LivingEdge School Arts Competition 2013

Under 18's Highly Commended, Emma Walker

Under 18's Highly Commended, Emma Walker - Credit: Archant

The Living Edge Schools’ Art Show, which attracts entries from budding artists in schools throughout the North West, has a back-to-back winner for the first time in its thirteen-year history.

Jennifer Jamieson of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, who won the under-16 competition last year with her penetrating study of an eagle, won this year’s under-18 category with her incredibly lifelike, close-up portrait of a pig - the flesh on the animal seemed almost tangible.

Runners-up in this category were Dan Chilvers of Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and Emma Walker of Cheadle Hulme School. Dan’s painting depicted a young man walking along a tightrope strung across the void between two skyscrapers – looking at this picture was sufficient to induce feelings of vertigo. Emma’s painting was a stunning portrait of a young woman looking up wistfully towards the viewer.

The seven-strong judging panel agonised over the selection of prizes for the under-16 category, simply because the entries in this section were stronger than they have ever been in the annual competition. After much deliberation, they awarded one of the runner-up prizes to Freddie Houlder of Ellesmere College, who had cleverly captured the reflection of buildings in the shiny bonnet of a taxi in the busy street scene he had depicted.

A further runner-up prize went to Katy Bennett of Casterton School for a miniature sculpture of a lion that was perfectly executed in every minute detail. First prize in this strong field went to Cherie Wong of The King’s School, Chester, for a stunning and cleverly angled painting of a vase of flowers that was certainly good enough to grace the walls of a gallery for professional artists.

Charlotte Knight of King’s School, Chester, and Alex Li of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls were highly commended in the under-14 category. Charlotte had produced an imaginative and colourful double portrait and Alex had painted an accomplished and highly unusual flower picture.

The winner in the under-14 category was William Dobbs of Manchester Grammar School for his finely detailed panoramic representation of the Battle of Edge Hill. William had managed to capture every participant in the combat in convincing action.

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As always, the show was generously sponsored by leading house-builder Jones Homes, represented on the judging panel by Anna Halliwell and Hilary Dean, and by Fred Aldous, Manchester’s top arts supplier, who gave prizes to every student represented in the show and special prizes to the winners. Fred Aldous was represented on the judging panel by Susan and Trevor Walker.

The line-up of judges was completed by Mike Smith, a journalist for Archant Life, Martin Heaps of Collect Art, a commercial gallery in Lymm devoted to modern British art, and Geoffrey Key, one of the North West’s most popular artists, who is preparing for a one-person show of over sixty works at a prestigious gallery in London’s Cork Street.

Under-18 winner Jennifer Jamieson told the judges that it was the first prize she was awarded in last year’s show that inspired her to apply to university to take a degree in art. Although not all the entrants in this year’s exhibition will end up as professional artists, it is to be hoped that they will carry on producing art for pleasure for the rest of their lives. The sort of talent that was on display in the Hexagon Room of the Lowry Arts Centre should not be allowed to go to waste!