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Britain's top artists make big money.
Their works can go for millions.
Six million five, seven million.
So how do you get a slice of the action?
Now's your chance to find out, as we offered all-comers the opportunity
to fight for a spot at the hottest exhibition in town.
-Bring it on, please, open the door.
-Art really matters to me.
This is something I want to do for the rest of my life.
They could stand to make some serious cash.
Could you tell us what price you'd put on your piece?
-I'd like £100,000 for it.
But first, they need the seal of approval from three of the art world's toughest critics.
I think it looks like it's from the centrefold of a men's magazine.
My first impression when I saw the picture was...was actual disgust.
Their hopes and dreams are in the hands of the hanging committee.
I think you need to go back to the drawing board...literally.
It's time to Show Me The Monet.
Hello and welcome to the Show Me The Monet exhibition here at the Royal College of Art in Central London.
This institution has played a pivotal role in British art for over 150 years.
Well, over the last couple of months, ambitious British artists, both amateur and professional
have been facing our hanging committee
in the hope that they'll get their work exhibited on these walls.
David Lee is the bad boy of the art world.
He's the scourge of the art establishment in general,
and the Turner Prize in particular.
I want somebody to come in and surprise me, to shock me.
Roy Bolton is an expert in Old Masters, who's valued art
for some of the world's most exclusive auction houses.
I really hate fashionability for its own sake.
And contemporary specialist Charlotte Mullins has applied her critical eye
to some of the industry's most prestigious competitions.
Art should speak to you. It should have an emotional charge.
Only art which shows originality, technical skill and emotional impact will get past them.
These experts are the gatekeepers to our exhibition,
where a spot in the limelight and the chance to sell for big bucks awaits.
We've held hanging committee sessions in London,
Liverpool and Glasgow in our hunt for the best of British talent.
One place we set up shop was the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
Against the backdrop of seven centuries of fine and decorative art,
hopeful artists brave the judges in a bid to achieve their dreams.
They needed two votes to get through to the Royal College of Art, but only the best made the grade.
School caretaker Frank Meaney impressed the judges with his photographic talent.
I would have put you down as a professional photographer.
Technically, it looks very well done.
The whole idea of it was to show Liverpool in a good light.
It doesn't get the best of press at times.
It's amazing that the reflections on the water are so crisp.
There's a huge amount of skill in there.
You've done it so well, you've completely deceived me into thinking it was one panoramic image.
But it wasn't original enough to get him through to the sale.
It's a classic skyline I've seen a thousand times. It's no, I'm sorry.
It's very difficult to make a well known subject matter new and interesting.
I'm afraid it's a no from me.
I'm not sure it's much more than a really good photograph of Liverpool.
-Thanks so much for showing it to us.
It's great, and you're very talented.
Poet Lauren Paige wanted to see if she could use the paintbrush
as well as the pen.
My painting is called Journey. I completed it
a year into my career as a painter.
It was originally a photograph that I took sailing along the River Nile.
But, despite some flair, inexperience let her down.
You've called it Journey. You're not really giving us the Nile.
You're obviously naturally gifted.
-But you're still at a kind of beginner's, juvenile stage.
Radiologist Dr Huw Lewis-Jones hoped his Snowdonia painting
would win him a life-changing ticket to the exhibition.
This is a very personal image to me.
I'm absolutely committed to Welsh landscape painting in particular.
He won over one of the judges.
There's nothing wrong with traditionalism and you've made a good stab. Yes.
But his hopes were crushed by Charlotte and Roy.
The foreground seems like it's done from a photograph.
You're trying too many different things in the painting. So it's a no from me. I'm very sorry.
We won't be taking your painting to the exhibition.
Before she met the panel. I met with mother of two, Caroline Thatcher. She could hardly stop shaking!
Caroline, welcome to the hanging committee.
-How are you feeling?
-It's a borderline terrified and quite looking forward to it.
How long have you been painting?
Oh, gosh, I suppose intensively for the last four years while I've been at university,
and then I had a massive gap between then and when I was at school. So this is the real world now.
What do you want to achieve?
Well, the opportunity to have an exhibition,
or be part of an exhibition in London is just fantastic.
There are only three people standing in our way though - the judges.
And they can be quite tough, quite critical, and I suppose with art, it's very personal.
-It can be. You try and distance yourself.
-Are you ready for that?
