Harriet Winstanley... Following a career in the world of Art & Design


  • Name: Harriet Winstanley 
  • Class of: 2015
  • Studied: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design
  • Doing What? Harriet has just started her first year at the University of Lincoln, studying for a BA (Honours) in Fine Art. She was joint top of the class after being awarded the highest grade of a triple Distinction* in her Extended Diploma.

Earlier this year, Selby College Year 2 Art & Design and Photography students entered the 2015 Amnesty International, Young Human Rights Photographer Competition. Fulfilling the brief to explore perceptions of our human rights, Harriet’s image ‘Breathtaking’ impressed the judges and made it into the top ten in the Upper Secondary and Further Education Photography category for her image ‘Prisoner’, while fellow student Olivia Fenwick’s  image ‘Prisoner’ was the Runner-up. As a nationwide competition this was quite the achievement! The judges included British photographer Rankin, Getty Images senior photo editor Patrick Llewellyn and documentary photographer Jenny Matthews.

The students’ success was marked by an exhibition of the photographs at The White Room Gallery in York in May, entitled ‘Declaration’, which ran for a month, as well as a showcase of the striking and emotive work at the college’s annual end of year Visual & Creative Arts Exhibition.

Harriet explained the thinking behind her chosen title, ‘Breathtaking’ saying that, “Taking away the right to speak our mind can mirror the sensation of taking away our breath - we can be suffocated by the world around us and we feel as if we cannot voice our opinion. This image reflects the emotions we endure when our right to speak is stolen; we feel helpless, we feel powerless and we feel breathless.”

Paul Belshaw, Subject Area Manager for Art, Design and Media at Selby College,  and the Photography course leader said, ‘‘We regularly run projects that encourage students to look at challenging issues and consider their place in the world but this year was the first time we entered our work for the Amnesty Youth Awards. A wide array of technical photographic techniques were explored by the students and in the end the project led to some great work. I felt the quality we had achieved was very strong but to get two students from Selby College in the national top ten is just a fantastic result. We are absolutely delighted.’’