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Emma Allen and Nadine Smith were given the chance to enhance their studies by exploring the incredible galleries and exhibitions of Paris, thanks to a £1,000 award from The Arts Society Chester bursary.

The duo, whose own coursework incorporates video, projection and image making, used the funding to visit the acclaimed Atelier des Lumiere’s Van Gogh, Starry Night exhibition, with the aim of developing their knowledge of contemporary art and curation by visiting some of the city’s famous art works.

Emma, aged 21 and from Nantwich, said: “It felt amazing to win this award. It’s the first bursary I’ve ever applied for and to be chosen was a fantastic feeling. We were very grateful for the opportunity.

“We were so excited to see Paris and the exhibition at the Atelier de Lumiere and it went above and beyond our expectations. Now we’re just looking forward to how the ideas we’ve observed will impact on our work at university and beyond.

Nadine, also aged 21 and from Leeds, added: “We felt very lucky and grateful to be awarded the bursary as it gave us the opportunity to explore and embrace art further during our summer break.

“It was an amazing experience. The trip to Paris was guided by our desire to view the immersive Vincent Van Gogh exhibitions which was, without a doubt, one of the best exhibitions I have ever attended.”

Emma chose to study at Chester as it was one of the few universities in the UK to offer a combined Fine Art and English Literature degree.

She said: “After first visiting the University, I fell in love with the Department of Art and Design. I particularly liked the fact that students have their own permanent studio space, something very different to the hot-desking system at other institutions.”

Nadine had similar motivations for choosing Chester: “I wanted to study both literature and fine art. Both departments at the University of Chester impressed me with their teaching and organisation.”

With the new term now well under way the pair are exploring forward to how the ideas they observed will impact their work at university and beyond.

Dr Jeremy Turner, Deputy Head of Art and Design at the University, said: “This bursary, gave Emma and Nadine the fantastic opportunity to arm themselves with new artistic, cultural and social experiences that will undoubtedly inform their practice.

“Opportunities such as this cannot be underestimated and are so important to art students as they add to and expand their creative repertoire.

“There’s no doubt that this award will feed directly into Emma and Nadine’s practice and thinking whilst at university and in their future careers. As a Department, and on behalf of the students, we’re grateful to The Arts Society Chester for the opportunities that arose through award of this bursary.”

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