I think you have to try and distance yourself from it.
Well, I wish you the best of luck.
-Go and meet the judges.
The chance to exhibit at the Royal College of Art would mean the world to Caroline.
She's pinning her hopes on this oil on canvas painting, Growing Pains.
Would you hang this on your wall?
Caroline, welcome to the hanging committee.
Would you tell us about your work please?
Yes. This painting was the first of a series of three that I did in my final year of university last year.
The series was entitled Growing Pains.
The inspiration for the piece was an old black and white photograph
of myself as a child of about three at a children's Christmas party.
Wwhat captivated me about it really was the body language -
the tucked-in chin, the rabbit caught in headlights stare.
This painting means a lot to Caroline,
and if it goes on sale at the RCA, she could stand to make some serious cash.
Well, what's your valuation, the price of this picture?
We were advised at university, because of the size, it would be sort of in the region of £500-£600.
It seems too small to me, by a long way.
OK. For somebody who's unknown?
£500, you can barely buy a framed poster for that now.
True. Well, a frame of that size anyway.
OK. We'd like to have a close look at it.
It's a very modest valuation, but the exhibition could launch Caroline on the path to fame and fortune.
If she impresses these three.
Well, Caroline was shaking here when I was chatting to her, and you can probably see
she's still shaking in front of the judges, not surprisingly.
-You finished this when you were at university?
Did you paint before you went to university?
Not for a huge number of years - probably about 30 years.
-Life got in the way...
-And now you finally...
I was married at 20, two children.
You know, lots and lots of things have happened in between.
Are you going to carry on painting, Caroline?
-Oh, definitely, yes.
Unfortunately not at the moment, so, you know, it's quite a slow process,
getting going and making a living out of your work,
so I'm teaching an art class once a week and I've also worked in an art gallery as well.
-But it would be nice to think I could.
-Yeah, it's perfectly obvious
that you're very knowledgeable about art...
Having chosen to follow her dream late in life, the judges' opinion means all the more to Caroline.
I love the bottom half.
It's like a ghostly presence at the bottom, which when you've explained
it's from a photograph from the past, that makes perfect sense.
But you don't need to know that to love the painting.
You've taken a lot of chances in that picture and I admire you for that.
There's no back legs on the chair, for example, to sit it down.
How many painters would be brave enough to put the whole of the subject on one side?
-That's very interesting.
As you said about the chair not being drawn, it was all, it was all to make it a little bit off-kilter.
I think you very clearly have a natural eye,
from my point of view from this, just viewing this one picture.
I wish you'd have continued drawing, you know, 15 minutes a day
in the 30 years when you weren't painting, because...
-So do I.
-If I have any problem with it, the child's left hand looks a little bit like a trotter.
Lots of pluses, but a minus for technique from David.
Remember, they're also looking for originality and emotional impact.
Yeah, I was worried when I first saw it, I might think this was slightly winsome or sentimental because...
-..I immediately saw the flower. And then I started looking at it,
and I think the way you've painted this is quite exceptional.
It gives a vulnerability that makes me almost cry.
You did this at university, this is incredible.
Thank you very much.
Everything you've done with the technique I think is, is superb and very advanced.
I think you've got your own voice.
Yeah, keep, keep, keep drawing, so that you can make those - everything stick and everything convincing.
Emotional response. Yeah, I find that, I find that a really absorbing picture.
I don't think there's any collection of contemporary art which wouldn't
be proud to have that picture in it.
Thank you very much. It was in my garage.
My goodness. This is the most incredible praise.
It's looking pretty positive.
But Caroline's place at the exhibition isn't safe until she's had two yes votes.
-Oh, thank you very much, I'm overwhelmed.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
-Smashing picture, that.
-Three yes's. No, three absolutely yes's.
-She doesn't know how good she is, does she?
-She doesn't have a clue.
-It's very good indeed.
Caroline's past the first hurdle.
But what will happen at the exhibition?
Could she make a life-changing sale?
Caroline's made it to the exhibition, and her husband Neil is by her side.
And he's not the only one who thinks she's got talent.
It's not cluttered up, it's not trying too hard.
It's modern, it's contemporary. You can get a sense of what it's about.
And I think I could come back tomorrow or in a month's time
and still think about that same painting.
But can Caroline convert the compliments into cash?
She's taken David's advice and upped the guide price to £1,000.
