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School of Arts & Creative Industries
The Great Create

The MIMA Great Create

Developed in collaboration with our School of Arts & Creative Industries and MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), we're calling all creatives to celebrate this year's theme of 'creating a sustainable future'.

What is The MIMA Great Create? This year's winners Looking back

The MIMA Great Create 2024

Hear from the judges, contestants and organisers of this year's The MIMA Great Create competition.

What is The MIMA Great Create?

You are invited to submit a creative piece, developed solely for this competition, that responds to a set theme. If successful, your work will be featured in a special pop-up exhibition in the MIMA gallery, and you could win a number of exciting prizes.

Sign up to find out what this year's theme will be.

Sign up now

Character, strip, drawing or full comicComic

A cartoon strip that encapsulates this year's theme.

Clip, lyrics or full songMusic

A piece of music reflecting on the environment.

Feature film or just an extractVideo

A film exploring a sustainable future.

Sculpture, ceramic or constructionModel

A model bringing to life your sustainable future.

Drawing and paintingArtwork

A drawing or painting that shows your vision for the future.

Digital or analoguePhotograph

A photograph that encapsulates this year's theme.


A fashion item that represents how clothing might look in a sustainable future.


An illustration that details a sustainable future.

2024 winners

Scarlett Gardner, 2024 The MIMA Great Create Winner

College / School

Scarlett Gardner

They won £100 in Amazon vouchers. Their work is currently being exhibited at Teesside University's Net Zero Centre.

Francis White, 2024 The MIMA Great Create Winner

Current student

Francis White

They won £100 in Amazon vouchers. They were also invited to join Teesside University's design team for a shadowing experience.

Iran Mahadewage, 2024 The MIMA Great Create Winner

Creative in the Community

Iran Mahadewage

They won £100 in Amazon vouchers.

Shiyi Li , 2024 The MIMA Great Create Winner

People's Champion - voted for by the public

Shiyi Li

They won £50 Amazon voucher and tickets to a Middlesbrough F.C game.

Looking back

A montage of images from previous years.

MIMA Great Create event
MIMA Great Create event winner
MIMA Great Create event winner
MIMA Great Create event
MIMA Great Create event
MIMA Great Create event talk
MIMA Great Create event winner
MIMA Great Create event winner
MIMA Great Create event
Student taking photos at MIMA Great Create event

Judges 2024

For 2024's competition we were delighted to welcome a panel of experts to help us decide on our worthy winners. They included:

Abigail Dennison

Abigail Dennison

Abigail is a graduate from Teesside University and a current Lecturer in Fashion. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the national fashion publication Sunday Girl. Abigail is also a Creative Producer for the Festival of Thrift, an annual northeast-based event celebrating sustainability. She has also worked with Launchpad helping students and graduates to launch their own businesses.

Bobby Benjamin

Bobby Benjamin

Bobby is a working-class artist and curator based in Teesside. He uses found objects to make work exploring themes of class, identity and place. Bobby is also co-director of the contemporary art space Pineapple Black, a special lecturer at Teesside University and a member of the Industry Advisory Committee at Bolton University. You can find some of his work in the Middlesbrough Collection at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA).

Ben Dickenson

Ben Dickenson

Ben is Chief Executive at Theatre Hullabaloo, a children's arts charity that specialises in world-class theatre, performance, installations, and plays made for, by and with children. He has been a producer for Galaxy FM, an associate of Alphabetti Theatre since 2013, and was Executive Producer for NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues.

Dawid Hawak

Dawid Hawak

Dawid is Professor of Decarbonisation of Industrial Clusters at the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, Teesside University. Recognised amongst Stanford's Top 2% of Scientists globally, he's a respected figure with over 11 years of expertise in sustainable engineering and has attracted over £4m of external funding. With a substantial online following of 30,000, he is a thought leader driving impactful net zero research and innovation.

Drucilla Burrell

Drucilla Burrell

Drucilla Burrell is a photographer and Associate Creative Director for the Adobe Studio. Her photographic practice is rooted in the study of classical techniques and their implementation and dissemination via digital technology. Her recent commission for The National Gallery playfully re-imagined the power dynamics presented in traditional portraiture using contemporary digital methods.

Errol Theunissen

Errol Theunissen

Errol Theunissen is a self-taught painter and illustrator originally from Zimbabwe, who now lives in Middlesbrough. Art became a significant part of his life after he severely injured his spine and legs in a motor vehicle accident in Zimbabwe. He has exhibited in major UK cities such as Manchester, Newcastle, and London and was shortlisted for the Jacksons Painting Prize in 2022. Errol also had his painting 'Don't Disturb Me, I Am Talking To My Nan' selected for the RA Summer Exhibition 2023.

Elinor Morgan

Elinor Morgan

Elinor is a curator and writer whose work is informed by equity, justice and environmental concerns. As MIMA's Artistic Director she heads up the creative programme of events, exhibitions, research and engagement activity for this leading gallery and museum. Having worked in art sector for 15 years, she has curated residencies, exhibitions, collection projects, public and education programmes across the UK.

Hayley Harris

Hayley Harris

Hayley won The MIMA Great Create 2023 and is a wildlife illustrator, primarily working in gouache paint and digital. She studied graphic design and illustration for three years and has since started up her business Country Studio Creations. Her passion is to create pieces of art inspired by nature and wildlife.

The MIMA Great Create days

This year we are offering a 'Working to a brief' workshop to help your students gain vital skills they will need as a practising creative. We're also able to come in and provide a launch workshop to help you incorporate the competition into your curriculum.

Groups of students can come along to bespoke Great Create days when they can visit our facilities and take part in activities to support the development of their entry.

Email to find out more.

Previous winners

2023 winner

Hayley Harris was announced as the second winner of The MIMA Great Create in March 2023 with her piece The Secret Garden inspired by her favourite book.

Hayley Harris, 2023 The MIMA Great Create Winner

2022 winner

Jonathan Raiseborough was announced as winner of the inaugural The MIMA Great Create competition in May 2022 with his beautiful illustration, Boro Skyline.

Jonathan Raiseborough, 2022 The MIMA Great Create Winner

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions

  • Only one entry per individual or group.
  • Minimum age for entry is 16 years old.
  • Entry deadline is to be confirmed.
  • File sizes must be no larger than 1MB. For larger files please send through WeTransfer.
  • The competition organisers reserve the right to move any entry into a different category if they feel it is more appropriate.
  • In contributing to The MIMA Great Create, entrants agree to grant Teesside University a royalty-free, non-exclusive licence to publish and otherwise use the material in any way we require, and in any media worldwide.
  • Entrants still own the copyright to everything they contribute to The MIMA Great Create and if their image or media file is accepted, we will publish their name alongside (unless you advise you do not wish to be credited).
  • The School of Arts & Creative Industries cannot guarantee that all images or media files will be used and we reserve the right to edit entrants' comments.
  • At no time should entrants endanger themselves or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws while collecting any kind of media.
  • Entrants are encouraged to consider online risks when creating their submission and should not share anything that they wouldn't want the wider public to know about such as a home address or other specific location or private thoughts or feelings.
  • The competition is not open to Teesside University employees (excluding part-time student roles such as student ambassador and Students' Union student positions).
  • The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Find out more

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