Wilfred Southall Sustainability Awards

We are delighted to be working in partnership with Bath Spa University to award grants to students who have demonstrated exceptional work in one or more of the following three categories:

  1. Sustainable communication
    A project or process that re-presents a contemporary issue or re-considers engagement with a contentious issue in a national or international context.
  2. Sustainable fabrication
    A project or process that makes innovative or ingenious use of materials, promoting material circulation/the circular economy, or energy conscious solutions (including online) in design, sculptural, or material intervention.
  3. Sustainable community engagement
    A project or process that uses diverse or unexpected collaboration to promote social cohesion/inclusion or reconciliation.


The Award is open to taught postgraduate students in Bath School of Art, Film and Media and Bath School of Design. There is no application process – current students will be nominated by lecturers from the schools and selected by an external panel. Students selected for the award will deliver a presentation to peers and staff in the year following their MA qualification.

Awards of £1,000 per category will be given in two instalments: £800 will be paid to the student following an award ceremony at the MA Degree show in September and the balance of £200, when the student has made a presentation on the development of their project to the School of Art, Film and Media and Bath School of Design.

Award Winners 2022

The inaugral winners of the Wilfred Southall Sustainability Awards are Alic Parkes and Victoria Norcross.

Please click on the images below to view each candidate’s full presentation.

Alic Parkes 

Sustainable Communication Design 

Alic Parkes’ graphic novel Flow, produced whilst on the MA Design (Visual Communication) course at Bath Spa University, takes us to a world that explores ADHD and the complexities of its emotional landscapes. The work celebrates little domestic moments explored through the eyes of a character diagnosed with the condition and presents the hard truths of living with ADHD and how some people might choose to overcome its challenges and to prosper.

Alic has researched widely, looking at many contemporary and historic graphic novels and experimenting with writing technique. The rooms of the flat that appear in the book have been laid out in plan view and 3d modelled, to allow continuity in the portrayal of space. The use of colour, viewpoint, framing and layout has evolved through careful and scrupulous development. The selective use of colour, page tearing and line drawing form part of the grammar of the work and the progression of the narrative has been consciously influenced by fiction film and screenplays as well as graphic novels. 

The result is a work that evokes empathy in its readers and employs visual grammar to beckon them to enter a world that is new to them,  a private and intimate space and one that usually remains – for most of us without ADHD – as a distant unattainable land. 

Judges Report

The team were very impressed with the ambition, process, work ethic, overall quality, enquiry and the extremely successful methods used in communicating issues and emotions connected to ADHD in a fresh and accessible manner… the team felt that the money might be used to make further copies of the book which may then be further distributed to appropriate places which Alic might think appropriate.

Victoria Norcross

Sustainable Community Development

In Making the menopause VISABLE, Victoria Norcross’ graphic design process is concerned with impacting social change. She uses design to influence behaviours and to improve lives by addressing a cultural issue and by consulting underrepresented people on it. This project aims to raise awareness of the menopause, through a feminist approach to human-centred and participatory design.

Victoria made a set of posters whilst studying for MA Design (Graphics), reflecting aspects of the menopause that are difficult to mention, to reflect upon to talk about. She scrupulously  researched and then utilised aspects of the quirky visual languages of 1960’s flower power fonts. Then she used the outcomes of this work as a provocation and an invitation for women to make their own versions. To enable this, Victoria laboriously constructed an alphabet of letterpress numbers and letters and took them to workshops that she hosted. Her participants quickly learnt how to use this medium to represent their own experiences – sometimes in ways that challenged even Victoria’s assumptions!

The result was a participatory workshop programme that gave its participants the means and the technical support to discuss and to express a range of views about the menopause that bring their very particular humour – and often exasperation – to our attention. Victoria has positioned herself as the facilitator in the cultural exchange of ideas, thoughts and experiences, using a hands on craft and her graphic design process as a medium of social collaboration, communication and change.

Judges Report

The team were particularly taken by the hands on element of the project taken in order to explore emotions and impact of the menopause. Whilst this project was developed around discussing issues around the menopause, the team also felt that the hands on/messy methodology might suit any number of topics where a sense of serious play might lead to a sense of trust and openness where matters might be more openly shared than in a simple (though often effective ) conversational situation. Sometimes making and getting messy together can be a great way of breaking through. The fact that certain impacts of the menopause might be felt to be hard to talk about, also lends a real impact the making of posters, which in themselves are somehow celebratory and very much out there in the world.

MA Design and MA Fine Art  at Bath Spa University

The MA Design and MA Fine Art programmes at Bath Spa University are dynamic, proactive and responsive. Students are encouraged to look broadly across the fields of Art and Design, whilst delving deeply into their own specialist practices.

Learning  in conjunction, students from the two programmes are taught and supported by a wide range of specialist lecturers and by one another. They evolve clear practical, developmental approaches to their medium, with grounded individual research questions and critical rigour. The works they create through this process of thinking through making, are carefully designed to suit their specific professional contexts.

For more information, please visit this dedicated Bath Spa University webpage about the awards.