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Generous support for young artists in philanthropic gift to UAL

Group of textile artists in workshop in the 80s
Group of textile artists in workshop in the 80s
Rodney with Dawn Squires and Colin Dixon and European students. Photo Unknown, 1984-86
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 5 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, 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 5 years, 8 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 4 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: The life and work of Rodney and Tessa Moorhouse

From 5 to 7 February 2020 we held an exhibition at Chelsea College of Arts celebrating the Moorhouse Bursary and Scholarship Programme. Postgraduate students from Chelsea's Textile Design course showcased their work alongside a large selection of Rodney Moorhouse’s textile designs and photography.

Many visitors to the exhibition remembered Rodney’s designs and came to view this unique record of his personal archive. At an event to open the exhibition, we were privileged to welcome family and friends of the Moorhouses to celebrate the couple's extraordinary lives and their incredible legacy to support young textile artists.

Exhibition works