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Cultivate@Courtyard 2020 Artists With Maria Morgan

Cultivate 2020 – Virtual Exhibition

25th August 2020

Cultivate@Home 

Welcome to Cultivate@Home – formerly known as Cultivate@Courtyard!

The Courtyard’s annual visual arts project Cultivate@Courtyard was first launched in 2017. As with most things in 2020, this year’s project looks a little different!

Cultivate is a Courtyard Visual Arts project that offers young emerging visual artists aged 16–25, with a link to Herefordshire, an opportunity to work with a professional mentor to create an exhibition. There is an open application process and the chosen artists are shortlisted by a panel of judges, and then mentored by professional artist Maria Morgan. The artist it is felt has best met the brief, presided over by an external Judge, is given a £1000 grant.

Covid-19 caused a few bumps in the road! Regardless, Maria Morgan has been virtually mentoring the young artists during the lockdown period to create their pieces, which we are now bringing to you online in a Virtual Exhibition.

View the Cultivate@Home Exhibition online here

“Throughout Freya, Josh, Lauren and Lizzie have continued to push the boundaries, with a desire to create exciting new artworks. Embracing this opportunity to develop their individual inventive visual expression through excellent command of media, techniques and understanding of concepts.” – Maria Morgan

This year’s featured artists are:

Freya Bain – ‘Boundaries and Borders’

For Cultivate I have created a collection of prints, embroideries and paper silhouettes inspired by my local Herefordshire landscapes. Having resources funded by the project has been particularly special, enabling me to purchase a printing press and beautiful hand-held tools for carving out intricate details that explore textures through line, colour and shape.

Josh Sankey – ‘Rural Lives Then and Now’

For this project I have explored the difference between lives led over the last 70 years, then and now across Herefordshire. This has led me to create both photographic and hand-drawn ink portraits of the individuals I have interviewed.

Lauren Nicholson-Little – ‘Fairy Tales and Folklore’

Researching folklore specific to Herefordshire has led to sampling where I have learnt many new techniques, including enamelling, chemical reactions and working on a larger scale, all helping to develop my artistic ability. Continuing this project at home, while college workshops were closed, provided many challenges but I have enjoyed experimenting with new processes and finding solutions by adapting my working methods.

Elizabeth Helder – ‘Solitude’

I have explored the topic ‘Solitude’ and investigated this through its negative and positive connotations, looking closely at colour palette and minimalist shapes to convey the feeling of solitude. This feeling being very relevant to many people across the country as we face the current COVID-19 pandemic with everyone in isolation experiencing a form of solitude that contains perhaps both positive and negative elements.

View the Virtual Exhibition online here 


Meet The Artists

Lizzie Helder Cutlivate 2020

Elizabeth Helder

I’m eighteen years old and grew up in Malvern, I have just moved out and am now living independently in Hereford. I attended Steiner Academy Hereford for ten years and believe that my education there is very much a part of who I am.

I have always had a love of arty things, even when I was tiny (I’ve also always been very messy, and even still somehow manage to get paint absolutely everywhere). I’m currently in my second year at the Hereford College of Arts studying Art and Design and am loving it! Since being at the college I’ve found a pathway in Fine Art and have loved working with a concept.

I am utterly inspired by the simplicity of shape and colour, and have been painting with mainly watercolour and acrylic in an abstract style for a couple of years now. My biggest inspiration currently is Artist Caroline Denervaud, as she works mainly with these elements but also involving movement as the very starting point for her pieces. For my final major project last year, I explored translating personalities through paintings using just shape and colour.

I wanted to take part in this project because I saw it as such a unique opportunity, a peek into what it’s really like to be an Artist in the real world. I will also have the chance to invest in better quality materials and be able to afford to explore working on a larger scale as I’m often restricted to A3 due to space and cost.


Lauren Nicholson-Little

I am 18 years old currently studying at Hereford College of Arts on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design with the hope that I will go on to study jewellery and silversmithing at university next year. Hopefully, giving me the experience and skills I need to start my own handcrafted jewellery and metalwork business in the future. The main inspiration for my work often stems from nature in some way as it is a big part of my life and who I am as a person. As well as this, I like to think everyone can relate and connect to it in some way whether this is feeling a connection to it or just noticing the landscape around us. I primarily work with copper and silver and prefer saw piercing, wire work and acid etching. I am always open to learning new skills and techniques that I can bring into my work.

I wanted to take part in this project to gain experience and to have the opportunity to learn from professional artists as well as to build my confidence in my own abilities and the work I can produce.


Josh Sankey

Josh Sankey

I am 17 years old currently studying an extended diploma in art and design at Hereford College of Arts. I am also a Freelance Artist selling originals/prints and taking commissions. I love to be creative in many ways including music as I’m a self taught guitarist.

I am inspired by natural forms, storytelling and the black and white styled comic books and in return I have chosen to create portraits. With this in mind I plan on taking portrait and landscape photographs which resemble the natural forms. I want the portraits to be able to tell a story and that story can vary between viewers. The portraits would be created in traditional methods for the older generation, and digital methods for the younger generation.

I wanted to take part as I knew that opportunities like this don’t come around too often and get even more scarce as you get older, so when we had a talk about it I wanted to know more and get involved. This amazing opportunity will give me valuable skills with confidence an also build upon customer service skills that I have learnt in the past.


Freya Bain
I am a 17 year old artist with a passion for print and lino, with a curiosity about food and the culture and yummy things. I enjoy the process of designing and cutting a print and then transferring the image on to fabrics, such as t-shirts and scarfs for a more practical, wearable use. I’m inspired by Studio Gibli, food graphics and animations, comic cells of a limited colour pallet.

I immediately wanted to apply when Courtyard Cultivate was announced that there was an opportunity to be mentored for six months by another artist and learn so much from them.