Horsham college ‘bowled over’ as former student gives art and textiles talk

Anna Holmes, left, delivering her lecture
Anna Holmes, left, delivering her lecture

A Horsham college hosted a visiting lecture from a former pupil and now student at the Royal College of Needlework.

Collyer’s welcomed Anna Holmes, who studied art, craft and design and textiles at Collyer’s and was one of few students to be admitted for a contemporary embroidery degree.

Housed in Hampton Court Palace, the course produces many of the country’s leading fine art and craft professionals, famous for its work including royal wedding dresses and work on productions such as Game of Thrones.

Susie McAlister, Collyer’s head of art, said: “It was great to see Anna so happy in her studies. She was always a hard worker but we were bowled over by the sheer volume of work she had produced in the two years she has been studying.”

Anna wowed her audience of students with her stunning work. Her advice for those going into higher education was helpful and charming.

She amused students with tales of high profile clients and described the atmosphere she works in.

Jess Stables, textiles and art craft and design student at Collyer’s, added: “I have come away with so many ideas for my developing my own work.

“Anna was so approachable and I was able to ask her detailed questions about her creations; it has helped me think more clearly about my next steps after college.”

Ian McAlister, director of higher education and progression at Collyer’s, said: “We are always keen to welcome inspirational role-models to Collyer’s and our alumni network allows former students to provide this encouragement and knowledge.

“The creative industries are one of the south’s biggest employers and we have many alumni commanding positions of authority within the industry.”

Deputy principal, Steve Martell, said: “Massive thanks to Anna for taking time out to help the next generation – she’s absolutely amazing.”

Mr McAlister added: “Universities and employers are keen to develop links with the outstanding visual arts department at Collyer’s, and this marks one of many events that will occur over the coming year.

“Students can look forward to talks from universities, more alumni lectures, a full portfolio preparation day, as well as the numerous college-wide progression events.”