He may not be a household name just yet but aspiring artist Edward Norton already has a claim to fame. He has just teamed up with some of the country’s top illustrators, designers and sculptors in the lead-up to the latest exhibition launch at Kingston University’s Stanley Picker Gallery.
In fact, the talented 10 year old was so keen to rub shoulders with some of his idols at the South West London gallery’s inaugural summer art fête, he travelled all the way from Sevenoaks in Kent to take part. Under the watchful eye of regular Tate Britain exhibitors Phil Duckworth and Ben Sadler – better known as the Juneau Project – the Year 5 pupil at Solefield School in Sevenoaks was soon in his element letting his imagination run wild as he decorated a CD and cover.
Edward, who has his heart set on one day becoming an artist or actor, wasn’t alone in putting his creative talents to the test. He joined a crop of other novices working alongside such critically-acclaimed experts as Bob and Roberta Smith, Cullinan+Richards and Caroline Todd as the exhibition took shape. Kingston University students Tom McCaughan, Laura Bird and Rose Blake, who spent a week illustrating the gallery walls with a sideshow theme, were also on hand to offer inspiration and advice.
Edward’s mother, Rebecca Norton, praised gallery staff for their commitment to making the venue a true community asset. “Having the opportunity to collaborate with such established artists was a tremendous way to draw people in to the whole gallery experience,” Mrs Norton enthused.
Gallery director David Falkner said his team was always looking for novel ways to forge stronger links between the art world and more amateur enthusiasts. “The Summer Art Fête and Exhibition has given us a wonderful opportunity to tap into the wealth of talent that exists in Kingston and the surrounding area. Rather than staging a more traditional exhibition, we decided to fling open our doors to aspiring artists of all ages and the result is a really eclectic mix featuring some quite astounding work.”
The colourful collection will continue to take pride of place at the gallery, next to Kingston University’s Knights Park campus, until 19 July.