Grandma portrait wins award

The Art Society Steyning chairman Ann Blakelock presents the award to Thomas Carey. Picture: Derek Martin DM17112363a
The Art Society Steyning chairman Ann Blakelock presents the award to Thomas Carey. Picture: Derek Martin DM17112363a

Portraits of his grandma helped win student Thomas Carey an award from The Art Society Steyning.

Thomas, who left Steyning Grammar School in the summer and is now studying Illustration and animation at Brighton MET, wanted to capture the ‘honest and gentle’ side of his relative.

Thomas painting of his grandma DM17112415a

Thomas painting of his grandma DM17112415a

He was heavily inspired by the portraits of Serbian artist Jelena Bulajic, who meticulously captures every wrinkle on the sitter’s face.

Thomas said: “She once said that ‘wrinkles on a face resemble time turned into shape’, and I agree with her that there is a lifetime of stories behind the marks and aged features of an older face.

“Having dealt with the loss of my grandad in 2011, I wanted to paint my grandma in order to capture her resilience and brave strength, as during the tough times she really was the glue that bound our family together.

“I still however wanted to show the more honest gentle side to her. I chose to paint on such a large canvas, similarly to Bulajic, because it gives the person in the painting a sense of authority and power over the viewer.”

Thomas was inspired by Serbian artist Jelena Bulajic DM17112406a

Thomas was inspired by Serbian artist Jelena Bulajic DM17112406a

Society chairman Ann Blakelock, Young Arts co-ordinator Pam Childs, committee member Rosie Littlehales and member Elizabeth Harden visited the Steyning Grammar School art exhibition in July to choose an exceptional piece of artwork for this year’s Young Arts award.

Pam said: “After much consideration and a broad diversity of amazing work exhibited, the committee unanimously decided to award the prize to Thomas Carey’s portrait of his grandma and a highly-acclaimed satirical installation called Baby Trump.

“We also sent letters to commend two runners-up, Jack Van Leeuwen and August Foulks.

“The policy of The Arts Society Steyning is to continue in its endeavour to encourage the arts to a wide range of young people, with future support to both the junior and secondary schools in Steyning.”

Thomas was presented with a certificate and a prize of £50 at the society’s November meeting.