Amanda's cityscapes are a towering achievement

Published: 21 July 2011 at 16:39

Abstract artwork wins Dr Supanee Gazeley Fine Art Prize at Anglia Ruskin

Anglia Ruskin University student Amanda Graves has won this year’s Dr Supanee Gazeley Fine Art Prize – and a cheque for £2,000!

The competition is open to all final year BA (Hons) Fine Art students studying for their first degree and the prize is awarded for the best body of work on display at the Degree Show.

Dr Gazeley, who is an internationally-renowned artist, graduated in 1962 from Cambridge College of Arts & Technology (CCAT), a forerunner of what is now Anglia Ruskin University.  Before focusing on art, Dr Gazeley was a leading figure in the Hong Kong business community for 40 years.

As well as interests in the computing and property sectors, where she headed up two major groups of companies each supporting thousands of employees, Dr Gazeley is acknowledged for bringing innovative technology from Europe into Hong Kong and in doing so making Hong Kong a serious competitor in the global market within the watch and optical industries.

Amanda Graves caught Dr Gazeley’s eye this year for her series of abstract images depicting cities, and in particular a piece of work titled ‘Metro-cell’.

“My artwork is based around a physical awareness and interaction with the city environment,”

explained Amanda.

“The resulting paintings are developed organically, implying the city itself is an organism forever expanding outwards like an organic cell multiplying to build something bigger.

“Metro-cell developed over a number of weeks, by applying layers and colours, before introducing the cell-like circles on top. I feel that this enhances the organic yet synthetic nature of large modern cities.

“The standard was extremely high within the BA (Hons) Fine Art course and my class mates, tutors and technicians have all helped me to win this prize, because they all played a crucial role in my development as an artist.

“The award means that I can invest in better equipment to allow me to develop further and also explore other styles of painting.”

Dr Gazeley, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Anglia Ruskin in 2007, said:

“Amanda’s wide-ranging work encompasses the very essence of contemporary art, with its bold colours and physical awareness illustrating different aspects of modern city life.

“I’m delighted to be able to support young artists, particularly one as creative as Amanda. I’ll be watching her future career with interest.”

Dr Andy Salmon, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, said:

“The BA (Hons) Fine Art cohort graduating this year is a very strong group of artists, and competition for the Dr Supanee Gazeley Fine Art Prize was intense.

“I’m delighted that Amanda has won this prize because she’s a very talented painter and her work is already in demand beyond the confines of Anglia Ruskin.”