Published on February 4, 2022

Did you know that by joining North Hertfordshire College for one of our Foundation Art and Design Diplomas, you not only can experiment with techniques and art styles, but you can also compete in a range of national design competitions to showcase your work? A great example of an NHC student who made the most of these opportunities is Elliot Lidgey!

During his time at NHC, Elliot entered the prestigious Royal Opera House Design Challenge. The competition involves creating designs to meet a brief for a real opera, with entrants designing a range of materials from costumes to hair and make-up, right through to set and lighting designs. Elliot’s set design, based on the opera Salome, not only earned him a spot as one of the four winners on the challenge but also secured him the overall Director’s Choice award – meaning his design placed first in the challenge overall!

As a result of winning, Elliot’s design was exhibited at the V&A museum, and he was also invited to a winner’s day at the Royal Opera House (involving a backstage tour and an afternoon opera performance). At the time, Elliot said: “Winning the Director’s Choice award for the ROH Design Challenge provided me with a wonderful opportunity. Before I’ve even finished my Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, I’ve exhibited at the V&A! Winning the ROH competition allows me to meet professionals from the industry in which I hope to work one day.”

Not only did his foundation diploma help him refine his skills and apply them to different challenges, but it also carried enough UCAS points to open the door to university study. Now, Elliot is studying at Wimbledon College of Arts, part of the University of Arts London, as he works towards finishing his degree in Production Arts for Screen. He specialises in technical arts and special effects and often documents his model-making and practical effects work over on Instagram.


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A post shared by Elliot Lidgey (@lidgey.props)

Roger Healey-Dilkes, Course Team Leader on NHC’s Foundation Art and Design Diploma, said: “Elliot used all the opportunities that studying on the Foundation course offered him, such as the Royal Opera House competition and the UAL Insights programme to find a career and vocation that utilises all his exceptional skills.”

If you’re looking to follow in Elliot’s footsteps and break into the creative industries, why not consider an NHC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design? Refine your skills, build your portfolio, and earn UCAS points to open the doors to higher education! Find out more about our foundation diploma today.