The winners of this year’s Young Creative Awards – celebrating the creativity of Nottingham’s young people – have been announced. On Friday 17 June, 33 young creatives (aged 11 to 24) were selected by judges as the most exciting creative talents of the year.
Nottingham’s 14th annual Young Creative Awards is sponsored by CarShop and Serif. The competition is open to anyone aged 11 to 24 who lives, studies or works in Nottingham. There are 11 different creative categories: Animation & Digital Media, Creative Writing, Dance, Design & Architecture, Fashion & Textiles, Film, Graphic Design, Music, Photography, Theatre and Visual Arts. This year the Awards received entries from more than 500 young people from all over Nottingham.
Winners were announced via a special YouTube broadcast - profiling the 100+ shortlisted young people - which can be viewed here:
The annual Young Creative Awards always gives a vibrant snapshot of the issues occupying the minds of our city’s young creatives. This year, key themes included young people’s mental health, the environment and the impact of social media.
20 year-old Maria Vidal won in the Animation & Digital Media category for “Act Together”, a risograph-printed animation that calls for people to create meaningful connections and stand together instead of in opposition, utilising knitting as a metaphor for human relationships. You can watch Maria's animation by following this link.
Dance category winner Samuel Onwuteaka (16) choreographed and performed a passionate piece based on the struggles of a teenager going through a relationship that is falling apart. Similarly, 18 year-old Ava Chapman used photography to show how mental health, emotions and feelings can be so difficult to put into words. Ava’s project “Clouded Thoughts” was a winner in the Photography category.
Lauren Leyva (24) was judged a winner in the Design & Architecture category for “Nottingham Garden”, a landmark co-housing scheme integrating community gardens and food growing spaces to radically transform Nottingham city centre.
21 year-old designer Rebecca Allen was inspired by a desire to encourage young people to put down their screens and reconnect with nature, producing an organic, contemporary garment design that was judged a winner in the Fashion & Textiles category.
In the Graphic Design category, 23 year-old Dhanashree Pimputkar created “Happy Periods”, a project designed to educate girls in India about periods and to normalise menstruation.
The ongoing impact of Covid-19 also continued to loom large. Lottie Cox (21) was a winner in the Creative Writing category for her uplifting story “Flying the Nest”, which follows the quest of a young girl to reclaim her voice and find some control over the chaos that has previously dominated her life. As Lottie explained in her submission, “with this story being written in the height of lockdown back in early 2021, I feel that this lack of control is something we can all perhaps relate to.”
Past YCA winners include singer-songwriter Rob Green, poet and performer Bridie Squires, dancer Jamal Sterrett Phoenix and make-up artist and Instagram sensation Romanie-Jade Tulloch.
The Young Creative Awards is run by registered charity Young Creatives Nottingham. Andrew Tucker – himself a 2019 Creative Writing winner – is Vice Chair of the charity and was one of the judges of this year’s Creative Writing category.
“We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to enter this year’s Young Creative Awards. It can be nerve-wracking for young people to put their work out into the world, but we’re glad so many have done so - the standard of work has been phenomenal and speaks for itself.
“As such, our judges found the job of selecting finalists and winners very difficult, but hugely enjoyable as well. It’s always a pleasure to be able to experience the creative accomplishments of Nottingham’s young people and we’d like to say one more congratulations to the winners and finalists. The future is in safe hands.”
Other category judges included professional artists, former YCA winners, representatives from key city arts institutions and a range of industry specialists. One such expert is Neil Ladkin, Creative Director at Wilford-based software firm Serif (one of the Young Creative Awards’ headline sponsors), who was part of the Animation & Digital Media panel.
“It's been an absolute pleasure sponsoring the Nottingham Young Creative Awards for the third year in a row. We’ve had the privilege of being involved in the judging process as well and were once again extremely impressed with the level of work submitted. All entrants showed an inspiring level of creativity and professionalism and have really done themselves proud. It’s incredible to witness the growth in talent year on year and only makes us more excited for the future of Nottingham’s creative industry.”
Young Creatives Nottingham is currently planning a series of events in the summer and autumn – in partnership with Creative Quarter Nottingham and The Hustle Collective – to celebrate this year’s Young Creative Awards.
Animation & Digital Media (sponsored by Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies)
16-18 Noah Bellamy (age 17) – Confetti
19-24 Maria Vidal (age 20) – Nottingham Trent University
Creative Writing (sponsored by Walkgrove)
11-15 Aine Mullan (age 13) – The Becket School
16-18 Leah Chaplin (age 18) – Nottingham Academy
19-24 Lottie Cox (age 21)
Dance (sponsored by Dance4)
11-15 Lily Reyes (age 12) & Maia Dajas-Portillo (age 14)
16-18 Samuel Onwuteaka (age 16)
19-24 Hal Mayer (age 24)
Design & Architecture (sponsored by Maber)
11-15 Laetitia Panter (age 13) – Rushcliffe School
16-18 Finn Dineen (age 17) – Nottingham High School
19-24 Lauren Leyva (age 24) – University of Nottingham
Fashion & Textiles (sponsored by Romo)
16-18 Emily Daniels (age 17) – Nottingham College
19-24 Rebecca Allen (age 21) – Nottingham Trent University (joint winner)
19-24 Caleb Stutchbury (age 20) – Nottingham College (joint winner)
Film (sponsored by Skeleton and Broadway)
11-15 Zeeshan Majid (age 15) – Carlton Academy
16-18 Daniel Porter (age 17) – Confetti
19-24 Zoltan Remetei (age 22) – Nottingham Trent University/Confetti
Graphic Design (sponsored by Nottingham College)
11-15 Rhys Green (age 13)
16-18 Lexi Cardwell (age 18) - Confetti
19-24 Dhanashree Pimputkar (age 23) – Nottingham Trent University
Music (sponsored by Nottingham Music Hub)
11-15 Muskan Goyal (age 15) – Nottingham High School
16-18 Oscar Marshall (age 16) – Confetti
19-24 Eli Ellis (age 21) – Nottingham Trent University/Confetti
Photography (sponsored by Nottingham College)
11-15 Daisy Bartram (age 13) – The Kimberley School
16-18 Ava Chapman (age 18) – Nottingham College
19-24 Luke Brennan (age 22)
Theatre (sponsored by University of Nottingham)
11-15 Logan Miles (age 11) – Flying High Expressive Arts CIC
16-18 Mia Murdoch (age 16) – Nottingham Girls’ High School
19-24 Kate O’Gorman (age 23)
Visual Arts (sponsored by Nottingham Trent University)
11-15 Adelle Iversen (age 13) – Alderman White School
16-18 Eve Moore (age 18) – Nottingham College
19-24 Hollie Betts (age 22) – Nottingham Trent University