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Old Veseyan, Alex Hemming discusses the impact of his recent artistic achievements
When it comes to supporting our students, we are committed to providing the help and guidance needed for pupils to realise their full potential, no matter how tough the challenge may seem.
While we have had a lot of well-documented success helping talented sports students achieve their dreams, we also support students who have found their passion in other industries, whether that be in academic fields or other artistic disciplines.
This has been the case for talented art student Alex Hemming (OV2018), who was recently commissioned to complete high-profile pieces of work for Argentea Gallery and Deutsche Bank, following a successful art exhibition at the gallery last year.
We caught up with Alex to find out more about his artistic achievements and what the future holds for the aspiring artist.
When did you attend Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School? I attended the school throughout years 7-11 and recently graduated from the Sixth Form just a few weeks ago.
When did you first begin enjoying art and taking it seriously? I have always enjoyed art from an early age and have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I think it really became serious once I reached year seven and had the support of teachers which was crucial in helping me develop my skills. After joining Bishop Vesey’s my interest in other artists began to mature and I began experimenting with other styles because of popular artists like Ian Murphy and Sunga Park.
Tell me more about the Argentea Gallery exhibition – how did that help you get recognised? The school was given permission to hold an exhibition at Argentea Gallery – a member of the school’s corporate partnership. It was a great opportunity for me to showcase some of my work to others, and I was lucky enough to secure sales for half of my work displayed, donating half of the proceeds back to Bishop Vesey’s to support the school.
How did the offer of more commissioned work come about? After the exhibition, the gallery kindly offered me a commission to draw and paint the gallery, which was a fantastic opportunity to further demonstrate my ability. I was also contracted by Deutsche Bank to carry out a similar project for their Birmingham office, which was the icing on the cake for me.
What are your plans for the future? Over the summer I will have a lot more time to complete commissions, so I’m hoping to secure a few more opportunities to build up my portfolio. I will then be attending the University of Huddersfield to study Architecture, which will allow me to take my passion to the next level.
How has BVGS helped you throughout your journey? Bishop Vesey’s has helped me mature, joining in year seven with very basic skills and slowly developing into a more complete artist. I have had the opportunity to learn about other skilled artists and understand their unique styles in greater detail, using this knowledge to develop my own approach. Through experimenting with these styles, I have built up the confidence to create my own style and hopefully follow in the footsteps of some of my inspirations.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists on how they can be successful? Aside from the cliché ‘never give up’ or ‘stick at it’ mentality, it’s important that you work on developing your own style and embrace the challenge of staying true to your own approach. If you get the opportunity to display work in an exhibition then it’s important to make it as commercial as possible, understanding the tastes of your audience and creating work that appeals to them. Finally, when it comes to working, make sure you give yourself enough time to create something you are truly happy with – rushing your work is never the right answer!
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