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Medway's homegrown talent recognised at awards ceremony

Date: 03/12/2008           Category: Leisure

Leading lights from the world of art, culture, architecture and fashion have been recognised at the inaugural Medway Culture and Design Awards. The cream of Medway’s homegrown talent was presented with their awards during a glitzy ceremony at Rochester’s Corn Exchange on 27 November. An impressive line-up of industry experts, including architect and urban designer Sir Terry Farrell, helped judges from Medway Council choose the 18 winners, who were presented with a bespoke trophy designed and crafted by Tim Meacham, course leader at the University for the Creative Arts with the help of staff and students. Artists Wendy Daws and Mark Barnes saw their Strand mural Shadow Play named Medway’s Best-Kept Secret; the book Made in Medway scooped the Best Newcomer prize and Michael Peevers received a special Citizenship Award in recognition of his long service as chairman of the Medway Industrial Archaeology Group and for being the driving force behind the restoration of The Brook Pumping Station in Chatham. Students past and present from the University for the Creative Arts also swept the board; the Chatham-born doyenne of British fashion Zandra Rhodes CBE won the Lifetime Contribution Award; sculptor Paula Groves won the Outstanding Achievement Award, while Rüdiger Leopold walked away with the fashion and design award. Ms Rhodes, who could not attend the awards ceremony, recorded an acceptance speech for the audience. She said: “I'm extremely proud to have been born in Chatham and to be part of the whole Medway community; it’s absolutely wonderful to now hear about exciting things that are happening in Medway. “I'm proud to be a recipient of this Lifetime Contribution award.“ Rainham’s Riverside Country Park pipped Shadow Play to the post in the People’s Choice award by just one vote. Medway Council’s Leader Cllr Rodney Chambers said: “Medway is changing and our continuing social and physical regeneration projects will not succeed without cutting-edge design and the development of local talented individuals and organisations. “The Medway Culture and Design Awards highlight the wealth of talent living and working in Medway and illustrate our commitment towards establishing Medway as a centre of learning, culture, tourism and enterprise.” The evening also featured a photographic exhibition called Excuse Me!, including works by students from the University for the Creative Arts. The Medway Culture and Design Awards were organised by Medway Council and its regeneration arm Medway Renaissiance, with support from Arriva, Crest Nicholson, SEEDA and the Medway Messenger, and creative input from the University for the Creative Arts and the University of Kent at Medway. The full list of winners and judges’ commendations is: New Media Winner Simon Williams Judges’ Commendation Medway Renaissance Concept Branding project Fashion and Design Winner Rüdiger Leopold Music Winners City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra Roger Sayer from Rochester Cathedral Literature Winner Zara Carpenter Heritage Winner Art in Churches 2007 Judges’ Commendations Guildhall Museum, Rochester Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham Visual Arts Winner Hei People Public Art Project 2007 Performing Arts Winner Loop Ed Dance Company Partnership Working Winner New Art Centre, Chatham Judges’ Commendations HeART Medway Chinese Peace Flag Project New Building Winner MHS Broadside Judges’ Commendation Gillingham Building, University of Kent Design Winner Diocesan Office, St Nicholas Church, Rochester Heritage Winner – Re-use and conversion Slip 3 – The Big Store, Chatham Historic Dockyard Winner – Restoration Selale Restaurant building, High Street, Chatham Judges’ Commendation The Arch, High Street, Rochester Regeneration Winner Rochester Riverside Crane Judges’ Commendation New Art Centre Pilkington Building, Universities at Medway Best Newcomer Winner Made in Medway Judges’ Commendation Magherita Gramegna Museum of Tales – Mark Barnes Medway’s Best-Kept Secret Winner Shadowplay – Strand Mural People’s Choice 2008 Winner Riverside Country Park Outstanding Achievement Winner Paula Groves Judges’ Commendation Aidan Dooley Citizenship Award Winner Michael Peevers Lifetime Contribution Winner Zandra Rhodes