Originally from Galashiels, Lee Borthwick graduated with a first-class honours from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. She received the John Grays Legacy while an undergraduate and was also nominated by Gray’s for the BP Prize.
While an undergraduate Lee took part in an exchange scheme and spent some time in Finland, which had a significant influence on her creative work. She was intrigued by the empty landscapes, wild nature, icy colours and abandoned wooden houses and developed a range of fabrics exploring the surface of wood and markings created by nature.
Lee, like many people of her generation, is concerned about the environment and interested in using eco-friendly, sustainable textiles.
After graduating, Lee won a place on the highly competitive Masters course in Constructed Textiles at the Royal College of Art in London. Lee’s outstanding talent and intellect approach to textile design will no doubt take her far both nationally and internationally.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Award provides crucial financial support to Lee while studying at the RCA, London.
Lee’s funding has been continued for a further year into 2007. She writes, “I always aimed to keep my personal voice amongst so many testing projects. Through this … I was nominated to be one of the exhibitors as part of the ‘Out of the Blue’ exhibition this summer. I was selected as one of 23 students out of 90 who applied."
Since the Award
Lee graduated with an MA in Constructed Textiles after a year which she describes as being 'the most exciting, challenging and inspiring year of my life so far.' Sustainability and the environment are key issues in Lee's practice. A collaborative project with a fellow student in Printed Textiles was shortlisted by Valpak, the leading provider of recycling solutions for the UK.
During her final year, Lee was awarded the John Dunsmore Scholarship, giving her the opportunity to visit Nepal to work with a community of weavers. She plans to help them develop products such as bags and clothing for the local market. Her final degree collection of work was shown in the Modern and Contemporary Art and Design Auction, arranged by auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull.