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Moray Gray's School of Art postgraduate Matthew Wells selected for prestigious RSA John Kinross Scholarship


By Lorna Thompson

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AN ELGIN-BASED Gray's School of Art postgraduate has won a prestigious scholarship from The Royal Scottish Academy of Art (RSA).

Gordonstoun School technician Matthew Wells is one of 10 artists across the UK to have been selected for the RSA John Kinross Scholarship for his vibrant MA collection of fine art exploring symbolism and classical art.

As part of the £3000 scholarship, Matthew will spend around six to 12 weeks next summer in Italy, researching and exploring medieval frescoes.

Matthew's work forms part of Gray's postgraduate showcase, "Onwards", which is running at the Look Again Project Space, in Aberdeen.

The exhibition includes a collection of design and fine art MA disciplines, including photography, animation, video and sculptural installation, painting and jewellery.

Mature student Matthew initially studied an undergraduate degree at Gray's in 2001, returning to study a part-time masters after 14 years.

He said: "Following graduation, I had a young family and, like so many others, began a full-time job to provide, relegating physical painting time to dusk or dawn.

Matthew Wells, from Elgin, who has been selected for the RSA John Kinross Scholarship.
Matthew Wells, from Elgin, who has been selected for the RSA John Kinross Scholarship.
'Emperor of His own Universe' by Elgin-based Gray's School of Art postgraduate Matthew Wells.
'Emperor of His own Universe' by Elgin-based Gray's School of Art postgraduate Matthew Wells.

"Whilst the possibilities of how or what to create were never far from my mind, I had little time to fully work through my ideas.

"Fast forward 14 years and two more children and my work had developed in a personal manner.

"I am absolutely delighted to have won the RSA scholarship and to be showcasing my work at Gray's postgraduate showcase, Onwards.

"The tutors at Gray's have been really supportive, providing encouragement and making suggestions throughout my studies. It's fantastic to be part of a physical postgraduate degree show after so long and I'd encourage everyone to come along."

Course leader Jon Pengelly said: "It's fantastic that Matthew has been won the renowned RSA scholarship. The award recognises his talent and we are delighted to be displaying his work as part of Gray's postgraduate showcase, 'Onwards'.

"All the MA postgraduates have really risen to the challenge over the past couple of years which have, as it has been for so many people, been very difficult.

"There's so much talent here in the north-east and it's a pleasure to be shining a light on their work and to be hosting the physical MA degree show."

Onwards is free and open to the public. The exhibition runs until Sunday, November 28, at the Look Again Project Space, in St Andrew's Street, from Friday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm.



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