University of Bolton student Zaynah Arif has won a competition for her textile design to be part of a travelling mini arts centre touring Greater Manchester this summer – just five months after starting her degree.

Zaynah’s beautiful curtain design was chosen from 25 ideas submitted by students from the popular and successful Textiles & Surface Design degree course at the University.

Organised by Greater Manchester Arts, the competition gave students the opportunity to work to a commission and work with award-winning artist Joshua Sofaer from the Cap & Dove project.

Students were given the task of responding to a brief set out by Joshua, inspired by the pattern books in the Bolton Museum & Archives.

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First year student Zaynah aged 19, who hails from Blackburn but now lives in Blackpool, said she was “amazed” when she won.

“It sounds like a cliché but I felt like I was in a dream. It was a total shock,” she said.
“This has been a fantastic experience, as it has given us an insight into what it is like actually in an industry setting, working to a specific brief and then producing a design within time constraints. I have really learned a lot.

“My mum will be so pleased for me. I have been really stressed about it. I am a complete perfectionist and nothing is ever good enough for me – I always want to make something better.”

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Joshua said: “Zaynah’s design has a contemporary layout but is inspired by the historical pattern-making from the Peel pattern books in the Bolton archives.”

Donna Claypool, Programme Leader at the University of Bolton, said: “At this level, it’s rare for students to work on such a prestigious project with an international artist.

“It has been great for them to work on a project integrated with Bolton Museum and for them to experience working to a commission.”

Zaynah is one of several Greater Manchester emerging and established artists to be collaborating with Joshua on the build, design and decoration of Cap & Dove, which will house a tiny theatre, museum and a shop.

Her pattern design will be printed and made into curtains, which will form part of Cap & Dove’s interior. 

Commissioned by Greater Manchester Arts, Cap & Dove is a Peterloo legacy project, which will harness and take forward the spirit captured in the Peterloo commemorations during summer 2019.

The Cap & Dove Greater Manchester tour launches on Saturday May 9 in Tameside. It will visit Bolton on Saturday July 18.