‘Wish You Were Here’ – the winners!

Dulwich Picture Gallery and Dulwich OnView’s latest art competition was based on the gallery’s latest exhibition, Cotman in Normandy. For most of the twentieth century Cotman (1782 – 1842) was the most widely admired English watercolourist, surpassing even Turner in popularity. During Cotman’s travels in Normandy he wrote several letters to his friend and collaborator, Dawson Turner and his wife Nance. In these letters he often included sketches of his travels.

Taking inspiration from Cotman’s watercolour scenes of Normandy we asked contestants to send us their artwork inspired by their most precious travel memory. In total Dulwich Picture Gallery received 60 beautiful entries in two age categoies: under 16 and 16+ (you can view them all on the Gallery’s Facebook page). The winning artworks were choosen by Ian  Dejardin, Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery and by the public on Facebook (artworks with the highest number of individual ‘likes’ won).

 ‘Wish You Were Here’ Competition 2012

Winner of the Director’s Choice, under 16 Category – KHANG NGUYEN

Khang Nguyen

Winner of the Director’s Choice, 16+ Category – NICK BOARD

Nick Board

– Nick, congratulations for winning the Wish You Were Here competition’s Director’s Choice Category. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Nick Board,age 56. My actual profession is as a Chef, I live and work in Reading, but I like to try my hand at photography, particularly travel, and hopefully, place my own skewed slant on things I witness. I find that photography a very rewarding medium, and also a means to experience parts of the world, I would not otherwise hope to see, having won photography competitions, prizes ranging from trips to France, Singapore, Thailand and most recently a USA tour.

– What can we see on the winning entry and what inspired you?

My entry into the “Wish you were Here” competition was a photo I took at De Panne, Belgium. I urge anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure to visit, to take a look. The colour co-ordinated beach paraphenalia, stretched along the golden sand, with the almost Edwardian changing huts, is a photographers, “and perhaps a painter’s” dream!

I take inspiration, “and still use sometimes”, film, that wondrous, tangible, substance, employed by the master of yore, and take due heed of such deities, as Cartier Bresson, Dorothea Lange and a wealth of other worthies.

– One of your prizes will be a Private View to see  Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship. Have you ever been to Dulwich Picture Gallery before?

I have not been to the Dulwich, but am fully aware of it’s high renown, and promise to visit in the near future!

Winner of the Public’s Choice, under 16 Category – ROMEL ESPANILLO

Romel Espanillo

Winner of the Public’s Choice, 16+ Category – DONNA GOOLD

Donna Goold

Donna in her studio

Donna in her studio

– Donna, well done, your artwork was the most popular amongst Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Facebook followers . I am sure they would love to get to know you a bit better!

Originally from Surrey, I went on to train at Chelsea School of Art. In 1995 I started a family and spent many years renovating properties throughout the Southwest. Despite the demands of work and family life I have always strived to continue with my painting although it is not until the more recent years that I have been able to achieve public success.

– What inspired you to create, Finale, the winning artwork?

My painting ‘Finale’ is the view of Lyme Regis from Charmouth where I now live. I used to visit Charmouth for holidays with my family and loved the place so much that we decided to have a complete change of life and career and move there. Now, eight years later I run jointly with my husband a large Contemporary Art Gallery, Artwave West based a few minutes away from Charmouth. Artwave West is set in a large building, a former pub in fact that we converted to a gallery and artist studio complex. The flexibility of running my own business has allowed me to continue to work as a professional artist part time.

My paintings are really about colour; even the most subtle shade is treasured and captured. I have chosen to concentrate my work on the coast as this is where the most intense colours are found – when the light from the sky bounces off the sea. The deeper I look into the sea the more colours I can interpret.

I represent these colours by using different materials to symbolize them. I begin by using vibrant inks to stain boards and achieve a base to work on. Building up layer upon layer of intense colour and then repeatedly sanding the area away again until only a trace remains. I will then move into paint and mix together materials that fight each other and often cause a chemical reaction. Again I sand away the imperfections to expose hidden depth. Finally I will use oils that can be moved around on the surface and scraped into so that previous layers can once again be revealed.

I always work on a very small scale in order to force the viewer to focus on the painting as closely as I have focussed on the subject. The final impact of the image is even more powerful as less is more and small is beautiful.

The winning artworks will be turned into a limited edition postcard and be on display/sale in Dulwich Picture Gallery’s shop. The winners will also receive a Cotman in Normandy exhibition catalogue and a Private View invitation to attend the opening of Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship:

About this article

Andrea Szeplaki

About Andrea Szeplaki

A trained journalist from Hungary Andrea has been living in London since 2006. Working for Dulwich Picture Gallery's Communications Team she is curiously searching for ways to promote the Gallery's events and activities in the local community. Apart from her passion for arts and handicrafts she is hoping to volunteer for a medical alert charity which trains dogs to assist children with diabetes.
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