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Group of textile artists in workshop in the 80s

Generous support for young artists in philanthropic gift to UAL

Written by Cat Cooper
Published date 03 February 2020

Former Camden residents Rodney and Tessa Moorhouse dedicated their lives to helping young people to thrive in the arts. Their generous gift to UAL will support 20 undergraduate students and 20 postgraduate students over five years.

Rodney was locally renowned textile designer who worked from a workshop in Camden High Street named Moorhouse Asscoiates. There he mentored young practitioners and printed vibrant textiles that were sold at Liberty’s, Sandersons and Heals. He also tutored at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL and was the course leader of Surface Design at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL from 1969 to 1977. His wife Tessa was a respected District Judge of the Family Division.

The couple experienced immense challenges throughout their lives after a car crash in 1967 left them both with serious injuries. Despite this, they were determined to run their business in a way that helped young people to start their creative careers.

Dipping textiles in Camden
Camden Summer School 84-86, Unknown

Their gift to UAL ensures that the values that they held throughout their lives are continued today. Over five years, eight students each year will benefit from The Moorhouse Bursary and Scholarship Programme. Moorhouse Scholarships will be awarded to four MA Textile Design Students, and Moorhouse Bursaries will awarded to four undergraduate students who have come to UAL through the University’s outreach programme, Insights. The scholarships will help towards tuition fees and living expenses. Applicants will be welcomed from those who would benefit from financial support. Home, EU and International students are eligible.

David Crow, Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience and Head of Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges, UAL:

This extraordinarily generous gift from Tessa and Rodney Moorhouse will transform the lives of a number of students for years to come. It will provide fantastic opportunities for individuals to contribute to the creative industries who simply wouldn't be able to do so otherwise; and it will bring fresh voices to the creative landscape of the UK.

Moorhouse Camden studio. Rodney Moorhouse working with Colin Dixon
Moorhouse Camden studio. Rodney Moorhouse working with Colin Dixon

Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL is underpinned by sustainable and responsible approaches to design with a focus on the debate around environmental issues and the designer's role and responsibility in relation to this.

Exhibition: 5 to 7 February 2020

An exhibition celebrating the Moorhouse Bursary and Scholarship Programme will be hosted by UAL at Chelsea College of Arts in the Triangle Space from 5 to 7 February 2020. The exhibition is open to the public from 10am to 5pm everyday. Postgraduate students from Chelsea College of Arts Textile Design course will be showing examples of their work alongside a selection of Rodney Moorhouse’s textile designs and photography.