College student a picture of success after winning place at top art school

Nineteen-year-old Bridget Burton, from Jesmond, is a picture of success following completion of a BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and gaining selection for London’s prestigious Slade School of Fine Art, where she will be studying for a BA in Fine Art over the next four years.

Slade, part of University College London is consistently ranked as the UK’s top art and design school – it tops the Guardian University League Table for Art and Design 2015.

Bridget, whose work about identity, memory and relationships is currently showing at the KYBOSH exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, has always loved art and joined Gateshead College to gain her diploma as the first step on the path to an eventual career as a painter and sculptor specialising in creating outdoor installations.

She applied to study at Slade while completing her exams and was “thrilled” to be told in May that she had been accepted, after impressing at her interview.

She said: “I am really excited to get started on the course and looking forward to seeing how I will do alongside some of the most talented young art students in the world.

“It has always been my dream to be an artist and now I am on way to becoming that. Without the support of the staff and students at Gateshead College, this would not have been possible.”

Bridget will be going to Slade in September, where her course will combine art and design theory with practical studies.

Slade School traces its roots back to the 1860s and has seen some of the world’s most distinguished and radical artists, painters, sculptors and writers pass through its doors.

In recent years, this has included Turner Prize winners such as Martin Creed and nominees like Spartacus (now Marvin Gaye Chetwynd), while local pop artist Richard Hamilton, who taught at Newcastle University, is also a Slade graduate.

David Goard, BTEC course leader at Gateshead College, said: “It is very hard to get into Slade, so this is an outstanding achievement for Bridget, who is one of the most dedicated, talented and creative students I have ever taught.

“She has been committed to achieving excellence in all aspects of her work and this is reflected in what she has achieved. The BALTIC exhibition is simply the icing on the cake in completing her studies with us.

“She has been an absolute pleasure to teach. She consistently achieved high grades and I would like to congratulate her on her success and wish her the best of luck for the future.

“Also, to have one of our students go to Slade has to be a ringing endorsement of the quality of the teaching and learning we are able to provide ambitious and bright young people.”

Gateshead College’s BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is recognised as one of the best courses of its type in the UK, preparing students looking to pursue higher education studies. The course helps to develop confidence in art and design ideas, opinions and creativity and offers the opportunity to participate in artist residencies and exhibitions as well as a passport to, and preparation for, degree programmes.