Northallerton pupil’s brush with success

Artist Anna Ridings with Debbie Burrows and Jean Lake.
Artist Anna Ridings with Debbie Burrows and Jean Lake.

Outstanding artwork created by a student while at a North Yorkshire school is to go on display at two prestigious locations in London for the fourth year in a row.

Anna Ridings’s pencil drawing of a friend from Northallerton School and Sixth Form College has been selected for an exhibition organised jointly by the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies and the Royal Society of British Artists.

Anna, 19, who took her A Levels last year and is now studying a degree in fashion at Northumbria University, is following in the footsteps of former Northallerton School students in having her work chosen.

Previously work by Lois Ancell, Hayley Stephenson and Oli Nixon was put forward for selection by Debbie Burrows, young arts representative of Hambleton Decorative and Fine Arts Society, and subsequently chosen by the RBA to appear in London.

Anna, from Picton, said: “It’s very exciting and a real honour. The piece was part of my A Level course work.

“I was inspired by the work of Dirk Dzimirsky, who produces very emotional, close-up portraits.

“I chose my friend Abbie Grange as the subject because she has an interesting look with masses of curly hair. We did a photoshoot and I worked from the photographs so Abbie didn’t have to pose too much. It took many hours to plan and produce.”

Jean Lake, retired head of creative arts at Northallerton School, who taught Anna, said: “It’s a work of exceptional high quality. She was aiming for a photographic reproduction and she certainly achieved to that level.”

Debbie, who arranged for Anna’s work to be framed and sent to London, said she was spoiled for choice with the work of A Level art students at Northallerton School and Sixth Form College.