The dealers, collectors and members of the public
are free to make offers on
as many works as they like, but they won't be haggling with the artists.
They must make a sealed offer to an independent sales agent,
which won't be opened until after the sale's over.
So there's been interest?
Yes, yeah. A gallery owner and several people have just come up to me and said how much they love it.
It's just been, you know, wonderful.
Caroline's enjoyed her chance to mingle with the art A-list.
But will Growing Pains be her ticket to turning professional
and making her dream come true?
Caroline's been nervously waiting to learn if anyone wanted to buy her painting.
If she gets an offer above her asking price of £1,000,
she must sell to the highest bidder.
The independent agent will take a cut of 10%.
It's now time to reveal if Caroline's made a sale.
-You did get three offers.
Shall I tell you what the lowest one was?
Go on then.
-Yeah, quite happy with that.
Shall we settle for that? Do you want to settle for that now?
Well, no, you've got to tell me the other two, haven't you?
OK. Well, the second highest offer...
Right, I can tell you that the highest offer for
your little painting here...
Wow. That's fantastic.
Are you thinking of doing this full time?
-For a living?
If only. Yes, I would like to, yes.
At £3,000 Caroline has sold her painting
for an incredible three times the asking price.
Not bad for someone who went 30 years without picking up a paintbrush.
-It's a life-changing moment for Caroline, whose future as a painter seems assured.
Still to come on today's show...
A young artist reaches for the stars with a bid to change the face of Scottish art.
I didn't want it to be in your face with tartan or shortbread or anything tacky.
I wanted to prove that Scottish art could be really cool.
And David dishes out some strong criticism.
It looks to me like an icon for some weird religious cult worshipping ladles.
And we'll be catching up with all those who made the grade and won a place here at the exhibition.
Who knows, they might meet a VIP guest and even make a sale.
For every single artist that's made it here tonight,
it's been a gruelling journey.
We asked all comers to send us their drawings, sculpture, paintings and photographs
and the best of the entries were sent through to the hanging committees.
But to get to the exhibition, they had to get past the judges.
London's Foundling Museum is home to an impressive collection
of 18th century art by British giants from Gainsborough to Hogarth.
I caught up with roofer Karl Terry before he went up in front of the judges.
Now he dreams of making some serious cash from his boyhood passion
and maybe turning painting into a full-time profession.
Karl, nice to meet you. How are you feeling about this?
I'm feeling great, yeah.
More relaxed than I thought I was going to be, yeah.
-You look comfortable and relaxed. Tell me where you're from.
-Rye in East Sussex.
-I'm married and I've got two young children.
-Busy boy then.
-I'm a busy boy, yes.
-So, are you a full-time artist?
-No, I'm not. I wish I was. I'm a roofing contractor.
I wanted to be a painter when I left school,
but I ended up doing the same job as my dad.
But now obviously with the painting, it's consumed me, it's taken over.
That's what I like to hear.
Is there any moment in your life where you said,
-"I've got to get back to that painting?"
-Yes. It's a funny story
because I was phoned one day about six years ago
by my former art teacher and he had a leak in his roof,
so I fixed the leak and I didn't charge him
because he was the only teacher I really liked at school.
I came home one day and he'd left a painting
on my doorstep and it sort of rekindled all those thoughts about painting.
What are your ambitions now, then?
My ambitions ultimately are to paint full time
and now the painting has taken over
and it's a complete new challenge, I love it.
We've got another big challenge for you today. You've got three judges.
They are nice, in part. But they can be harsh.
-I mean, I suspect you've...
-I was expecting that.
-Yeah. How do you expect to deal with that?
I don't mind rejection. I'd like to get some critique
because the only time I see my pictures on the wall,
they're in a gallery where they've been accepted, so I'm interested to see what they think.
In a way, I'm worried that maybe my works a bit too traditional, but let's wait and see.
Let's wait and see. Don't put words into their mouths.
I wish you the very best of luck. Just two yes's from the judges.
-Away you go through those doors.
-Thank you very much.
Karl's hoping to impress the Hanging Judges
with his oil-on-board landscape.
But will the judges give him their seal of approval
or tell him to stick to the day job?
-Karl, welcome to the Hanging Committee.
Would you like to take a moment to tell us about your painting?
My paintings called Rising Tide Rye and it's fairly typical
of the work that I produce
and was painted entirely on location.
