Graduate Scholars

In 2014 we launched the annual Graduate Scholarship Scheme, with our School of Arts and Media, industry partners Castlefield Gallery, and a range of local artist-led studios.

The programme offers graduates a bespoke 12 month period of support to continue their professional practice, including: studio membership, mentoring, peer support, professional development sessions, and a cash award.

Over 30 graduates have completed the scheme, and gone on to a range of creative careers. The Art Collection acquires an artwork, (or documentation of practice) from each graduate scholar, after their participation in the scheme.

In 2024 the scheme enters it’s tenth year, with studio partners Islington Mill, Paradise Works and Hotbed Press, alongside Redeye the Photography Network.

Our current Graduate Scholars:

Photograph of Graduate Scholar Adam Rawlinson at the Manchester Contemporary 2023, stood in front of his oil painting 'It's Nice To Be Alive' (2023). Photograph taken by Sam Parker.
Adam Rawlinson at the Manchester Contemporary 2023.
Image courtesy of Sam Parker.

Adam Rawlinson
BA Fine Art (2023)
Paradise Works

Adam Rawlinson has established an abstract painting practice working primarily with oil on canvas. He uses abstraction as a vehicle to examine and explore the ineffable, and connect, emotionally with the audience. He is concerned with mark making and how the materiality of the paint and its application can communicate something of our place in the world focusing on both the individual and collective experience how we relate to our natural surroundings.

Recent exhibitions include: Manchester Open Exhibition, HOME Gallery (February-April, 2024). The Manchester Contemporary, Manchester Convention Central Convention Centre (November, 2023). OFFSET, First Etch Glasgow, The Alchemy Experiment (September-October, 2023). Abstract Art, Brick Lane Gallery, London (July, 2023).

Lucy Claire
BA Fine Art (2023)
Hot Bed Press

“My practice is inspired by museum collections, primarily my fascination with classical sculpture. I explore this through photography, printmaking, and engraving. As an artist, I am concerned with how natural elements can be used to produce an artificial image of perfection.

My personal experience informs my interest in the artificial image, specifically the pressure of expectation on appearance and behaviour. Therefore, my work can be linked to the investigation of self, authenticity, and perception. I communicate this affinity by using everyday materials. I use readymade objects such as bricks and handmade tiles to give my photographs a physical aspect linked to lived experience.

My work concerns staged perfection, idealised beauty, unattainable standards, and the associated tyranny of classical ideals. I challenge accepted ideals by subjecting my images to unpredictable processes and presenting the resulting portraits on readymade bricks and handmade tiles. Both bricks and tiles speak of uniformity, manufacture, and mass production. The distorted portraits are juxtaposed with the perfect surface to question the commodification of beauty. Modern-day internet algorithms, filters, and the widespread use of facial aesthetics threaten to turn humans into manufactured clones as we strive to reach the beauty goals set initially in classical antiquity. Perceived beauty standards have never been more tyrannical.”

Exhibition shot of part of Graduate Scholar Lucy Claire's solo exhibition at the Whitaker Museum in 2023. Photographed by Sam Parker.
Lucy Claire’s solo exhibition at the Whitaker Museum in 2023.
Image courtesy of Sam Parker.

Graduate Scholar Maggie Stick in her studio with various 'artivist' works presented on the wall.
Maggie Stick in her studio.
Image courtesy Maggie Stick.

Maggie Stick
BA Fine Art (2023)
Rogue Studios


“I am an artist with activist qualities – an “artivist” from the Polish diaspora. I strive to create a space where the boundaries between art and social justice become blurred. Here, I explore the different ways of working with performance, prints, book and zine making, banners, installation, protest, analogue photography, music and community work. I believe that art can be a powerful tool for creating positive change, and I am passionate about creating meaningful works that can make an impact. My work explores themes of identity, migration, displacement, alienation, and self-determination. I am highlighting issues of poverty, inequalities, and systems of oppression.”

Recent exhibitions and performances include: Rogue Women, Rogue Studios, Manchester (May, 2023). Labia Mania performance and exhibition at Islington Mill, Manchester (March, 2023). Hardcore Cracovianka performance at New Adelphi, Manchester (March, 2023).

Megan Brierley
BA Fine Art (2023)
Islington Mill


Megan Brierley is a multidisciplinary artist who uses ink, video, digital collage and projection mapping to explore the relationship between humans and their artificial other, the posthuman condition, and the commodification of women’s bodies. Megan adopts poses from 1970’s porn magazines to create monochromatic images of erotic and uncanny women, whilst also piecing together fragmented body parts within her digital work to explore the artificial and digitalised human. With artificial intelligence rapidly on the rise, reality becoming ever obscured, and society becoming more sexualised, Megan’s work aims to merge the real and the artificial, whilst also uncovering the links between technologised bodies and pornography.

Recent exhibitions include: Divine Feminine, Islington Mill, Salford (2023). S.I.R.E.N.S, Partisan Collective, Salford (2023). Islington Mill: 200 Years in the Making, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Salford (2023). SiGHTiNGESTED, Geek Pictures, Tokyo (2023). TEES, Rogue Studios, Manchester (2023).

Graduate Scholar Megan Brierley presenting a satin painting/ pastel workshop at the University of Salford.
Megan Brierly presenting a satin painting/ pastel workshop at the University of Salford.
Image courtesy Megan Brierley.

Graduate Scholar Zan Atkinson with her work in the New Adelphi Atrium, as part of Craig Easton's 'Is Anybody Listening? Our Time, Our Place' launch event in 2023.
Zan Atkinson at Craig Easton’s ‘Is Anybody Listening? Our Time, Our Place’ launch event in 2023.
Image courtesy of James Lawton Photography

Zan Atkinson
BA Fine Art (2023)
Rogue Studios


“I employ a range of practice which spans diverse media, is rooted in materiality, and centered in sculpture. My output is intentionally variable, responsive, and reactive. Often initiated by current affairs and drawn from media sensationalism, my work seeks to encourage debate and incite commentary on prevalent social issues by illuminating inequality and highlighting disparities in respect of wealth, class, and opportunity. My sculptural practice explores the dichotomies of disclosure and concealment, strength and fragility, and security and precarity through the over-arching themes of time, liminality, and vulnerability.”

A list of our past Graduate Scholars will come to this page soon!