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Congratulations to our Arts Bursary Winners!

Congratulations to our Arts Bursary winners!

Jessica Rost

We are delighted to award one of our Arts Bursaries to the incredibly talented, Jessica Rost. Jessica is a Producer and Maker of Sculpture and Outdoor Arts, creating pieces of using welding, carving and assemblages of textiles in a variety of mixed media and metal. Her unique style focuses on, and brings to life, themes of tolerance/intolerance, understanding and misunderstanding, cohabitation and migration of characters that can be interpreted on personal or political levels. Jessica studied BA Fine Art Birmingham School of Art, before studying an engineering course which has impacted the design of her work. Her collection of striking pieces at her studio in Milton Keynes, include two pedal cars made for her recent touring Outdoor theatre shows. These two impressive structures are made out of various materials, including bicycle parts, recycled and found metal parts -like spanners- welded together. Dotted around her studio are other examples of Jessica’s work that exude her unique style, from octopuses plasma cut out of metal, to spherical structures made out of recycled tools -keys, scissors and lots more... Jessica is hoping to use the bursary to purchase more critical pieces of equipment and tools that are needed to enable her to take on larger projects and commissions, which will increase the exposure that she receives and help to open up new opportunities.


To find out more about Jessica and her work, go to


Stuart Moore

Stuart Moore is a local sound artist, microtonal composer and recordist, whose work explores the connection between the ‘perception of the involuntary soundscape and purposeful human composition’; exploring and trying to understand more about the sounds occurring continually in the background of the Milton Keynes soundscape and composed music. Stuart records some of his work from his home studio, ‘Pokey Sticks’, where he also develops unique pieces of technology as part of his creative process; you can download some of the ‘Pokey Sticks’ virtual studio technology (VST) plugins that Stuart has created himself on his website. Stuart is in the process of creating an electronic Robot Orchestra with many different components; each with a Wi-Fi enabled minicomputer installed into them, which allows them to be connected to a mainframe, which essentially acts as an ‘electronic conductor’ that can simultaneously control the different components of the orchestra. Stuart’s style of art encourages the listener to connect more with the noise of the local environment and the unique sounds of Milton Keynes. Recently, Stuart has worked in collaboration with Jessica Rost to help create the street theatre performance, ‘Peddlers Pack’, where Stuart’s microtonal composition ‘Five Outdoor Scenes’ was used as part of the performance. Stuart has said the bursary will help in a number of ways, from the cost of building a new project, to increasing his connections and profile in Milton Keynes. The bursary will also help to open up new opportunities in the future and will help Stuart to deliver an exciting new piece of art.


To listen to some examples of Stuarts work, and to find out more about him, go to


Paul Rainey

Another exceptional local artist that received one of our Arts Bursaries is Paul Rainey. Paul specialises in creating humorous comic book strips and graphic novels, which are usually set in a fictionalised version of Milton Keynes. Paul is currently working on a Long-form comic strip called ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’, a sit-com in comic form that is currently appearing in the online comic art magazine, Aces Weekly. ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ is influenced by the style of the Sunday Newspaper comics from Paul’s childhood, and can be enjoyed by the reader as stand-alone stories but will also interlock and provide one much longer story that can be enjoyed as a whole when it is completed. You can keep up to date with the story as it is updated every week on Paul’s website and social media accounts. Paul was also one of the artists selected to create a piece of art for the centre:mk panels within the shopping centre; Paul has created four works of art that work together to tell a story of Milton Keynes in different periods of time. Paul is intending on using the bursary to go towards the cost of arts materials and promoting his work, which sometimes includes attending local comic conventions, where he can exhibit his work amongst other artists.


To find out more about Paul and see examples of his artwork, go to


Melanie Watts

We are proud to award one of our Arts Bursaries to mosaic artist, Melanie Watts. Melanie has worked as a professional artist for 25 years, creating a broad range of mosaics in many different settings. Her work often features the natural landscape and encourages people to start conversations about our environment, and species that are in decline. One of Melanie’s most well-known pieces of work within Milton Keynes is ‘Autumn Splendour’, depicting a beautiful barn owl, flying through autumnal forestry in Great Linford. This mosaic can be seen on the Gyosei Arts Trail on the Grand Union Canal. Melanie has also recently created a public art Mosaic of a beautiful peacock butterfly, sited at Red House park in Milton Keynes.  Melanie’s work has also been featured on the famous Alan Titchmarsh’s ‘Love Your Garden’ show, where she was commissioned by the team to create a sunflower mosaic. Melanie hopes to use the bursary to create a new nature themed mosaic which will be exhibited at a major international exhibition called Musiwa, in Florence; the bursary would help to cover the cost of materials, including glass sourced from different countries, for creating this brand new mosaic.


You can view examples of Melanie’s work and learn more about her at