THE ART AND DESIGN CHALLENGE JUDGES
Val & MARTIN ADAMSON - Sculptors
Working from their Studio in Chalford, Martin & Val Adamson have been sculptors for twenty years.
Val’s work is figurative and she runs highly regarded figurative classes from the Studio, as well as teaching at Universities and various Art Bodies.
Martin’s sculptures have developed from an attention to detail gained whilst working for companies such as Aardman and the BBC. His animal sculpts demonstrate his ability to capture the character of his subject and his most recent sculpt has been shortlisted for the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020.
Both sculptors exhibit their work at various shows throughout the year.
The Rt Hon Countess Bathurst
The Rt Hon Countess Bathurst has previously served as the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire and lives on the 15,000 acre estate at Cirencester Park.
Martin Burgess - Owner of Cotswold Contemporary gallery and Art curator
Gallery owner Martin Burgess has a long-standing passion with art, and has been an avid collector for many years. His online gallery, Cotswold Contemporary, champions contemporary and modern British art.
Martin represents and works closely with emerging and internationally acclaimed artists who have been selected for their individual talent and creative vision. He has built up an impressive portfolio of some of the UK’s leading artists and sculptors. Martin is also opening a gallery in Cirencester in May.
Arron Crascall burst onto the social-media scene back in 2014 with hugely successful compilations on Facebook of his Vine content. Since then, Arron has become a social media megastar with over 4.4 million Facebook followers tuning into his unique blend of comedy sketches along with over a million followers across Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. On Facebook alone, Arron has numerous videos reaching upwards of 30 million views and is one of the UK's most recognised online comedy faces.
Arron has starred in his own BBC3 comedy series and has also appeared in documentary/comedy show Stupid Man, Smart Phone with Russell Kane and Drunk History alongside Stephen Mangan. Huge celebrities such as Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Shaggy and Jamie Oliver have also appeared in Arron's videos.
He is also a writer and an accomplished artist his work can be seen at https://www.cotswoldcontemporary.co.uk/artists/98-arron-crascall/works
Trevor Hart - Commercial photography
Trevor Ray Hart started his career in photography working for magazines such as Time Out, Esquire and The Observer. Having built up a distinctive style, it wasn’t long before he was in demand from other magazines and record companies.
Trevor naturally moved into advertising, creating memorable ads both in the United Kingdom and United States. He’s won numerous awards along the way, including a D&AD Pencil and a Cannes Grand Prix.
Trevor’s gallery work includes exhibiting at the National Portrait Gallery, where he also has a permanent archive with the NPG. Other exhibitions have included the Royal Photographic Society, The Portraiture show at the New York Photo Festival and Portrait of Humanity.
Personal work is also a key part of Trevor’s focus, always working on long term projects that involve his natural curiosity and wanderlust to meet people and explore new environments. Mixing his time between editorial and advertising commissions and his personal work helps his photography to keep developing.
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is a British self-styled homestyle consultant and TV personality, best known for his appearances on the BBC programme Changing Rooms.
The famous interior designer has become known for his opulent style and penchant for maximalism. He has a country home in the Cotswolds where he lives with his wife Jackie.
Lucy McMillan-Scott - Artist
Lucy grew up in rural Worcestershire before she went to Chelsea College of Art. From there, she went on to read English Literature at University College London, before returning to painting. It is perhaps because of these two disciplines that she is so concerned with the narrative of her subject matter.
There is a recurring theme of absence which surfaces in Lucy's work; in it we feel that temperate sense of loss with the passing of time, with the evasive memories of childhood, the illusory presentiment of permanence in life, the evanescence of a landscape. She paints portraits that combine the proximity of the present with the haunting and evocative relationship we have with the past.
Nic Vickery - Artist
Originally from Oxford, but now living in a pretty village near Chipping Norton, Nic has been drawing since a child.
Art and English were favourite subjects at school. But, although Art College was appealing, after A levels, Nic's decided to work in the field (literally) of animal welfare, though always drawing for pleasure in the background.
She now works as a professional artist full time, specialising in animal subjects, and produces her own range of cards, prints and homewares, as well as taking on commissions.
Sally Wyatt - Artist
I have lived in Fulbrook for 30 years and our daughters went to Burford School. It's only in very recent years that I have become a dedicated artist and have begun to exhibit and sell widely. Those who knew me as a child predicted this long-awaited outcome, but sometimes life offers unexpected opportunity. For decades I earned a good living in the interior design trade, thanks to an ability to design, sew and make learned from my Grandmother.
My revival as an artist was learned through self-teaching and workshops, leading to a mentoring year at Newlyn in Cornwall. Magically, in painting and ceramics, I now find myself re-engaging with the sciences I studied, but never used at A level and at University. In honour and expression of nature's truths, my creative processes are both mindful and experimental, leading me to produce work on landscape that is internalised and abstract.
