Oliver Clarke: Romney Art Prize winner 2019
Images: Oliver Clarke and his work
Oliver Clarke: Romney Art Prize winner
Young photographer’s work on show at Abbot Hall Art Gallery
A young photographer has won the prestigious 2019 Romney Art Prize and his work has now gone on show at Abbot Hall Art Gallery.
Former Kendal College student Oliver Clarke has three portrait images on display alongside works by renowned portrait painter George Romney.
His photographic work Nostalgia held in our possessions, will be on show until the end of the year.
Oliver, from Lancaster, 20, is the third winner of Abbot Hall’s Romney Art Prize, awarded to artists in Cumbria aged between 16-24.
Using an investigative approach to photography, Oliver explores and documents the relationship between a person and their nostalgic belongings.
Oliver said: “I'm often inspired by artists that use human emotion and experience as the basis for their work, and wanted to try that myself in this project.
“Nostalgia and people's perception and relationship to the past has always interested me. I wanted to explore the psychology of it and learn about real-life examples from people that I could connect with and photograph for my work.
“My project was about exploring and then documenting different areas of nostalgic feelings caused by inanimate objects, ending in three main portrait photographs showing childhood, souvenirs and family heirlooms/hand-me-downs.”
Chelsea Eves, Curator at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, said: “Oliver is an extremely talented portrait photographer. His work highlights the power of the portrait, and it therefore seemed fitting to hang his winning piece alongside our display of portraits by George Romney.”
Oliver added: “It feels absolutely unreal and amazing to exhibit at Abbot Hall. I could never have imagined that my work would be hanging next to Romney's until I saw it for myself.”
Oliver completed his Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Kendal College in June and is now studying for a degree in photography at Leeds Arts University. He hopes to develop his skills at university and pursue photography as a career.
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Abbot Hall Art Gallery:
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal opened in 1962. It has built up an outstanding collection and a strong reputation for showing exhibitions of national and international artists of the highest quality. In 2018 it showed work ranging from Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin to contemporary artists Elisabeth Frink and Alison Watt. The gallery and surrounding estate will undergo a major redevelopment planned to start in 2020.
Lakeland Arts has a portfolio of galleries and museums in the Lake District. It’s venues are Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House. A new museum: Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories opened in March 2019.
Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry:
Abbot Hall also houses the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in the former coach house and stables. The Museum opened in 1971. Immerse yourself in Lake District history, discover the region’s past in farming, mining and tanning. Find out about Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome and stroll down a Victorian Street. The Museum also has a regular programme of exhibitions.
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House:
Blackwell is situated in Bowness-on-Windermere and is architect MH Baillie Scott's greatest house. Built as a Lake District rural holiday retreat for the Manchester brewery owner, Sir Edward Holt, today it is an outstanding example of an Arts & Crafts House. Retaining most of its original decorative features. It is a perfect setting for exhibitions of historical and contemporary craft.
Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories:
Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories opened on 23 March 2019. Designed by Carmody Groarke architects, this is a new world-class museum in a stunning setting on Windermere displaying an internationally important collection of boats which are all associated with Windermere. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the major funder for the Museum. Grants are made possible by National Lottery players. The project is also supported by Regional Growth Fund and Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.
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- Oliver Clarke, Nostalgia Held in Our Possessions, 2019