Press Releases 2014-2015

Student Wins Joint-First Prize in Prestigious Glass Competition


Michelle Mativi yn cael ei gwobr gan yr Uwch-Wydrwr, Alex Galloway CVOA student from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s internationally renowned glass department has won joint-first prize in one of the world’s leading glass art competitions.

‌Second-year glass degree student Michelle Mativi, originally from Cambridge, has been named as joint-winner of the prestigious ‘Stevens Architectural Glass Competition’, run by the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass. She shares the accolade with Anna Selway from the University of Sunderland and both winners receive £750. Fellow UWTSD glass degree student Ann Ayre, from Swansea, was awarded third place and £350.

Michelle was also presented with the Award for Craftsmanship (George and Evelyn Gee Prize), which carries a £250 reward. The winners were announced by the Glaziers’ Company during a ceremony at Glaziers Hall, next to London Bridge.

The competition was open to students and those who had completed training within the last five years. Entrants were given a design brief inspired by UWTSD’s recently renovated ALEX Design Exchange in Swansea.

The task was to design an archway in UWTSD’s world-renown glass department, which has been based in the Alexandra Road building since it first started to offer courses in glass art in the 1930s.

Competition judges this year were: Douglas Hogg, Helen Whittaker, John Reyntiens and Alex Robinson. All are distinguished and experienced glass artists. Douglas’s design was chosen by The Queen for the Diamond Jubilee Window at the Savoy Chapel in London. Helen Whittaker, from Barley Studios, has designed ‘Stained Glass in Stitches’ a wall-hanging for the Glaziers Livery Company made in collaboration with the charity Fine Cell Work which will be unveiled by the Lord Mayor of London on 6 July 2015. John is a second-generation architectural and stained glass artist whose work can be seen in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament. Alex is a former Stevens’ Competition winner who has created work for the V&A Museum and University College Hospital.

The panel of judges followed an anonymous process – they did not know the identities of the people whose work they were judging until after they had come to their decision.

The Chairman of the Judging Panel, Douglas Hogg, said: “It is unusual for the judges to award a joint first prize. On this occasion we agreed that both Michelle and Anna deserved no less, and we congratulate them both, along with the other award-winners. We wish them all well for the future.”

Andy Lane, Chairman of the Glaziers Craft and Competitions Committee said: “I am very grateful to our judges for giving us their time and expertise. Through the annual Stevens Competition and associated awards, the Glaziers’ Livery Company continues to support, and showcase, talented students and emerging architectural glass artists and glass conservationists.”

Ann AyreDr Ian Walsh, Dean of the Swansea College of Art at UWTSD, said: “We are very proud of Michelle and Ann. They continue a long tradition of glass students from this University who have been successful in the Stevens Competition. The quality of our graduates, such as Michelle and Ann, maintain and enhance our global reputation for glass art education, putting UWTSD and Swansea on the international map.”

The Stevens Competition has been running since 1972. Past award- winning commissions have included installations in hospices, schools and charities. Previous winners have gone on to international fame, many of whom studied glass in Swansea.

The glass department at UWTSD has established an international reputation in stained glass education and is the only architecturally based glass school in the world. It is part of a University with the oldest Royal Charter in Wales, awarded in 1828.

The Glaziers Company is one of the City of London’s medieval Livery Companies, or craft guilds. The history of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass dates back to 1328. It was incorporated by Royal Charter and granted Livery in 1638.

Further Information

For more information please contact Steven Stokes, Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer, on 07872 423788 or email