I'm delighted to be asked to judge The Cotswold Challenge entries.
Sally Wyatt is a member of the Oxford Art Society.
THE CREATIVE WRITING CHALLENGE JUDGES
I am known to many as the Born Again Swindonian after having written a book of the same name and which celebrates Swindon – the town that I call home and that I’ve come to love in the many years I have lived here.
As well as my Born Again Swindonian book, I also write blogs and have had four other Swindon-related books published. In conjunction with Born Again Swindonian, I do content marketing articles for or articles about Swindon and Wiltshire businesses and also offer proof-reading and proof-editing services with a focus on business blogs. https://swindonian.me
Paul has spent his career as a designer, art director, writer and Creative Director on branding and communications for clients such Coke, National Trust, Nike - and well, many such global brands - working in London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, and most recently his home, for obvious reasons. He is also a painter and sculptor.
Kim Harvey - Owner of Mad Hatter Bookshop
Kim started her career with Blackwell Publishers in Oxford and, in March 2020, realised her dream as owner of The Madhatter Bookshop on Burford High Street. She is an active advocate for keeping the independent bookshop industry alive. Kim says Independent Bookshops are not only vital to the publishing industry, they add cement to their local community and, while the idea of conscious consumption can look very different, most people agree that shopping locally is a great place to start.
Kim is passionate about helping customers expand their horizons and explore their taste and introducing her young visitors to the joy of browsing the shelves and finding the book that ignites their imagination. “It is not about what they should be reading – only about keeping them reading”.
Inspired over lockdown, Kim has also launched the inaugural Burford Literary Festival, which will take place in September this year with over 30 authors covering all genres including Crime, Politics, Mental Health and, of course, there will always be story-time.
Amanda Jennings - Author
Amanda Jennings writes psychological suspense. She is fascinated by the far-reaching effects of trauma and the consequences of human behaviour. With a deep love of Cornwall, she now sets her books in this part of the world. The most recent, The Storm, explores coercive control and is set in and around the fishing community of Newlyn.
She is a regular contributor to BBC Berkshire book club, enjoys appearing at festivals and teaching workshops for children and adults and, for the past eight years, has judged the Henley Youth Festival creative writing competition. She lives just outside Henley-on-Thames with her husband, three daughters, and a menagerie of animals.
Fiona Scott is a journalist, media consultant, videographer and tv producer/director. She has worked in the media for over 30 years including working for ITV, the BBC & Comic Relief.
Some of the programmes she’s managed include multiple regional award-winning current affairs series West Eye View, political show The West This Week, antiques and collectibles shows The Bargain Hunters and Beat The Dealer. On the national stage, she’s worked on The One Show and Flog It! She’s also been a guest producer for ITV Wales and won the award for the Best Regional Television Feature in the British Asian Media Awards 2013.
After setting up her media consultancy in 2008, she’s offered media advice to many including Wiltshire & Dorset Fire Rescue Service, Kream London, Systemagic, John Williams Heating Services, Medikas, Sinclair Pharma, Galderma, Haines Watts Swindon and Creative Nature. She’s also provided crisis management advice to organisations, politicians and companies facing difficulty in their sectors.
Today, as her business is growing, she works with associate writers and media professionals offering a range of different ways to tell stories and share news, which can be tailored to budget and need. All of her associates act under her guidance and direction. She also provides online digital PR training through courses and her popular power hours – more information can be found here - https://scott-media.mykajabi.com/pr-power-hour
Cally Taylor - Author
C.L. Taylor is the award-winning Sunday Times bestselling author of eight gripping stand-alone psychological thrillers including Sleep, Strangers and Her Last Holiday. She has also written two Young Adult thrillers: The Treatment and The Island.
Her books have sold in excess of a million copies in the UK alone and hit the number one spots on Amazon Kindle, Audible, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play. They have been translated into over 25 languages, selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, and optioned for television.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking Challenge Judges
Having qualified in 1983 as an industrial designer Nigel worked for some of the top UK consultancies such as Pentagram and Conran before starting his own business in 1988.
Chute Design specialises in the development and commercialisation of engineering-based products. Markets served vary from housewares to industrial, and from DIY to agricultural, and clients vary in size from a leading international tools brand to individual inventors seeking to progress their ideas. During his career he has been involved in the design of a number of innovative products including “trueCall”, a system which helps put an end to nuisance phone calls. After an appearance on BBC’s Dragons’ Den the product won Product of the Year for Growing Business Awards in 2010.
