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BA Fine Art student Zuzanna Milobedzka wins £10,000 painting prize  

Painting by Zuzanna Milobedzka
Painting by Zuzanna Milobedzka
Painting by Zuzanna Milobedzka
Written by
Isabelle Gressel
Published date
09 June 2017

Congratulations to Zuzanna Milobedska, winner of this year’s ‘Scholar’ award from the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers. The award, made to a first year BA Fine Art student with a focus on figurative painting and drawing, is made to encourage “young, talented students, those who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in terms of artistic potential.”

The £10,000 bursary is generously offered by The Worshipful Company of Painters-Stainers, a Livery Company of the City of London. The organisation supports art schools and universities in the UK and provides its’ members with a network of colleagues, who are all recognised as being foremost in their field. The award will enable Zuzanna to push her practice and experiment with materials for the next two years of her degree.

In front of Zuzanna's work: BA Course tutor Jeffrey Dennis, Ian Rowley, Ben Sullivan, Zuzanna Milobedzka, Ken Howard

In front of Zuzanna’s work: BA Course tutor Jeffrey Dennis, Dr Ian Rowley, Ben Sullivan, Zuzanna Milobedzka and Ken Howard

After shortlisting five students, the winner was chosen by Dr Ian Rowley, Chairman of the Painters’ Company Charities Trustees, alongside artists Ken Howard RA and Ben Sullivan, who won this year’s BP Portrait Award. Zuzanna explains the work she presented to them: “The starting point for this collection of work was the situation with women’s rights in Poland, where I’m from. I was looking at power relationships and the position of the girls and women in that country.  I don’t want to be a political artist, but it was just what really influenced me at the time.”

Painting by Zuzanna Milobedzka

Painting by Zuzanna Milobedzka

Discussing her interest in power dynamics she said, “over the past year I have realised that I have focused a lot on quite serious subject matter – extreme life situations and making work that contains pain and suffering. Before these works I was making a lot paintings about prison and being imprisoned. In a way, I think I feel that the situation for women in Poland is a kind of imprisonment, too.”

Painting by Zuzanna Milobedzka

Painting by Zuzanna Milobedzka

“Even though this year what I was doing was painting from my imagination, I realised that I was including a lot of human figures in the work and it would be good to learn about how to paint them accurately. It’s something I’m going back to –  I have done it before, years ago and it think it’s important to revisit it now. I am going to return to Warsaw over the Summer break and do a life drawing and life painting course.”

“While I’m not at Chelsea this summer I won’t have the studio space to do large-scale paintings, but I’m always working on smaller drawings or paintings anyway. I also think that sometimes, having a break from working can be really useful for giving you a new perspective. Sometimes I feel that I am so used to the way in which I work, that it might become a habit and end up blocking me and my work. So having a break this summer might be really good to help me refresh, and restart.”

We look forward to seeing Zuzanna’s paintings progress over the next two years.

Find out more about the BA Fine Art course.

Information about the Worshipful Company of Painters-Stainers