STUDENTS are being inspired by the glories of the past in a project designed to boost their future.

Their artwork will form an exhibition in the collection gallery at the historic cathedral near the shrine of one of the country’s founding fathers, St Cuthbert.

Darlington College was approached to produce the installation for the community gallery by former student and current Durham Cathedral learning and outreach officer Philippa Cunliffe.

The exhibition is changed up to four times a year to ensure maximum interest for the millions of visitors it receives a year and the regular pass holders.

“We have given the students a starting point of the Tudors to see what they come up with,” said Philippa, who studied fashion and clothing at Darlington College from 2000-2002.

“They are looking at footwear, fashion, the kings and queens of arguably one of the most expansive periods of the country’s history. They could come up with a collection of shoes, embroidery, textiles or artwork.”

The first and second year BTEC foundation and extended diploma students are also working on the project with freelance textile artist Wendy Stoker.

She said: “It is important to go back into colleges and inspire the next generation of designers and show them the many different avenues they can go down.”

Darlington College tutor Donna Slyfield added: “The students instantly appreciated what an incredible opportunity this project was to showcase their skills and we are already seeing some great ideas coming through.

“We are all incredibly excited about working with Durham Cathedral and can’t wait to see the exhibition installed in such hallowed surroundings. As well as the prestige involved with such an initiative, working with Philippa and Wendy is inspirational as it shows the diversity and rewards that can be achieved through art.”

Students’ work will be installed at the beginning of February with VIP previews and a formal opening scheduled for the middle of the month.

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