For many years Nigel has been involved in mentoring young people. He explains: “I believe we need the next generation of young entrepreneurs more than ever. In my role as mentor I try to give youngsters a taste of the outside world beyond formal education and see if I can move them forward a click on life’s ratchet! By providing a bit of a sounding board I have been privileged to share some of their dreams and witness astonishing feats of leadership and teamwork.”
Nicky Godding is the Co-owner and Editor in Chief at NK Media Ltd, which publishes Business & Innovation Magazine, the fast-growing, editorially-led regional business magazine. Before launching NK Media in 2017, Nicky was a freelance journalist and PR consultant specialising in international retail.
Adam Henson is perhaps the best-known farmer in the UK, presenting his own section on BBC’s Countryfile to millions of viewers each Sunday evening. Adam Henson runs the Cotswold Farm Park which his father started.
Henson’s television career started in 2001 when he was successful in gaining a presenting position on the BBC’s Countryfile programme. Since this time he has worked on programmes such as Countryfile Summer Diaries and also worked on BBC Radio 4’s On Your Farm and Farming Today. In November 2013 he starred alongside Nigel Slater on Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen as they tried to get people back in touch with where our food comes from.
In 2015 Adam presented a series of BBC1’s Secret Britain with Ellie Harrison and has also presented Countryfile Summer Diaries, Big Wildlife Revival, BBC2’s Coast and Inside Out. Adam has a column in Countryfile magazine, as their resident farmer, as well as the Cotswold Life magazine.
Andy Langley - CEO of Ntegra
Andy Langley is the CEO of Ntegra, a Swindon-based specialist technology company specialising in complex project and programming delivery for organisations and companies committed to transformation through smarter, responsive digital solutions.
An IT geek (his own words), Andy first started working with Ntegra as a consultant around 14 years ago and today he manages and runs all day-to-day operations of a company with 40 local employees and another 20 full-time associates working world-wide.
Originally from Trowbridge, Andy went to Wiltshire College to study IT and then went on to study at the University of Manchester in Salford where his place was funded by IBM. He is also a trustee of The Platform Project in Swindon, which supports young people aged 13 to 20 who have not thrived in mainstream education. Andy lives in West Swindon with his wife, Jennie and their sons, Joel aged 20 and Daniel aged 18.
Verity Manners is the co-owner of Wrag Barn Golf Club near Highworth. Verity and her husband Tim have expanded and diversified the business over the years to include not just a wonderful 18-hole golf course, but also a stunning venue for weddings, parties, and tribute nights. The Club house has panoramic views of the countryside from the fabulous balcony overlooking the 18th green and Verity has turned it into the perfect leisure facility.
Caroline Summers - The Paperback Shop
The Paperback Shop is one of the most successful online booksellers in the world: https://paperbackshop.co.uk.
The Paperback Shop started life in a refurbished cowshed and now occupies a large commercial site in Fairford. With a team of 50 employees, the company recently celebrated their 20th anniversary and are very proud to have achieved this milestone. Sales Director, Caroline Summers, believes that The Paperback Shop leads the way and is a real innovator.
Jeevan Thandi - Enterprize
Jeevan’s background is in software engineering and his research through Codeonomics is exploring the impact of the Information Age on economic thought.
Ruth Waddingham - Designer and innovator
Ruth is certainly no stranger to the world of big brands, having worked with some of the most ground-breaking agencies in the world – from Wickens Tutt Southgate, Coley Porter Bell, Williams Murray Hamm & Blue Marlin. Following this, Ruth began a new chapter in her career, building her own niche agency, based in New York City, specialising in New Product Development for clients such as Mondelez and GSK. Ruth has a keen creative eye and is a strong, conceptual thinker with over 20 years design experience, producing creative, ‘big idea’ led concepts which encapsulate what a brand stands for and bringing it to life as a powerful and compelling design across all consumer touch-points.
More recently, Ruth enjoys working as a freelance designer for independent clients, and residing back in London. Her entrepreneurial spirit (and the birth of a baby boy!) inspired her to develop her own brand, zipitbaby.com, babywear with zips. Through this challenge and the wearing of many hats, she learned many new skills - research & dev, garment design and factory production, sales & marketing, to name but a few!
Ruth is currently working on a new product, launching soon, Search & Scribble - a children’s creative play kit Searchandscribble.com. Ruth is passionate about creativity and creative thinking in education. It is evident that the current education system is out of date and children need to learn skills like innovation, creative thinking, collaboration & inclusion to be equipped for the future. As a dyslexic and mum to a son with dyslexia, she is an avid campaigner for the world to understand, embrace & value neurodiversity as an asset.
She is excited to be part of The Cotswold Challenge judging panel, and looks forward to seeing all your amazing ideas!