Trio of young RGS artists win national acclaim

THREE talented Ripon Grammar School artists have been selected from more than 17,700 students to have their paintings on display in a prestigious national exhibition.

The stunning works by Isaac Henson, Hugo Wade and Milly Lennox will be among 400 young artists’ entries picked by a panel of experts for the Royal Academy Summer Show, which launches online on July 12.

Milly, 15, from Ripon, said of her still life of a fish in acrylic: “I really enjoyed using tone and texture and using my imagination to enhance the painting.

A keen musician, she comes from an artistic family and plans to take art alongside English and music at A-level: “I love being creative and find art a good break from other lessons, which don’t allow as much personal input.”

She added: “I was very excited to be selected, it was totally unexpected, and I was so pleased my work was considered good enough.”

Isaac, 15, from outside Kirkby Malzeard, who enjoys exploring different forms and shapes in his art, said he felt honoured his painting of a building designed by architect Frank Gehry was chosen.

He explained how he created it: “I started with a A3 sheet of paper and my teacher Mrs Howes set up different stations to stick different pieces of paper like tracing paper, sugar paper, tissue paper. I then used cardboard squares to dab some yellow paint on.

“That was the background. Then I outlined the shape of the building on the A3 piece of paper and went over the line in a thick black pen. Next I washed out the lines with water and used square cardboard pieces to dab white and black in places to reflect light and darkness.

“Once I had done that, I used a thin layer of white to go over the skyline across the top of the building.”

Also from an artistic family, Isaac hopes to continue creating art.

Hugo, 13, from Studley Roger outside Ripon, who says he finds art relaxing, revealed his painting was inspired by a photograph of a building in the city.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard I had been selected. It was very exciting,” he said.

He would now like to go to art school and pursue a career in art, perhaps as a graphic designer.

Open to students up to 19 years old, the Young Artists’ exhibition, which provides a national platform to recognise particularly high quality student work, is now in its second year.

RGS head of art Fiona Henson said it was a real honour to be picked for such a prestigious national art show: “We are thrilled to have three students selected and this was made even more special as we were determined lockdown was not going to stop our submission.”

Supported by philanthropist Robin Hambro, the judging panel consisted of Royal Academician Cathie Pilkington, curator and head of the Royal Academy Schools, Eliza Bonham Carter and RA Schools students Catinca Malaimare and James Lomax.

“We have been blown away by all of the entries this year. In these particularly challenging times, it is wonderful to see so many young people being creative and the positive impact that art can have,” said a member of the organising team.

“It is such an important exhibition of artworks from young people, and the standard is very high. The enthusiasm for this exhibition shows how important art is for young minds and must always be a part of their educational life,” added Mr Hambro.