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Former Oakham School pupil exhibits at the Saatchi Gallery

Published Tuesday 1st of April 2014 02:40:53 PM

James Ralston, a former Oakham School pupil, has had the honour of seeing his artwork exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London. James' work was one of only 20 pieces selected from 16,000 entries from across the world to be a part of the Saatchi School Prize Exhibition.

His art installation 'The Dentist My Father' was exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, London, together with the other shortlisted works from 26 February 5 March 2014.

James completed his IB last year and is now reading Architecture at the University of Brighton. Simon Poppy, Director of Art & Design at Oakham School said: 'It is significant that James studied for his IB here at Oakham School, as the Visual Art course encourages students to break their personal boundaries the same challenging approach that the Saatchi Gallery champions in young artists.'

James said of his piece, 'I wanted to inject further innovation in my work through portraits of three generations of my family - my grandfather, my father and myself - but also to form each piece using a different media and style that would reflect the different characters. This challenged me to introduce completely new processes from the paintbrush and graphite and, for the portrait of my father, to construct a readymade, inspired by Mika Rottenberg. The piece includes dental X-rays, records, and a light box.'

This highly regarded competition is organised by the Saatchi Gallery and Deutsche Bank. It is open to primary, secondary and sixth form schools from around the world who are invited to submit art work by students up to the age of 18. Over 16,000 entries were submitted this year. Among the 20 shortlisted works were entries from Dubai, Hong Kong and Poland, as well as the UK.

The judges for this year's prize were the author and illustrator Laura Dockrill, art advisor to Deutsche Bank and critic Alistair Hicks, artist Bob and Roberta Smith and Saatchi Art Director Rebecca Wilson. Judge Laura Dockrill commented, 'The standard and quality of work entered was absolutely remarkable. What the Saatchi Gallery are doing is phenomenal; showcasing the work of young artists and having their wonderful imaginations splattered onto the gallery walls, installing confidence into young people by recognising their talent and taking their work seriously. This competition is necessary. It is making dreams come true.'
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