Watercolour painting of mother wins The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition for alumnus Akash Bhatt
Art and Design 9 September 2015
Now in its 28th year, The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is the largest and most prestigious prize for contemporary watercolour painting in the UK. Bhatt’s tender portrait of his mother, forming one of a series of drawings and paintings entitled ‘Blue Room’, won over the judges of this year’s competition.
Josh Spero, art critic for Tatler Magazine and judge on the competition panel, praised Bhatt, saying: “I thought tremendous technical skill combined perfectly here with artistic inspiration to render a physically and psychologically convincing portrait. Add to this the vivid finery of the fabric which suggests a heightened reality, and I couldn’t stop looking at it.”
Bhatt has previously been a finalist in the BP Portrait Award, and has won several prizes in the Discerning Eye Exhibition. In 2008, he was elected as Member of the Royal Society of British Artists.
Speaking about his winning piece of work, Bhatt commented:
“My mum has always been a willing and patient sitter. Over time the practice has become about documenting her life and in turn has also become important as a record for myself. The nature of painting is fraught with uncertainties so in this aspect of my work I am very fortunate to have a model that I am familiar with. It allows me to focus on the possibilities of the painting with a sense of calm.”
An exhibition of Akash Bhatt’s first prize portrait will be on display from 14-19 September at the Mall Galleries alongside other entries to The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2015.
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.