Perse pupil has a brush with success thanks to amazing artworks
3 Jun 2020
Grace Hutchinson (Year 7) has double cause for celebration courtesy of her astonishing artworks.
The accomplished young artist has seen one of her stunning creations chosen to feature in the Royal Academy of Arts’ Young Artists’ Summer Show, while another has won The Perse’s prestigious Heller Prize for Creative Arts.
From a total of 17,700 entries by youngsters aged from five to 19, just 400 pieces were selected for inclusion in the Young Artists’ Summer Show, which will take the form of an online exhibition when it opens on 12 July due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is still hoped a regular display will take place at the Royal Academy in London in the autumn.
Grace’s work for the Young Artists’ Summer Show is an oil painting based on a photo of Grace taking a photo of a blue-footed booby bird during a family holiday in Ecuador.
She said: “It was quite shocking hearing that my work had been selected and I’m delighted that it will be part of the online exhibition.”
The selection of her artwork for the Royal Academy exhibition came after Grace’s painting, based on the competition theme of ‘Buildings and Bloom’, had won the Heller Prize, an award sponsored by Sir Michael and Lady Heller. Sir Michael is an Old Persean (1954), businessman and philanthropist, who was knighted in 2013 for charitable services.
Grace said it was “an amazing feeling” to win the Heller Prize, explaining that her successful entry, painted in oils over a period of four days, had been inspired by a number of images with flowers coming out of half of a person’s head.
She said: “I thought it would be really cool to paint something similar and because in a way it covers both of the themes – the ‘building’ or structure of a face with the blooming flowers.”
Grace, whose favourite artists include JMW Turner for “the incredible detail and vagueness of his paintings” and David Hockney for his use of “very cheerful and vibrant colours”, added that she had long had a passion for art.
“One of my closest friends is amazing at drawing and I loved to draw with her, while my uncle painted quite often and I thought it would be really cool to paint like him one day,” she said.
“I love drawing and painting because it’s surprisingly calming. It’s really fun and I think it’s amazing when you get to see the final piece.”