Peebles graduates set to make their mark – at home and on the world

Innerleithen designers exhibit at Gray's School of Art Degree Show. Simone Russell and HelenNash.
Innerleithen designers exhibit at Gray's School of Art Degree Show. Simone Russell and HelenNash.

TWO former pupils of Peebles High School are starting to make their mark on the world of professional design, writes Mark Entwistle.

Simone Russell and Helen Nash, both from Innerleithen, first met when they both attended Peebles High School, and are now exhibiting their final-year work at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art Degree Show in Aberdeen.

Simone, 21, who is set to graduate with a BA (Hons) visual communication in July, focused her final-year project on working with school children from St Ronan’s Primary School in Innerleithen, Halyrude Primary in Peebles and Walkerburn Primary School.

She said: “I’m really interested in working with children and developing interactive teaching techniques which are both fun and educational.”

As part of her project, she worked with primary school children to teach them all about animation. The children used stop-motion techniques to develop short animations to promote local businesses in Innerleithen which were then run in the shop windows.

Helen, 22, who will graduate with a BDes (Hons) graphic design, combined her interest in winter sports and the environment for her final-year exhibit.

Examining the impact that global warming is having on winter sports, Helen produced two books featuring the words of Patrick Thorne who has written on the subject of snow sports for the last 11 years.

The two books were produced in different ways to demonstrate the positive impact of sustainable design. One of the books was produced using totally sustainable techniques, including 100 per cent recycled paper and no glue in the binding. The other was produced using high-impact materials. The quality of Helen’s work was recognised as she was short-listed for the BP Design Award for her final-year show at Gray’s.

She received high praise from Tim Smith, BP’s vice-president of communications and external affairs, who commended her for producing books that were both informed and educational.

Gray’s School of Art Degree Show is open until Saturday.