Landscape Artist of the Year 2019- Gateshead
This year I had the great pleasure of participating in Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year. It’s one of those completely unforgettable and wonderfully bizarre experiences and so I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to leave some notes on my experience, so this is my account of my application for the show and the day at newcastle, gateshead millennium bridge, ep 3.
My submission was given the simple (and not so imaginative) title ‘home’ and the piece came about from my obsessive love of trees partnered with architecture. The topics of my drawings are usually things i love as this makes the process of creating the piece doubly enjoyable, and capturing this little moment where my home emerges from the foliage is another one of those things which makes me happy. I chose to submit this piece as I thought it was something which represented what I do as an artist and also shows a mix of interest in the traditional arts but with a contemporary viewpoint
Finding out that I had made it into the heats was as you might imagine, very exciting. I had a sense of how the show worked as i had applied last year in 2018 and been in the first heat at fountains abbey, so i think that previous experience did help to cool a few nerves.
The only information that I had about the location was that it was in newcastle in the gateshead area. Unfortunately I couldn't practice much as i was prepping for the handmade oxford fair. I did manage to get a couple drawings done the day before as i was just informed it had something to do with hms calliope, you may notice that I was practicing the wrong view, this will be a recurring theme for the semi-final.
Ep3- Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Upon arriving at location with sleep still in the corners of my eyes and a nervous yawn, I came to the realisation that I had practised the wrong view. How wonderful. So whilst greeting the other artists i tried to multi task and start mentally composing a new approach.
The first hour went by in what felt like 30 mins, and my mum walked passed and tapped her non-existent watch. I had prepped my paper with gold splatters and done a sketch at this point.
The process overall was very up and down as what I was imagining in my head wasn't translating to paper, this is a very common problem I have but in the show you don’t have the time to really think through how to resolve those problems. In the end my feelings were a bit mixed on the piece, I liked the piece overall and I think there are good/interesting points to the piece but i felt all put together and once you stepped back it lacked impact. I don’t know if other artists have this problem where they work with their nose basically touching the art and then upon moving further away discover everything’s a bit wonky, but it was a fab learning experience.
I’ve made the day sound very tense but that was just when I was drawing and feeling panicked, overall I had a lot of fun, I loved talking to the judges and the hosts, I cannot express how kind and supportive they all were. Getting to meet and talk to the other artists was very valuable and one of my favourite parts of the show, also if you’ve seen the episode they were so incredibly talented the show should put out a list of the artist there so take a look at them!
Making the shortlist was amazing and I can 100% say that winning was/is still a complete shock and was subsequently a rather emotional ordeal. And so I finished the day searching for a restaurant with my mum, then realising we were too tired opted to instead celebrate with scotch eggs and instant ramen at the air bnb.
This is very much my personal rambled account of the day, for a better view of the episodes i do recommend going to the making a mark blog, whose posts about landscape artist of the year i read many of. And also very importantly she names/links to the other wonderful artists who were there and I very much recommend taking a look at!