of cultural activities such as fish markets alongside florals, landscapes and architecture. She aspires for her compositions to tell a story about Japanese life. Intricate freehand drawings form the basis of the prints which are then translated into unique digital designs. Gemma considers the traditional silk screen printing process extremely rewarding and take pride in the challenge of turning a digital image into a screen-printed length, whilst using multiple screens to incorporate an array of colours.