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INSPIRE: Artists make it on to BBC2's ‘Show me the Monet’!
Nottingham based mixed media artist, Gillian Lee Smith and Yorkshire based Sculptor, Brendan Hesmondhalgh, are two of the artists to get through to the TV ‘Show me the Monet’. Gillian's episode will be showing on Monday 9th of July at 3pm (Brendan's to be confirmed).
Gillian is an award winning artist, and her work varies from mixed media paintings to sculptural characters and textile adornments, all inspired by her fascination with dreams and memories and the art of storytelling.
Brendan is an animal sculptor who works primarily in clay, wax and bronze. Capturing the dynamic nature of animals, and focusing upon structure, movement and character he creates sculptural works that encapsulate and embody a creature’s spirit in inimitable style.
Gillian Lee Smith
BBC2’s Show me the Monet will start on Monday 9th July and be broadcast Monday to Friday, for three consecutive weeks: http://www.showmethemonet.com. Presented by Chris Hollins, Show me the Monet is a series in which a panel of three renowned art experts – David Lee, Charlotte Mullins and Roy Bolton - known as the ‘Hanging Committee’ - will search for great art from both professionals and amateurs alike for a prestigious exhibition and sale at the Mall Galleries in London.
Chris Hollins with Brendan's sculpture
Of thousands of entries Gillian and Brendan were one of just over a hundred artists selected to go to Eltham Palace to present their work to the Hanging Committee. Gillian showed them a mixed media painting entitled ‘A moment in time’ which was painted at an interesting time in her life.
The Hanging Committee (David Lee, Charlotte Mullins and Roy Bolton)
UK Handmade caught up with Gillian to find out how this exciting experience was first hand:
How did you feel when you found out that you had been selected from amongst thousands of artists to present your work to the Hanging Committee?
The initial selection was from 3,000 applicants and to be honest I was bowled over to make it through the first cut. By the time I had been chosen to be one of the 150 artists to be filmed before the hanging committee for the programme I was starting to worry that I would not be able to go through with it and that nerves would get the better of me. So much of my time is spent in my studio making and painting that it is always nerve-wracking presenting your work before any kind of audience whether it be family, friends or viewers at a gallery or exhibition and this was particularly challenging. However, I am a great believer in making the most of whatever life brings your way and so was excited to see how far I could make it through the competition.
A Moment in Time
Your gorgeous painting "A Moment in Time" is obviously deeply personal, can you share with us what it means to you?
There are so many levels to this painting and yes, it is deeply personal. For a long time my work has been inspired by my love of character and storytelling - in particular the parts of our characters that we choose to reveal to others and what we choose to hide. I work part time with older people some of whom have dementia and am intrigued by the idea that when many of our memories are fading, there may be an experience or person or place that is so profoundly important to us, we carry it with us. This painting seeks to illustrate these emotions and thoughts in an uncomplicated way.
What does this opportunity to show your work to the Hanging Committee mean for you and your career; having been through the process would you encourage other artists to take the leap?
This opportunity means such alot to me. I have been gradually plodding away at my paintings and sculptures for about 6 years, but after suffering from some health problems a couple of years ago I decided to really take the jump and focus much more on my artwork. I have come a long way since then and have worked extremely hard on making my work unique and developing my craft and the results are really starting to pay off. It has taken a long time but I am so excited to see what this opportunity might bring. I really have no idea what will happen in the future but I do know that this is my dream and step by step I am working towards it. As cliched as it is, we only get one life and I would encourage anyone to take the chance in doing what they love. Opportunities such as 'Show me the Monet' don't come along very often, so I went for it!
For more information about Gillian visit: http://www.gillianleesmith.com
For more information about Brendan visit: http://www.hesmondhalghsculpture.co.uk/