Adult learners' work goes on show

Victoria & Albert Museum exhibits local students' work

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Jane Rayner with her necklace on display at the V&A

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The work of two students from the Sands End adult education centre, in Fulham, has gone on show at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

A ceramic lotus leaf Buddha by pottery student Meilin Sancho and an enamelled necklace by jewellery student Jane Rayner are among 71 artworks by part-time adult learners included in the exhibition at the V&A, in South Kensington.

The annual display showcases work inspired by pieces in the V & A's collection. This year's exhibition runs until 23 July.

Meilin's lotus leaf Buddha was inspired by a head of the Buddha from the 4th or 5th century and Jane Rayner's enamelled copper and bead necklace was based on the design of a 1904 Charles Rennie Mackintosh fireplace.

Meilin, who has been taking evening pottery classes at the council-run Sands End Centre for nearly ten years, said: "I wanted to make my lotus leaf Buddha look like something that was made a long time ago. I used real gold lustre to make a halo. This exhibition is wonderful - I'm so glad to be a part of it."

A photographer in the physics department at Imperial College, Meilin enjoys studying pottery part-time as a contrast and challenge from what she does at work. She said: "It's a very tactile and demanding craft." Jane, a manager in Hammersmith & Fulham Council's private housing service, also attends the Sands End Centre for relaxation. She has been studying jewellery there for more than two years but was surprised and delighted to have had her work chosen for the V & A display. "When I saw all the fantastic pieces that other people have made, I was just amazed to have something in the exhibition myself," said Jane, who has a degree in architecture and has previously taken evening classes in screen printing and textile design at Chelsea College.

"My tutor at Sands End, Farah Qureshi, has been brilliant. She always allows you to express yourself and gives you room to try things out."

Jane, Meilin and Meilin's pottery tutor George Farkas, from the Sands End Centre, attended the official opening of the V & A's 'Inspired by...' exhibition on Tuesday (23 May). Jane and Meilin were also among adult education students receiving certificates of achievement at Hammersmith & Fulham Council's annual celebration of adult learners' work, which was held at the Macbeth Centre, in Hammersmith, on Friday (26 May) as part of Adult Learners' Week.

May 26, 2006