Beth in Junk Kouture Final

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About the design/concept behind the dress:

‘Lady Fibonacci’ has been inspired by my interest in nature and the colours, patterns and textures that are found there in. The Fibonacci sequence, highlighted on my design which has been made from recycled card and sweet papers, represents the universal growth pattern that is formed in the spiral. The Fibonacci sequence has become a motif in all my A Level work this year and represents the connections between humankind and the natural environment. The dome forms a central feature of the dress and is created by a patchwork of lace and cotton pieces taken from old shirts and blouses, an unexpected aspect of the design came about when I noted the contrast of the ripples in the blue section against the patchwork of the green area, land and water. I am really pleased with the overall effect of the design and the actual dress as it realises all my ideas at once. The headpiece is created by radiator covers found in my garage after renovations which have been embellished with tissue and sawdust. The bodice is made from all sorts of textures and offcuts found around the recycle bins at home and the art room in school. The wires that are used to create the arm decoration are recycled from old sketchbooks, a connection with my love of the subject from junior school.

When I first arrived at the 3 Arena, the butterflies slowly started to kick in as I knew this opportunity was really becoming reality: I was really going to be on stage, performing in my own design in front of 6,000 people!! I thoroughly enjoyed the day as a whole as I got to experience the excitement of showbiz and the drama of being backstage in my dressing room. I was able to make new friends from all over the island of Ireland and hear their experience too. The highlight of the day was definitely getting into my Lady Fibonacci character backstage with my make-up artist, Rachel Gallagher and my hair stylist, Luca St. Clair. We even managed to persuade Mrs McKeown to put some glitter on as well! I have come to the conclusion that being pricked by many needles, having my scalp burnt with hair curlers, and getting glitter in my eye was all worth it in the end, as the feeling I got on stage was unforgettable; I was ecstatic! If I could take something from this experience, it would be that you can make your dreams a reality if you put yourself out there and grasp opportunities like this one.

Beth McDaniel

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AS level student Beth is an example of all that is expected for Art students following the new AS specification. ‘Taking risks for learning’ underpins the programme of study this year for AS and in my opinion, Beth’s work for Junk Kouture is a perfect illustration of this process at its best. Beth was inspired by recent work done in the art department to promote STEAM, Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths. Her concept focused on the Fibonacci Series and links to the Golden Mean, a ratio used to guide harmony and proportion in art. Design and creation of the dress evolved to generate a wonderfully creative response to her research.
The beauty of the Junk Kouture competition is that anyone can enter and the whole class were able to support Beth when her work was selected. On the night of the Grand Final, Beth’s creation was one of 80 that had been chosen from 1300 designs this year. We were delighted to be recipients of the Bank of Ireland wild card for the Northern Region and this in itself was a winner!

Beth and I, with her team, spent the day in the 3 Arena Dublin in rehearsals and preparation for the Grand Final. This was an opportunity to meet students from other schools and share experience. Students also had to get used to the bigger stage and adapt to performing in front of thousands of people. Beth was interviewed by the Bank of Ireland publicity team, she took the star treatment all in her stride and her quiet and modest demeanour presented her as a model contender.Beth had a fantastic team backing her in New-Bridge and as the only integrated college in the final, support from the Carson Bursary was very much appreciated. Banners, flags and flyers were all used to make sure that the ‘Lady Fibonacci Support Team’ headed by Mrs McLean, Head of Music and Mrs Anderson, Principal were noticed. Even Louis Walsh, one of the judges, was distracted by the excitement created in our bunch! We are very proud of Beth, her team including Megan Rafferty her mentor and all students involved; they are great ambassadors for our school.

Mrs E. McKeown.

Ulster Swimming Success