JJ wins art award

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JJ McKeown from Drumoak, a fourth-year student at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art, has been awarded a prestigious drawing prize.

The former Banchory Academy pupil was the joint-winner of the David Gordon Memorial Trust Student Drawing Prize, an annual competition which aims to promote and stimulate drawing as a core skill in the creative process within art and design education.

JJ, currently studying for a BA (Hons) in Painting, submitted a large-scale pencil drawing of animal and human hybrids interspersed with pattern and abstract shapes.

Inspired by nature and animals in mythology, JJ incorporates ancient folklore and creates his own myths based on modern sources including science journals and encyclopaedias.

The popular prize received over 120 submissions and was won jointly by JJ and fellow painter David McDiarmid who each received a cheque for £250.

JJ, 23, said: “I’m honoured to have been awarded the prize as the standard of work submitted was very high.

“Combined with the positive feedback from visitors to the exhibition, the prize has given me great optimism for my final year at art school.”

The judging panel comprised Ian Parkinson, Joyce Mackie and well-known local artist Eric Auld, all trustees of the David Gordon Memorial Trust.

Keith Grant, Subject Leader in Painting at Gray’s, added: “The high standard of work on show reflects the quality of Fine Art students at Gray’s.

“Awards such as these not only give students the opportunity to have their work hung in the context of a real exhibition, but also means that they can critically asses their own work and that of their peers – a key attribute in contemporary art practice.”