Ladies and Gentlemen I’m so grateful to Alan Grieve and the Jerwood Foundation for their marvellous and continuing support with the award. It gives huge encouragement to all sorts of people. I also just want to say with all of you here today that it’s wonderful to see so many of you who’ve given up your precious time to join us.
The School has had another year of exceptional success. Its work in the United Kingdom goes from strength to strength, from a wonderful project in Burnley (which I’m afraid I rather encouraged and where we managed to get the local schools working together on a collaborative textile artwork) to the extension of our Liturgical Arts Programme, and now also reaching into new regions outside London. The story is no less impressive overseas, where the work has been in the Middle East and South East Asia and, following my visit to the Vatican last year where I did my best to persuade the Vatican to join in with all this, we had a visit to the School by the Archbishop of Westminster a few weeks ago. A project to enable our students to study some of the incredible artefacts in the Vatican collection has been established.
I cannot tell you how proud I was to hear earlier this week that, following the University of Wales’s Quinquennial Review, my School has been awarded commendations for excellence of work, facilities, networking and outreach. That is a huge tribute to all the hardworking, devoted staff. Again I cannot express enough appreciation for everything that they do. It is, I am delighted to say, the first time the University of Wales (of which incidentally I’m Chancellor, but that has nothing to do with it!) has awarded four separate commendations to a single institution.
Can I also just offer my heartfelt congratulations to all this year’s students. I really mean that. It’s been a great joy to go round and see their work. I’m standing in front of one really remarkable and arresting piece of work. The students have surpassed themselves in the quality and diversity of the work I have seen today. Obviously it is invidious to single out any particular students from so strong a field. But I hope you will forgive me, Ladies and Gentlemen, for just mentioning Ghulam Hyder Daudpota whose marvellous ceramic work has won him an academic Distinction and Christabel Scott Anderson who has also received a Distinction for her studies in iconography which really do deserve the highest possible praise as you can see.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the help of our wonderful supporters and, as I say, the dedication of our staff at the School. I don’t know how Khaled Azzam, David Green and the team here manage it, but somehow they succeed in inspiring students and steering the administration of the School with incredible skill, year after year. I am particularly pleased that Kim Samuel Johnson has been able to join us today and am grateful to Alan Grieve for his kind words about the Jerwood Prize.
So on behalf of the Jerwood Foundation it gives me more pleasure than I can possibly tell you to announce that the winner of this year’s Jerwood prize is, Ghulam Hyder Daudpota.