Posted: Sat 15th Aug 2015

Artist Draws on Experience at Glyndwr University to Achieve National Portrait Success

This article is old - Published: Saturday, Aug 15th, 2015

An artist who drew upon on his experiences at Glyndŵr University has beaten thousands of people to a top portrait prize. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Steve Caldwell picked up the Samuel Bath Ltd Prize at the RBSA Portrait Prize Exhibition in Birmingham for ‘Jack’, a still-life drawing praised by judges. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Born in Lancashire and brought up on Merseyside, the 43-year-old was also selected for The BP Portrait Award exhibition for the second year running with another piece of incredible work, entitled ‘Simon’. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Having studied Medical Illustration in Wrexham from 1992 to 1994, Steve went on to become a professional artist the following year and counts his time at Glyndŵr’s North Wales School of Art and Design (NWSAD) – then part of the North East Wales Institute – as a major inspiration. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Speaking about his time at Glyndwr University, Steve said: “Studying in Wrexham helped me in various ways. I learnt a lot from the staff and fellow students about illustration and portraying the human form, and life drawing classes were particularly helpful. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Work experience was also a vital element of the degree, and I spent my time with a professional illustrator, which helped me on my back to becoming an artist and portrait painter.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Recruited initially by a London agency, Steve has since worked extensively in publishing, advertising and on commissions for private clients. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This has led him to commercial and critical acclaim, and recognition amongst his peers. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Steve added: “To be recognised for my BP portrait of ‘Simon’ is a huge honour. It was inspired by the sitter. I thought he had a lot of presence and a unique visual identity and wanted to explore this in detail within the portrait. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I was both very proud and surprised to have been selected for The BP Portrait Award exhibition for the second year in a row. Considering there were almost 3000 entries, I feel very fortunate indeed.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

NWSAD senior lecturer Pauline Amphlett praised Steve for his “brilliant” work and said he is a credit to the university. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Steve is one of our most talented alumni, he is a brilliant portrait artist and I’m thrilled to see him doing so well and being nominated – and winning recognition – at such prestigious awards ceremonies,” she said. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“He is one of many artists who have left Glyndŵr University and gone on to great things. We may only be a small institution but we punch well above our weight when it comes to the creative industries because we care so much about our students and believe giving them a firm foundation on which to build on is crucial to their future careers.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Steve’s success follows the achievement of fellow NWSAD graduate Ivana Milchanska, who was among 16 finalists contesting the Irish Times’ Amateur Photographer of the Year Awards 2015. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

More than 7,000 images were whittled down to just 16, with Ivana’s picture Artists in life among the chosen few. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

For more information, visit www.stevecaldwell.co.uk ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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