By Sophie Edwards
Winning a scholarship to SCA
‘And the winner of the Dan Wallace Scholarship for the 2016 intake is… Sophie Edwards.’ The next 2 minutes after this moment were chaos – I am a fair person so I instantly went bright red. Being new to the intake means no one knows what a Sophie Edwards looks like – so there were eyes scanning the crowd for the best fit. A mentor points straight at me, that’s Sophie. Further claps.
‘Sophie – do you want to say anything?’ I shook my head still not quite believing what had happened. But now, almost 10 weeks on from it all– I would like to say a little something and tell you my scholarship story.
The Dan Wallace scholarship had a quick turnaround – the brief was released on the Thursday and had to be submitted by the following Wednesday. I love time pressure, but at this point I was still fully employed, so my 7 days quickly turned to the weekend and evenings.
The brief – bring us sunshine.
It’s the broadest request I have ever been given. I wanted to not just suggest a solution but actually find a small problem and conquer it. Work on Thursday and Friday was hectic and ate into my evenings. Saturday I had promised my boyfriend I would go to York Races for a reunion with his friends. I started to rethink entering the scholarship competition. Could I get out of York Races? Lock myself away for the weekend and find sunshine. I tried – my boyfriend said no. I went to York Races.
It was at York races, sat amidst copious amounts of failed betting slips that my idea was born. I spent the next day and 2 evenings doing everything I could to put the value back into the failed betting slips I had collected and donate that money back to retired race horses.
I started making a sculpture of a racing horses head out of the failed betting slips. Through the internet I met Graham, the most enthusiastic retired race horse sanctuary owner, who got so excited about my idea he invited me and the failed racing slip horse sculpture to a black tie event he is holding in December for it to be auctioned. All proceeds going to retired racing horses.
My entry was not beautiful, it was 2 audio clips of conversations with Graham (https://soundcloud.com/user-526045028/sets/bring-us-sunshine) and a PDF outlining my plan. But it did bring sunshine. Whether that be to the retired race horse sanctuary owner who always struggles to get donations, or to the retired race horses themselves when the auction value is spent on them. I will admit this little idea will not change the world, but it will change someone’s world.
So my advice is as follows – everyone who I have spoken to warns that SCA will take over your life. But only by exposing yourself to different environments will you find different problems/ opinions and solutions. Only by my boyfriend making me go the York Races did I find my entry. Don’t let SCA take over your whole life because your ideas, I am sure, will suffer.