Artist and UWTSD graduate returns to present St David’s Day Annual Lecture and Awards


Owen Griffiths, a graduate of Art and Design Foundation at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art returned to the University to deliver the St David’s Day creative lecture and present current students with awards.

Image of students and lecturers with awards

Photographer: Emily Sullivan, MA Advertising student

The annual event hosted by Swansea College of Art rewards individuals for their commitment to the Welsh language. This year was the ceremony’s sixth event, and successful artist and alumnus Owen Griffiths was invited to present the awards.

Owen, an alumnus of Art and Design Foundation is now a successful social practice artist and curator as well as the Founder and Director of the social enterprise, Ways of Working, an arts and social change project working on agendas of equitable futures, climate, justice and empowerment.

Recipients of the awards were third year students who are studying their creative courses through the medium of Welsh. The language and culture is clearly important to these students and this is reflected in their artwork.

Cara Edwards, a Graphic Design student and awardee said:

“Speaking Welsh is part of my identity and therefore I am extremely proud that I have had the opportunity to work bilingually on my Graphic Design degree course. I believe that it is important not only to use the language, but also to create bilingual work to encourage other people to learn it and use it.”

Image of Graphic Design work of Student, Cara Edwards. Coffee cups and Welsh greetings cards

Work of Cara Edwards, third-year BA Graphic Design student

This year, lecturers and programme directors were also rewarded for their support and encouragement to students who chose to study in Welsh. Katherine Clewett, Programme Director of Cert HE Art and Design Foundation was one of the awardees. This year’s ceremony was particularly special for her as Owen, who presented her with the award, was one of her students. She said:

Owen studied with us here on the Foundation programme with his now wife Fern. I have closely followed Owen's education, creative projects and family life and am extremely proud to have been part of his journey. It is always nice to welcome him back to Swansea College of Art. This visit was extra special in that I was presented with my award by him.”

Woman and Man receiving award

As well as studying the Art and Design Foundation Owen spent some time teaching on it. He remembers his time here fondly and said:

The year I spent studying the foundation course had a dramatic effect on my life – it allowed me opportunities that set me up for many things in the future and helped lead me where I am today. It allowed me to develop personally, professionally, and artistically.”

As a part of the ceremony, Owen delivered a lecture on the work he has undertaken since leaving UWTSD. 

Based in Swansea he describes himself as a community artist who works for social change. His practice is both locally rooted and globally focused. Working with communities, museums and galleries, his various projects explore themes such as climate crisis, food systems, and social and radical justice. They involve a creative process and outcome which could take the form of public art, community gardens, shop window displays or museum takeovers.

For him, the Welsh language plays a powerful role in the way he views his projects and how he articulates himself day-to-day.

Gwenllian Beynon, Welsh co-ordinator of WISA who organised the event said that by exposing our currents students to Welsh speaking professionals like Owen, they are hopefully encouraged to continue to use the Welsh language in their future careers. She said:

“We invite professionals from the creative industries along to inspire our students. The whole ceremony aims to celebrate Welshness. It signifies compassion and commitment to the Welsh language and gives it a voice. It’s important that these awards exist to support the language and culture.”

If you would like more information on the St David’s Day Annual Awards and Lecture, you can contact the organiser, Gwenllian Beynon, Assistant Academic Director of Art and Media and Welsh co-ordinator of Wales Institute of Science and Art (WISA).

Award recipients


Bethan Allen, BA Fine
Mary Bath, BA Illustration
Owain Davies, BA Graphic Design
Cara Edwards, BA Graphic Design
Dawson Edwards, BA Fine Art
Celyn Lewis, BA Fine Art
Grug Morris, BA Film and TV
Jack Price, BA Graphic Design
Seren Willicombe, BA Photography

Lecturers and Programme Directors:

Matthew Archer, Product Design
Catherine Brown, Design Craft and MA
Martin Bush, Creative Advertising
Katherine Clewett, Art and Design Foundation l
Rebecca Ellis, Film and TV
Sergio Fontanarosa, Automotive and Transport Design
Hamish Gane, Photography and MA
Simon Kilshaw, Music Technology
Georgia McKie, Surface Pattern
Ryan L. Moule, Photography
Donna Williams, Graphic Design
Jonathan Williams, Illustration
Sue Williams, Fine Art
Brett Aggersberg, Film
Stacey Jo Atkinson, Set and Theatre Productions
Alison Franks, Applied Drama
John Hill, Set and Theatre Production
Lynne Seymour, Acting

Further Information

Communications and PR Officer: Alumni Relations
Corporate Communications and PR
Contact details:
07850 321687