Alumni success in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2018

Aug. 28, 2018

Sophie Charalambous, Drawing Year Alumni and Senior Faculty member, has won first prize in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition with her work, The Prodigal Son.

The Prodigal Son

Sophie is a visual artist and designer. She studied Fine Art Painting at Brighton University and undertook postgraduate studies on the Motley Theatre Design course before working for several years as a theatre designer. In 2009 she attended The Drawing Year at the Royal Drawing School. She now combines her own practice with working collaboratively in the theatre and leading arts projects with community groups. She teaches drawing and painting on the Royal Drawing School's Public Programme and on The Foundation Year as well as regularly collaborating with The British Museum to create and deliver events and workshops which respond to their changing exhibitions. In her own practice Sophie explores the theatricality of every day places through drawing and painting, re-imagining them with a heightened sense of reality and detail. She works from observation and memory using a variety of materials.

She says of her practice: 'I create drawings in lots of different ways and for different reasons; some drawings are just drawings for the sake of themselves, while others are made from observation to try to understand something more deeply. I also make drawings which are designs for a performance or event. When designing for theatre I always begin by making imaginative drawings which are a direct visual response to a text. They are the genesis of the design and allow me to bring to the surface and explore ideas about mood, tone, the journey of characters and the world they will inhabit. Materials are important when I draw and I enjoy exploring effects and techniques which can be achieved by combining different materials. I use colour in drawings and am also interested in the grey area between drawing and painting. This interest in materials and techniques forms part of what I teach.'

Second Prize was awarded to Michael Chance, Drawing Year alumni and staff member at the Royal Drawing School, for his work Growth of the Soil.

Michael Chance, Growth of the Soil

Michael Chance studied Popular Music in Liverpool, followed by a period in Manchester where he played as a drummer and produced drawings and screenprints for local music promoters and international bands. He has since developed a broad fine art practice as a printmaker, draughtsman and painter. His work continues to use printing processes to experiment with material interactions, creating images that emerge from the imagination, twinned with a commitment to drawing and painting from observation. His work combines a poetic engagement with landscape with an intellectual interest in perspective, architecture, ecology, systems theory and exo-planetary science. He founded the Mercer Chance Gallery in Hoxton with fellow Drawing Year alumnus Rachel Mercer.

Also shortlisted for the prize and exhibiting in the exhibition are Drawing Year alumni Alexander Gilmour, Nikki Gardham, Bobbye Fermie and Laura Footes.

Alexander Gilmour

Walking my Big Pink Dog, Alexander Gilmour

Bobbye Fermie

Last Week's Walk Through the Park, Bobbye Fermie

Laura Footes

Night Bus on Hackney Road, Laura Footes

Nikki Gardham

Houses on the Peninsula, Nikki Gardham

The Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition will run from 18 – 23 September 2018 at Mall Galleries, London before touring to Guildford House Gallery (10 November – 20 December 2018) and Sainsbury Gallery, Willis Museum, Basingstoke (12 January – 27 March 2019).