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 countryâ€™s top illustrators, designers and sculptors in the lead-up to the latest exhibition launch at Kingston Universityâ€™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 galleryâ€™s inaugural summer art fÃªte, 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, wasnâ€™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.
Edwardâ€™s mother, Rebecca Norton, praised gallery staff for their commitment to making the venue a true community asset. â€œHaving the opportunity to collaborate with such established artists was a tremendous way to draw people in to the whole gallery experience,â€ 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. â€œThe Summer Art FÃªte 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.â€
The colourful collection will continue to take pride of place at the gallery, next to Kingston Universityâ€™s Knights Park campus, until 19 July.