A special prize giving ceremony was held at the Sir Max Aitken Museum in Cowes on Friday after Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) set young Islanders a challenge to design and produce a landmark which could be sited on the Cowes Harbour Breakwater.
Guests were welcomed to the ceremony by Cowes Harbour Master Captain Stuart McIntosh. He explained that CHC wished to engage with the Island’s youth in order to highlight their design talents and encourage interest in the marine industry.
Cowes is the only deep-water harbour on the Island as well as being one of the main transport links to ‘North Island’. Cowes Breakwater was delivered 2-3 years ago but was actually first mooted by Admiral Horsey some 150 years ago.
Captain McIntosh said that the number and standard of competition entries far exceeded expectations. He believed that if the winning entry came to fruition it would prove to be a landmark feature for the town and he hoped that the people of Cowes would support having the landmark on the breakwater.
On the judging panel, Stuart was joined by gardener, broadcaster, presenter and author Alan Titchmarsh MBE, who has had a home in Cowes for 2 decades. Joining them was acclaimed Island-born sculptor Louise Giblin and Paul Armfield, musician and arts champion, well known for transforming Quay Arts into a must visit destination.
To inspire the young people to pursue an art/design career Louise spoke on her life. Raised on the Island she had attended Ventnor Middle and Sandown High Schools. Her father was a boat builder who had worked with Uffa Fox. After training Louise had worked in schools for 24 years, including teaching posts at Medina and Sandown High Schools before her sculpting career took off.
Prizes were presented by 3 of the judges as Paul Armfield was unable to attend the event. There was a family trip to the National Art Museum for the winner and 2nd and 3rd placed students were rewarded with arts equipment.
‘Sound of the Sea’, designed and named by Year 9 GCSE Art & Design student Ada Kohlmaier-Sims of The Island Free School was considered “an elegant and eloquent response to the brief” and declared the winner.
Second and third place prizes were awarded to Aaron Edmunds-Lamb of The Island Free School, and Marcus Kendall of Cowes Enterprise College. Highly commended were the shortlisted entries by Millie Troy and Kate Murray-Smith, also from The Island Free School, and a joint entry from Joe Gregory, Oliver Cooper and Luke Wright of The Isle of Wight Studio School. All entrants received a certificate.
Report by Alan and Suzanne Whitewood