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Bridport artists scoop scholarships at royal awards
TALENTED AND CREATIVE: Alastair Barford shows a portrait to Hew Blair, president of the Royal Warrant Holders Association
TWO talented artists from Bridport have scooped royal awards under the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship to develop their talents.
Cameron Short, who designs and produces hand block-printed wallpaper, has received £8,600 to work alongside Marthe Armitage, a recognised master of the craft.
Alastair Barford has been awarded £15,000 to attend the Charles H Cecil Academy in Florence to study drawing and painting techniques in the traditional manner.
The Duke of Gloucester presented the scholarships at an awards luncheon in London.
Alastair will be following in the footsteps of a previous QEST scholar, Rupert Alexander, who has since painted the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
Alastair, 24, graduated with a first class degree in Fine Art from University College Falmouth and last September spent two weeks at the Charles H Cecil Studios funded by the Wilhemina Barnes Graham Travel to Italy Bursary. During this short course, he realised that it was this intense tuition he required to enable him to progress as an artist.
He said: “The sight size technique advocated by the studios is a process of drawing and painting whereby subject and image are depicted to scale as seen from a given distance.
“It is a technique that has been exploited as a portrait practice by masters since the seventeenth century, including Reynolds, Lawrence and Sargent.”
The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) was endowed by the Royal Warrant Holders Association to advance education in modern and traditional crafts and trades. Scholarships of up to £15,000 are open to men and women of all ages and are awarded twice a year. Cameron, 40, worked as an art director for London’s leading advertising agencies, including McCann Erickson and Bartle Bogle Hegarty for 11 years.
He then decided to focus on the one aspect of design that he enjoyed the most and for the past two years has researched and created hand-blocked wallpaper. He said: “There is more to a finished roll of artisanal wallpaper than purely the design.
“Cutting the blocks in relief and intaglio, using a number of gouges and techniques requires skill. “Mixing ink to the right colour and consistency, registering inked-up blocks so that there is no discernible join and dealing with the selvedge, are all areas that, with Marthe’s guidance, I can improve upon.”
Cameron will benefit from one-to-one workshops with Marthe Armitage, who is a past master of the Art Workers Guild and a lino-cutter, producing hand-printed wallpapers. She has agreed to mentor Cameron, impressed by his understanding of the art.
Visit qest.org.uk for more information and to apply for a scholarship.