George Orwell inspired art has bagged a former Raynes Park High School pupil the judge’s prize in the Greater London student art competition UpStArt
Charlotte Hendry, 18, received the prize for her work ‘Mournful Man’ and was rewarded with a £500 cash gift and a masterclass from graffiti artist Nick Walker for her school.
Charlotte, who is now studying at Camberwell College of Art, based her concept around modern society in George Orwell’s 1984 and expressed her shock at the award.
“I wasn’t even going to enter the competition because I thought I wouldn’t have a chance but my teacher persuaded me,” she said.
“Just being in the final and having my work exhibited in a gallery was so exciting but to be chosen as the winner by Jeff Salmon is amazing. I am so happy.”
Along with the cash prize and the Nick Walker exhibition, Charlotte also received work placements with digital market agency MBA and creative agency Fishfinger.
Jeff Salmon, antiques dealer and star of Channel 4’s Four Rooms, picked the winner and commended the ‘extremely high’ standard of work from the competition’s 34 finalists.
“To say it was difficult to choose from my favourite is an understatement. It was sincerely a hair’s breadth choice,” said Mr Salmon.
“Charlotte’s painting ‘Mournful Man’ got my vote in the end because not only does this wonderful portrait show extreme technical competency, almost mastery – I would like to hang on my wall, which for me says it all.”
Aanisah Chowdhury, a former student at Wallington High School in Sutton, won the same placement opportunities after receiving a highly commended for her work ‘Dancing’.
The idea of the competition was initiated by sisters and St Paul’s School students Natasha and Isabella Tagliaferri, who wanted to find a way of showcasing their skills to their peers.
More than 30 established artists, including gallery curators and art commentators, joined the judging panel to pick the finalists from more than 200 entries.
The entrants works are part of an exhibition at The Strand Gallery until December 6 and an online charity auction which has raised almost £7,000.
The proceeds from the auction will be split between the artists and The Anne Frank Trust, a charity that appoints schoolchildren ambassadors to combat prejudice among ethnic groups.
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