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Sainsbury Scholarship Success for Catherine Parsonage

10 January 2017

Fine Art alumni secures prestigious year-long scholarship in Rome

Catherine Parsonage, BA Fine Art alumni and visiting artist, has secured the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting and Sculpture with the British School of Rome. 

This prestigious scholarship offers access to Rome and Italy's cultural heritage by offering winners funding and a travel grant to explore Italy, alongside accommodation in specially designed artists' studios in the city. 

Previous winners of the Sainsbury Scholarship include winner of the Jerwood Sculpture Prize-winning artist Juliet Haysom, 2016 Frieze exhibitor Celia Hempton and Rachel Adams whose works have been showcased at Galerie De Expeditie Amsterdam, Yoshami Arts Osaka and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. 

'I have applied a couple of times over the years', said Catherine, 'and was very overwhelmed firstly to receive an interview in 2016, and then to be awarded the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting and Sculpture - the only award offered by the British School at Rome (BSR) to span 12 months.

The BSR was first bought to my attention by Sharon Hall, a brilliant tutor and painter who was at Manchester Metropolitan University during my time there. Sharon has won a scholarship at the BSR herself, and encouraged me to apply, as she did to apply for my MA at the Royal College of Art.

I am currently working towards the next exhibition at the BSR in March and as I have fallen in love with Rome, may stay after the end of my residency in October.' 

David Osbaldeston, Reader in Art, recalled teaching Catherine during her time at the School of Art: 'From my initial encounter it was clear Catherine was a serious artist. A committed painter, who immersed herself in skills and attributes to greater understand the demands of the discipline

A constant presence on the course, Catherine possessed a commendably high work rate in studios and a willingness to re-think, explore concepts, and perhaps more significantly to re-apply her learning in different ways. All these qualities marked her out as one to watch for the future.

In her final year with us here at Manchester School of Art, Catherine won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art and went on to be selected for the national student competition New Contemporaries.

I am delighted to see her work go from strength to strength, and further develop through a one year fellowship at the British School at Rome.'

To find out more about Catherine and view her work, visit her website: