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Septuagenarian artist demonstrates the power of lifelong learning at York St John University Degree Show
Judith Porter felt she had ‘something to prove’ after leaving education at 15
Members of the public are warmly invited to York St John University’s Fine Art, Illustration, Photography and MFA Degree Show which opens today, Friday 2 June.
Held in our multi award winning Creative Centre, it is a unique opportunity for friends, family and members of the public to engage with the work of our innovative students.
The Degree Show is part of the wider School of the Arts (SOTA) Festival 2023. This runs through May and June as final year work and performances from across the School go on display. It offers a chance to discover work that will challenge perceptions, interrogate beliefs and offer new ways of looking at the world.
Amongst the talent on display this year is the work of Judith Porter who is among those completing the Fine Art BA. Judith was born on Christmas Day 1945 and will become one of the University’s oldest graduates.
With a lifelong passion for art and a background in flower arranging, Judith moved to Wilton in North Yorkshire in the 1990s and began doing the occasional short course in painting.
In 2019 she decided to take this further with a Foundation course and then apply to York St John. Judith explained what led her to do the course:
“My reason for wanting to do a degree later in life was twofold because at the age of 15 my father asked me if I would come home and help my mother in the business. Secondly, I never had the chance to do an exam and I wanted to prove to myself I could do it and was possible even at my age.
“Working alongside my cohorts has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I will always have lovely memories. My student experience has been amazing. Taking aside my age, I am young at heart, and have enjoyed every minute of working together collaboratively with my cohorts and have made some wonderful friends. I am in my element.
“I am so excited about the Degree Show, my heart and soul has gone into it, and I just hope that the public and my friends enjoy the experience of the Degree Show in its entirety, along with my inspiration in creating my exhibition piece Brimham.”
Helen Turner, Associate Head: Fine Art, Illustration and Photography said: “We open the doors to our Degree Show with huge amounts of pride in the work of our students. Every year our students impress us so much with their creativity, ambition and innovation and we love to see the impact that this makes on our audiences. This year no one can fail to be awed by the show as a whole and by Judith’s journey and the high calibre of her art.
“Whether you are a regular visitor to our shows, or considering attending for the first time, I can guarantee that you will discover something fresh and though provoking.”
Find out more about the SOTA Festival and how to attend the Degree Show on our website