Scottish graduate’s work named among world’s best

A SCOTS graduate from the University of Dundee had her work named among the best in the world at a major awards ceremony

Fine Arts graduate Dana Leslie has been named the Global Winner of the 2022 Global Undergraduate Awards, the world’s largest academic awards program honoring the best undergraduate work.

Dana was named the overall winner in the Visual Arts category for her work titled Hope is a Form of Planning, a series of works encouraging interaction with sharing, documenting and addressing gendered experiences.

The 24-year-old’s winning submission included artwork she prepared for her 2022 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design Degree Show.

Dana Leslie’s work – Hope is a Form of Planning – was named the overall winner in the Visual Arts category.

The artworks are an extension of a website Dana launched last year that invited women to anonymously submit places where they experienced some form of gender-based violence, creating a living archive of individual experiences.

“I was really surprised to learn that I had been named a Global Winner,” said Dana. “It’s a good reminder of all the work I put into my honors project.

“The UN declares that gender-based violence (GBV) is “the most widespread, devastating and persistent human rights violation in our world today” and it is commonly accepted that the most effective forms of GBV prevention are societal education and awareness raising.

“Considering how we can nurture compassion through art, my work intertwines the personal and the impersonal, calling for a better and more informed society beyond inequality and patriarchal power.

“The recognition of this work as important in its field encourages me to continue to use the various mediums and platforms of the arts to reveal current inequalities and fight for social and political change.”

Professor Anita Taylor, Dean of DJCAD, added: “Dana was an exceptional student, whose graduation show addressed critical issues in an eloquent and powerful way.

“We look forward to seeing how Dana’s professional journey unfolds as she realizes her ambitions to create art that can inspire compassion, document the forgotten, and have far-reaching social impact.”

Each year, thousands of students from around the world submit their undergraduate projects to the Global Undergraduate Awards and the submissions are reviewed by hundreds of judges.

Three other Dundee representatives have been honored this year.

Graduate Nicole Coutinho and current student Astriti Vatwani were named European regional winners in Psychology and Medical Sciences, respectively, while graduate Dana Cheung was highly commended in the Life Sciences category.

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