Press release

Dundee graduate’s artwork named world’s best

Published on 20 September 2022

Coursework by a University of Dundee graduate that highlights the problem of gender-based violence has been named among the world’s best at a major awards ceremony

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Fine Art graduate Dana Leslie has been named a Global Winner in the Global Undergraduate Awards 2022, the world’s largest academic awards programme that recognises top undergraduate work.

Dana (24) was named overall winner in the Visual Arts category for her work titled ‘Hope is a Form of Planning,’ a series of immersive works encouraging interaction with the sharing, documenting, and battling of gendered experiences.

Her winning submission included artwork she prepared for her Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design Degree Show 2022 display. The artworks are an extension of a website Dana launched last year which invited women to anonymously submit locations where they have experienced a form of gender-based violence, creating a living archive of individual experiences.

“I was really surprised to hear I had been named a Global Winner,” said Dana. “It’s a nice reminder of how much work I put in to my honours project.

“The UN declares that gender-based violence (GBV) is the ’most widespread, devastating and persistent human rights violations in our world today’ and it is commonly agreed that the most effective forms of prevention for GBV is educating society and raising awareness.

“Considering how we can nurture compassion through art, my work intertwines the personal and the impersonal, calling for a better, more informed society beyond inequality and patriarchal power. Having this work recognised as being important in its field encourages me to keep using the arts’ different mediums and platforms to reveal current inequalities and strive for social and political change.”

Professor Anita Taylor, Dean of DJCAD, added, “Dana was an exceptional student, whose final degree show addressed critical issues in an eloquent and powerful way. We look forward to seeing how Dana’s professional journey develops as she realises her ambitions to create art that has the capacity to provoke compassion, document the overlooked, and to have tremendous social impact.”

Each year thousands of students from around the world submit their undergraduate projects to the Global Undergraduate Awards and submissions are reviewed by hundreds of judges.

A further three Dundee representatives were recognised in this year’s awards. Graduate Nicole Coutinho (24) and current student Astriti Vatwani (22) were named European Regional Winners in Psychology and Medical Sciences, respectively, while graduate Dana Cheung was Highly Commended in the Life Sciences category.


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878