An all girls school in County Durham has welcomed back a former pupil as its new 'Artist in Residence'.

Emma Hardy is sharing her skills with students at Durham High School (DHS), while also using the opportunity to further refine her embroidery talents.

Miss Hardy has her own studio space within the large art department at the school, where she was a pupil between 2012 and 2019 before going on to gain a BA in Textiles at the University of Huddersfield.

From the studio, she is deepening her knowledge of traditional embroidery techniques with plans to set up her own business embroidering embellishments for garments, jewellery and headwear in the future.

The Northern Echo: Former pupil Emma Harsy has returned to Durham High School as 'Artist in Residence'Former pupil Emma Harsy has returned to Durham High School as 'Artist in Residence' (Image: EMILY CAREY)

She said: “I love the intricate and repetitive nature of embroidery, I find it’s good for mindfulness and mental health - it’s very therapeutic.

"I’m focusing now on mastering the traditional techniques so I can then find a modern way of interpreting them and presenting them to people.”

Alongside her personal work, Miss Hardy supports Durham High School pupils in various art lessons and co-curricular activities - including textiles club and photography club - two days a week.

She supports the school’s Head of Art, Jenni Sneddon-Brown, who taught Miss Hardy while she was a pupil there.

The 23 year old said: “I love having the opportunity to give back to Durham High. The school shaped who I am not only as an artist, but as a young woman by increasing my confidence and developing my resilience.

The Northern Echo: Emma Hardy with the school’s head of art, Jenni Sneddon-BrownEmma Hardy with the school’s head of art, Jenni Sneddon-Brown (Image: EMILY CAREY)

“It was Jenni who inspired me all the way through school - I absolutely loved her lessons. She encouraged me to pursue an art-based course at university and she’s the reason I opted to study textiles.”

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Miss Hardy - whose mother, Lisa Hardy, taught music theory and flute at the school -  was introduced to embroidery by her grandmother at a young age.

She was commissioned by DHS to create an embroidery design for this year’s school Christmas card. It features Durham Cathedral’s famous rose window using historic goldwork technique.

Mrs Sneddon-Brown said: “The Artist in Residence position was created last year to allow young, up and coming artists the opportunity to have their own studio space on site to hone their craft, while supporting the pupils with their artwork during lessons and clubs. The two-way partnership works well, and the girls are really benefitting from Emma’s expertise and support.”