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Matilda’s Story

Former Penwith College Art and Design student is enjoying her dream career, living and working in Bath as a Printer, Designer and Maker after travelling the world to support charities from Qatar and Southeast Asia.

“My career has fortunately allowed me to travel.”

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Name: Matilda Black

Hometown: Penzance

Course: UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design

Matilda studied the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design at Penwith College enabling her to discover her dream career. The Diploma focuses on many different mediums, allowing students to find their individual style and passions. Exploring colour, texture and patterns student develop new skills that transform their creative voice. Matilda felt that this aspect of the course worked really well for her as she had the creative freedom to explore new forms of art.

Matilda had a fantastic time at College and felt supported whilst studying her course, she said: “I think what makes Penwith College so special is its sense of community. I became friends with my lecturers and met new people who I still keep in touch with. The two years studying on the diploma were so memorable for me, as it was the beginning of an exciting journey that led me to study Textiles at Bath Spa University.”

Before starting college, Matilda hadn’t considered a future career working with textiles. It was only through her diploma, she had the freedom to work with textiles and received massive encouragement from her lecturers to pursue her passions.

Matilda said: “My career has fortunately allowed me to travel. In October 2022 I was invited to the Street Child World Cup in Qatar. In the two weeks I was there I was asked to document the sports event through my creative eye. It was a life changing opportunity, and I am hoping to attend their Street Child Cricket World Cup as an artist in India in September 2023.

“I recently solo travelled across Southeast Asia. When I was out there I felt very inspired by the people I met and the cultures I immersed myself in, so I applied for volunteering programmes. I worked in several remote rural schools in Thailand teaching art to children. The people I worked with were very supportive and managed to get access to sewing machines. So as well as art lessons, I also taught children how to use the sewing machines.”

Throughout her career, her highlight so far has been working with Street Child United in Qatar. The charity unites street-connected children from across the world with the power of sport, allowing them to express their rights for identity, education, health, poverty, protection, and gender equality.

Young woman with face mask helps a child in hand painting













Matilda said: “During the time I was there I used my textile design skills to respond to the event. I created patterns, embroidery work and also contributed towards a daily magazine which reflected upon the previous day. At the end of the 10-day event the work was exhibited in Katara, Qatar where the work was sold and the money raised went towards the charity.

“At the moment, my work is inspired by my travels across Southeast Asia. In particular, my work is inspired by natural forms. Since travelling I’ve unveiled a love for the natural world. From animals to plants, flowers and landscapes I love the colours and shapes found in nature. The art form I currently use is a variety of mediums such as paint, embroidery and digital work.”

Since graduating at Bath Spa University, I have had lots of opportunities. For example, the university opted for me to take part in New Designers 2022. It is an annual exhibition that brings together graduates from across the UK to showcase their design talent. From this event I did a lot of networking and got lots of exciting contacts who offered me freelance work. I also learnt about how the fashion and textile industry work.”

Matilda is continuing her career, living and working in Bath as a printer, designer and maker. Over the past year, she has thoroughly enjoyed working alongside charities such as Street Child United, finding it incredibly rewarding to share her art skills with the people around the world. Matilda hopes to continue this career path, with more exciting projects on the horizon that combine her love for art with travel.

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