national art prize: Artist impresses judges with unusual Gandhi portrait
MANCHESTER School of Art graduate Bartosz Beda is celebrating after winning the northern section of the national art prize at National Open Art Competition.
Bartosz, who graduated with a Masters in Fine Art this summer, beat off competition from hundreds of entries to win the £1,000 prize with a portrait of the Indian leader Ghandi painted from memory.
He said that winning the prize was both “exhausting and exciting”.
“The painting is not really a direct representation of Gandhi; I was more interested in the idea of a portrait from memory and finding the concepts behind the painting,” he said. “So colour is the most important thing.”
Inspired by industry
Bartosz, who was also shortlisted for the Saatchi New Sensations prize is currently spending six months studying at the Academy of Arts in Dresden, after receiving a scholarship. But he says it was his time spent at the Manchester School of Art which allowed his creative talents to blossom.
“When I came to Manchester I began to love the city because of the industrial feeling of the landscape and the people, who are very focussed on industry, but at the same time the city has an artistic life – it is a very different experience to Dresden,” he said.
Now 28, Bartosz says he was just seven years old when he told his mum he wanted to be an artist when he grew up. Six years ago he started to concentrate on painting, and particularly the ways in which this traditional medium can be made relevant.
“I would be silly to say there is no tradition – the tradition is every painter,” he says. “The problem is what we can do with it to make it more contemporary and fresh for the viewer.”
15 October 2012