Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Start of Something Beautiful – Emerging Artists Win Bursaries

From watercolourist Samuel Prout and Rococo painter Francis Hayman, Devon has a history of producing great artists. Five emerging Devon-based artists (pictured right with our Adrian) have just been awarded for their talent with bursaries from Helpful Holidays, through a scheme with Devon Artists Network.

The bursaries are aimed at those entering professional arts practice for the first time, returning to creative practice after a career break or change, or currently taking their art in a new direction. This year’s winners represent a range of disciplines.

Wanda Gardner, a printmaker from Crediton, had been an art teacher for thirty six years. The bursary will enable her to focus on her return to her art. She said: “I loved teaching and had a long and useful career working, mostly with Deaf children and young adults,” explained Wanda, “However, I feel truly fortunate and excited about receiving the bursary as I see it as a launching pad for a second career that I always yearned for when I trained as an art teacher many years ago.”

Mixed media artist Suzie Waldron, from Totnes, graduated from University College Falmouth in 2012 and has been Artist-in-Residence at Totnes Art and Design Foundation Course. She said: “I was determined that during this year I would push myself out of my comfort zone, and not just treat the residency as an extension of my degree. Though my current paintings are very much informed by my previous work, I feel that I have entered new territory and become more confident in my practice.” Her exhibition for Devon Open Studios 2013 will be the culmination of her year-long residency in Totnes.

Bovey Tracey-based painter Jane Hodgson focuses on landscape. Her travels as well as her time in Devon have shaped her work, concentrating as she does on Antipodes - two points on the globe that if one passes a needle through the middle of the earth, would be linked.

Ama Menec, from Totnes, falls into the ‘new direction’ category of the bursary awards. She has recently begun a new direction in her work by casting her sculpture in bronze and experimenting with new materials after working as a ceramicist.

Mixed media artist Naomi Hart is currently working on a participatory artwork and installation on the theme of 'Migration'. She plans to send out 10,000 bird-shaped postcards all over the world and people will colour them in or write a message and post them back to me, completing their 'migration'. Each postcard will be tracked and participants can view the progress and exhibition online via a dedicated website and social media. The installation will be hung to coincide with Devon Open Studios 2013 and will be free to visit.

Devon Open Studios is the largest annual art event in the county attracting more than 20,000 visits to around 175 artists’ studios each year. The 2013 event takes place 7-22 September 2013.

To find yourself a holiday cottage base ahead of the event, go to www.helpfulholidays.com.