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News article

International art prize for two York St John students exploring disability

Published: 19 December 2022

  •   Awards
  •    Students
Hands holding hearing aids
Two York St John University fine art students have taken the top spots in the Eleanor Worthington international art prize which invites students at tertiary-level Art and Media Schools across the UK, Ireland and Italy to enter. 

The Eleanor Worthington Prize celebrates students who work in the visual arts on the theme of disability. Founded by the Associazione Premio Eleanor Worthington, based in Urbino, Italy, the competition commemorates Eleanor Worthington (1982 to 2008), a disabled woman who tragically died aged only 26. Eleanor was born in York and lived there before spending many artistic years at the Istituto Statale d’Arte in Italy 

This year, two York St John students have been named winners of the international art prize on the theme of Disability and Transformation for an Inclusive Society. 

Winning both first place and the special Mark Bailey prize is Lily Flather, who shares the first-place prize with fellow student Elisha Pountain. 

Lily Flather created a series of images titled ‘Silent Communication’ centred around deafness and hearing. In a series of photographic portraits, Lily explored the devices used to aid communication: “I wanted to show off the devices in a precious way as they have really helped transform people’s lives, helping them to live in a more inclusive society.” 

The project, which took six weeks including time researching and interviewing models, was a transformative experience for Lily. She said: “I think taking part in the Prize really opened my eyes. I did some interviews with my models before the photoshoots and a main theme that came up was how they experience a lot of discrimination." 

Elisha Pountain’s work ‘Fragments’ explores the physical experience of mental health in a series gestures made with plaster castings. 

Find images and more information about the 2022 entries on the Eleanor Worthington Prize website.  

Their work, alongside other competition entrants, will be displayed in March 2023 at York St John University’s Creative Centre. 

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