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Charles Lewis Sculpture display unveiled and bursary awarded during celebration event at Kingston School of Art

Posted Thursday 2 November 2023

Charles Lewis Sculpture display unveiled and bursary awarded during celebration event at Kingston School of Art Madeline Lewis and the two award winners - Benjamin Tahsin (left) and Brian Lee (right)

Three works by renowned sculptor Charles W.E. Lewis have been donated to Kingston School of Art alongside a bursary from his daughter Madeleine Lewis. 

Mr Lewis taught sculpture at Kingston University's School of Art between the 1950s and 1970s and was the first lecturer in this field at the University. His daughter Madeleine graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art in 1967 from Kingston and more recently her nephew Oscar Parkinson graduated with a FDip Art and Design in 2019. 

Madeline explained that the decision to donate the sculptures and bursary was due to her family's longstanding connection with Kingston School of Art. "Kingston is part of my history, and it feels my father's work belongs here and will really extend his legacy being on display at Kingston School of Art," she said. "Everything has totally changed since I was here, but it is great to see that today's students enjoy such a wide range of facilities." 

The bursary, which totaled £5,000, was awarded to Fine Art student Benjamin Tahsin. The process for deciding who received the bursary involved students submitting a ten-page portfolio for Madeleine and the judges to review. 

Benjamin said that the bursary would be life-changing for him. "I've had an interest in art for most of my life, but I've struggled with the education side of it until I came to university," he said. "But I've really enjoyed studying at Kingston and this bursary is huge for me and is going to make so many more projects I have planned possible." 

The winning portfolio from Benjamin contained a lot of 3D work drawing on his interest in the science fiction and fantasy genres. 

Due to the high standard of the portfolios Madeleine also decided that Fine Art student Brian Lee deserved a runner up prize of a travel bursary. "The standard of the work was so high and I ended up with two people's work that was so good that it didn't seem fair not to reward them both," she said. "I think travel is essential to experience and broaden your horizons." 

The sculptures are situated next to the library at the University’s Knights Park Campus, where Charles would have taught his students. Alumni, family, and friends of Charles Lewis joined the Dean of Kingston School of Art, Mandy Ure, and the course leader for BA Fine Art, Mark Harris, at the unveiling event. Applicants to the bursary also presented their 3D work in the Platform Gallery for attendees.  

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