The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, December 2, 2021

11-year old London girl scoops inaugural Bourlet Young Masters Art Prize with still life painting
Eleven-year old Charlotte Gervis from London painted the winning entry.

LONDON.- Charlotte Gervis from London has won the first ever Bourlet Young Masters Art Prize with a still life painting of hydrangeas and cherries in a vase with a pomegranate in the foreground.

The 11-year old’s winning entry was chosen from nearly 300 submissions from across the UK. The judging panel - including Lorna May Wadsworth, one of Britain’s leading portrait painters, BBC Fake or Fortune star and respected art expert, Philip Mould, along with artist Davina Jackson - thought the work was “accomplished and beautiful” and demonstrated the young artist’s “innate understanding of form and colour.”

She wins a hand crafted Bourlet frame for her artwork, a voucher for £150 worth of materials from the country’s foremost independent art supplies retailer, Cass Art, £150 spending money, plus the honour of seeing her still life hung in Philip Mould & Co in London’s Pall Mall, amongst genuine Old Masters and some of the 20th-century’s most famous artists.

Born in London, in 2009, Charlotte lives in West London with her parents and older sister, Claire, and is a student at École Jeannine Manuel, in Bloomsbury. Already a keen artist – she painted her winning entry when she was just ten-years old – Gervis was a regular attendee at Chelsea Fine Arts, on Lots Road, prior to the coronavirus lockdown. When not developing her painting and drawing skills, Charlotte also enjoys sewing clothes and took lessons from Eleanor McDonald, a fashion design graduate of Central St Martins college in London.

Her father, Matthieu, says: “Charlotte was keen to participate in the competition and help raise funds for the Covell Nurses Trust to support those who sacrifice so much these days to keep us safe. She was especially delighted to have secured a donation from her older sister, Claire.”

Asked who her favourite artists are Charlotte names Van Gogh, Picasso and Degas. As Matthieu observes: “She especially likes Degas’ ballerinas, which she saw on a trip to the Musée D’Orsay, in Paris, late last year.”

Commenting on her winning the very first Bourlet Young Masters Art Prize, Charlotte says: “It’s very exciting to have my painting exhibited in a prestigious London gallery, in a beautiful handmade frame and also to be able to get more art supplies from Cass Art, arguably my favourite store on Kensington High Street!”

Describing her entry, Philip said that Charlotte demonstrated “An innate understanding of form and colour, the textural possibilities of paint and compositional sophistication. Charlotte’s art is also characterful and likeable.”

While, Lorna sees a young artist with huge potential: “Charlotte’s work is accomplished and beautiful. I think she has a brilliant future as an artist and creative ahead of her and is a very worthy winner.”

Tasked with framing the winning painting, Richard Rendell of master framers, Bourlet has enjoyed his role in the competition but admits he now faces a further challenge: “It has been such a pleasure to see all of the entries and witness the enthusiasm of all of the children who have participated. I am looking forward to receiving the winner’s artwork and deciding how best to do it justice. I have an exceptional young artist to please and her artwork is to be hung in one of London’s finest galleries, so the pressure is now on Bourlet!”

He adds: “So far we have raised over £2,000 for the charity and more donations are still coming in, so we’re very pleased with what we have achieved so far. So much so, that Lorna, Philip and I area already planning next year’s competition.”

Highly commended entries were 12-year old Nell Ttwheam’s charming portrait of her dogs ‘Otter and Dormouse’, 9-year old Marli Macrae’s Abstract Daffodils and 12-year old Milo Morgan’s striking Self Portrait with Mirror.

Nell Ttwheam lives in Frome, Somerset and goes to All Hallows’ School near Shepton Mallet. Her mum, Ciara says: “Nell absolutely loves animals (we call her the ‘Cat Whisperer’). Her art teacher, Sacha Guppy who is wonderful, has a gorgeous whippet called Lola who visits the art department a lot, and Nell’s become really attached and fascinated by her.”

Ciara adds: “She’s grown up drawing funny characters with her dad (who animates) and she just loves finding the personality and quirkiness of animals. She’s also massively inspired by our family friend, the artist, Leslie Glenn Damhus. She and Nell have a lovely connection and she is a mentor to her.”

The youngest of the successful artists, Marli Macrae lives in Eastbourne, where she attends Bourne Primary School. Her mum, Shirley Anne says “Marli was inspired by the colours used by Vanessa Bell and her abstract paintings, especially the still lifes. I work as a house guide at Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury Group in Sussex, so she sees an awful lot there!”

Milo Morgan lives in Anerley, near Crystal Palace and attends Alleyn’s School, in Dulwich. He says: “I was inspired by David Hockney’s self-portraits. I like the way he uses lots of different materials. I decided to make my piece with marker pens rather than paint and try it on a big scale (A2). I wanted to make a self-portrait, but to make it more interesting I put the mirror on the floor to give a more unusual angle.”

The triumvirate of Wadsworth, Mould and Rendell developed the concept of a new children’s art competition on Instagram in a bid to help keep 12 and under’s occupied during the weeks of lockdown and, at the same time, raise funds for the Cavell Nurses Trust, a charity started in 1917 to assist nurses with financial, physical or mental health issues.

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