GWP Group’s successful collaboration with Swindon College marks 25 years in business

The much anticipated TWENTYFIVE exhibition launch took place in The Brunel Centre in Swindon on Monday 11th May 2015, with more than 60 guests attending the event.

With a stunningly diverse and creative range of cardboard art on display, complimented with drinks and canapés for guests, the event created a real buzz.

The Challenge for students

The TWENTYFIVE exhibition was commissioned as part of the ongoing celebrations to mark GWP Groups’ 25 years in the packaging industry. Having supplied Swindon College’s ‘School of Art’ department with sheets of corrugated cardboard, the challenge for students taking part was to create sculptures and artwork representing GWP’s 25 years.

Swindon College’s School of Art department were challenged with creating innovative art pieces and sculptures – using corrugated cardboard – with a brief to represent the 25 years of GWP.

The project involved all classes within the School of Art department including the media make-up students and various other Art & Design students in higher education.

GWP Packaging MD Visits College

Work In Progress

Members of the GWP team visited Swindon College on Tuesday 21st April 2015 to see the work in progress.

GWP’s Managing Director, Ruth Cook and Marketing Manager Matt Dobson were both delighted to see the diversity of the artwork in progress and to have the opportunity to meet the Art & Design students.

Ranging from wedding dresses, clocks, portraits, books and cardboard rugs, every single piece of art is entirely different creating a wide variety of sculptures.

Hearing how the individual students came up with their creative ideas was fascinating, and I’m amazed at just how different each piece of artwork is to the others. With it being our 25th year, we set the challenge of linking the art to 25. I’m astonished, therefore, to see pieces ranging from a teddy bear, to a laptop, to a three dimensional portrait! Each student has their own story of how their idea came about. They really have been very creative and I’m excited about seeing the finished exhibition.

Ruth Cook | Managing Director, GWP Group

Twenty Five Cardboard Dress

Terry Silvester, 21 is one of the students involved. Studying for a Foundation Degree in Creative Arts, Terry created a 1-minute stop-motion animation, inspired by Frankenstein, which involved Terry taking around 700 photographs of the cardboard character moving.

I’m really pleased with what I have achieved in just three days. The cardboard was really difficult to bend and it was something I’d never worked with before.

Terry Silvester | Student, Swindon College

The Launch Event

The TWENTYFIVE exhibition launch took place on Monday 11th May between 5.30pm-7pm and consisted of speeches, drinks, canapés, photographs, networking, judging and an award ceremony.

Following the final judges votes, CEO of GWP Group, David Pedley spoke about GWP’s 25 years within the packaging industry, Jill Marshall Simms of Swindon College spoke of the challenges faced by students and hopes for an ongoing relationship with GWP, whilst Ruth Cook – Managing Director of GWP Packaging – presented awards for the winner of each course group.

With over 40 entries and a huge degree of diversity amongst the final artwork on display, the competition was inevitably difficult to judge.

However, Ruth Cook (Managing Director of GWP Packaging) Louis Cutting (Swindon Artists Forum) and Ian Larrard (Swindon Initiative) made their final decisions based on creativity and relevance to GWP Group’s 25th Anniversary.

Recognising the students efforts

Each Art & Design student that participated was presented with a cardboard certificate to congratulate them on their efforts, with the winners from each group also receiving a cash prize.

The overall winner, judged the best in show, was Richie Holmes with his ‘GWP’ cardboard sculpture representing the company as a whole. Created from 25 layers of cut squared cardboard with a stable foundation, the sculpture also incorporated additional “empty” space to represent the future of GWP.


The winners for each course group were as follows:

  • BTEC Level 1 & 2 Art & Design: X-Ray Machine by Kira Bartlett, Tia Ferrero & Paige Williams.
  • BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design: Television of the 90’s by Hansel Novas
  • National Extended Diploma/HND in Fashion & Textiles: 1990s Dress by Chloe Southall, Jess Ayliffe, India Palmer, Georgia Powell, Amy O’Driscoll, Karis Simmons & Stephanie Bye.
  • Foundation Degree in Creative Arts & Design & Art & Design Access to Higher Education: GWP by Richie Holmes
  • Overall winner of the competition: Richie Holmes


GWP Group would like to congratulate the winners of the competition and all of the Art & Design students from Swindon College who contributed to making the TWENTYFIVE cardboard exhibition such a success.

Twentyfive Competition Winner

Radio Interviews & Media Coverage

At the event, David Pedley – CEO, GWP Group, Matt Dobson – Marketing Manager, GWP Group, and Will Rounce – Swindon College, were interviewed by BBC Radio Wiltshire about the success of the event and array of artwork created by the students.

Turning a simple everyday material such as plain corrugated cardboard into something creative and artistic was going to be a challenge for the students. I was really excited about seeing the completed artworks, and I haven’t been disappointed.

David Pedley | CEO, GWP Group

This is a great opportunity for our students not only to show the public what they are capable of, but a valuable experience to work on a real brief from business. Swindon College has worked with GWP in the past and we’re grateful for them being creative with how they can give our students valuable experience of what happens in industry. We’re delighted to be helping them mark an important milestone in their business too.

Jill Marshall Simms | Swindon College

Find out more

For further information and images of the TWENTYFIVE event and entries, please follow us on Twitter(@GWPGroup #TWENTYFIVE), Facebook (GWPGroup).

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