A Ballymena art student who is studying at Gray’s School of Art in Scotland has been awarded a painting prize for the second year in a row.
Former Cambridge House Grammar School pupil Emily Hill (23) picked up second prize of £250 in the annual SPD painting awards at the art school for her painting ‘Cullybackey Sandpit’, after being awarded third place last year.
The awards, which aim to nurture local talent and bring art to the oil and gas community, were presented to the painting students by SPD Group HSEQ Manager, Stuart Insch and PA to the Managing Director, Laura Mylles, who made up this year’s judging panel.
Emily’s painting was inspired by childhood memories of growing up in Northern Ireland.
She said: “The idea for the painting was to do with memories and how I wanted to try and create a space that tied in with the school.
“There were particular issues back home, where I grew up, with the Troubles, and I wanted to create a reworked space within a childhood memory which is based on my nursery school.
“Children grow up surrounded by all these symbols and the painting explores how those influence them.”
The judges were impressed by the layers of meaning within the painting, as well as being drawn in by Emily’s use of bold colours.
Mr Insch said: “The painting has a lot of depth to it. Every time we looked at it, we picked up on something different, a new detail that we hadn’t noticed before.”
Part of the Petrofac group, SPD provide comprehensive well engineering, project management and expert consultancy and recruitment services to the global oil and gas industry.
Mr Insch added: “It never gets any easier to judge these awards and it is a very different show to last year.
“It is always lovely to see everything come together and to understand more about each painting.”
Keith Grant, Subject Leader in Painting at Gray’s School of Art, said: “It’s great to hear that the judges felt the show had a completely different feel from last year’s and that the prize winners were quite different to those they choose in 2013.”