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  • Writer's pictureBecky Handley

Degree Show 2019 (I'm an award winner!)

So, after quite a stressful week of preparation, the Photography and Video degree show opening night took place on Friday 14th June. The exhibition looked so good and everyone's work looked wonderful.

I went to the opening night, knowing I had been shortlisted for The Rachel Stevens Prize Fund for photography and their video award (#gottobeinittowin)

'Identity' - Video which won The Rachel Stevens Prize Fund: Video

The Rachel Stevens Prize Fund is a scholarship created by Rachel's parents, in her memory after she sadly passed away from cancer in 2015.

'Untitled' - which was shortlisted for The Rachel Stevens Prize Fund: Photography

My installation which was shortlisted for The Christopherson Collection Award

I was very surprised to find that my installation had also been shortlisted for The Christopherson Collection award.

This is an award in which De Montfort University will buy your work from you, to place in their art collection.

My film 'Identity' went on to win The Rachel Stevens Prize Fund: Video award which was a great surprise and a wonderful way to have my degree show begin. What was so wonderful about the moment was that the judges had taken into account my installation too and how both pieces were so raw and honest.

‘Identity’ is a short, experimental film looking at the idea that as human beings, we are the only person to truly know ourselves. Humans are so adept at altering their behaviour and personality depending on who they are with and how they want that person to see them. ‘Identity’ is about stripping away those falsehoods and allowing yourself to accept who you truly are and showing your true self to everyone who deserves to see you.

My installation looked at my struggle with my mental health and I found the process of making the piece to be really helpful as it made me realise I was making myself the victim of my own story. This led to me becoming determined to not let my past define me. I wanted this to come across in my installation piece and I wanted to make sure that it showed the battles people with mental health illnesses face but how this also creates such strength and determination within them. I wanted to show that although I have a mental health illness, it will not define me and will not beat me.

As these were such personal pieces for me it was wonderful to have them recognised and to know how much they resonated with Rachel's friends and family meant so much.

Now the degree show is over, I have just my graduation to come in July and then university is all done and dusted. It had its moments of stress but all in all, it is an experience I would never take back.

Now on to my next chapter! #onwardsandupwards


More information on The Rachel Stevens Prize Fund -

Article about some of the award winners -


#DeMontfortUniversity #DegreeShow #Exhibition #PhotographyAndVideo #TheRachelStevensPrizeFund #Award #Shortlist #Video #Winner #TheChristophersonCollection #Shortlist

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