It's a challenge to paint because the light changed quickly,
the water was rising up so I had to work very, very fast.
After an hour and a half, I had water lapping around my feet,
so I was forced to stop. I'm quite pleased with this painting.
I think I captured the essence of the subject,
and without getting too bogged down with too much detail.
Would you like to give us a valuation for this painting?
I would value my painting at £750.
What's that based on? Have you sold work?
That's based on paintings that I've sold in the past.
I'm only part-time, I only paint two days a week,
and I exhibit in several galleries throughout England
and that's the sort of price that they make. Yeah.
-Do you mind if we have a closer look?
To be sure of a spot at the Royal College exhibition,
and maybe make some cash doing the thing he loves most,
roofer Karl needs to sway at least two of the three judges.
-You mention you paint two days a week?
I try and paint every Wednesday and I paint on Saturdays, yeah, or whenever my wife lets me!
When Van Gogh painted out of doors he complained bitterly
about how difficult it was with the wind, the flies,
the sand getting everywhere. Didn't you have difficulty with that?
I can't see any evidence of flies or sand.
That day was quite lucky, really, because it wasn't so windy,
but a lot of time I'm trying to hang onto my easel with one hand
and paint with the other. But the good thing about painting outside
is it forces you to make quick decisions and work quickly,
and you do get used to it, but, yeah, it's hard work.
The worst is the snow and the rain and that's really difficult.
It's great fun, I wouldn't do anything else.
How long did this take?
A painting like this, any more than an hour and a half or two hours
-and I've painted the life out of it.
The light changes so quickly you've got a window of opportunity
for about an hour and a half. Sometimes they look better after ten minutes than after three hours!
You learn to leave it alone and walk away. OK, thanks very much.
They seem intrigued by Karl's methods,
but the panel must judge the painting by three criteria -
originality, technical skill, and emotional impact.
If it has all three, then Karl's dream could come true.
I am so torn on this painting,
because I think you have a lovely touch.
It really has something. I love the colours you've got in the mud.
I have a few technical issues with the cloud that floats,
the white cloud that floats above and the reflection is too heavy.
I feel like I've seen scenes like this many times before
and that's the problem is the originality.
For me, a work of art has to communicate beyond the memories
perhaps it invokes in people. People will look at this
and go, "Oh, I know that view in Rye."
It's got to go beyond that for me and I'm not really sure it does.
It's very well done, a very good landscape.
I'm not sure it really has... that extra edge.
It's a very fresh, competent oil sketch...
..so technically you're doing well.
Karl, I think this is a highly commercial painting.
I can see this for sale in 1,000 galleries up and down the country
and you've captured this scene very quickly and very well.
However, we don't choose on a commercial basis here.
It comes down to originality. I have seen very similar pictures
a thousand times, from mid 19th-century France onwards.
Skill. I think to produce this
this well, this quickly, shows a great deal of skill.
I think because I've seen something similar so often it's a tricky one.
The judges don't seem sure Karl ticks every box.
Can he pull the two yes votes he needs out the bag?
Charlotte, what have you got to say?
Sticking to our criteria I have to say no,
I'm full of admiration for you. But I too must say no, I'm sorry.
It's a wonderful open air sketch,
but I'm afraid on the criteria, I think I need to say no as well.
I understand. Thank you. Thank you very much.
-I appreciate your comments.
-Great to meet you.
-Thank you. Lovely.
So for now, Karl's chances of getting to our exhibition,
and maybe making some cash, have been dashed, but he's taking it
all in his stride.
I was pleased with their critique. I understand what they said about not being original,
but you'd have to be an amazing innovator to reinvent the wheel
and what I try to... You know,
I just do what I love doing and I do it as best as I can. That's all I can say.
What will you take away from that experience and maybe use in your work?
I'm going to carry on doing what I love,
and learning, try to get to be as good a painter as I can possibly be.
Getting through to the exhibition is really tough going.
Remember, the judges are putting their reputations on the line.
The work that they put through to this exhibition will be
seen by their peers and collectors who may be looking to invest.
So let's remind ourselves exactly what the Hanging Committee are looking for.
First and foremost, it's got be original - derivative or copycat works are an absolute no no.
Secondly, technique is key - our judges know their stuff when it comes to wielding a brush.
And finally, it's that elusive X-factor -
does the piece send shivers down your spine, or just leave you cold?
One brave artist who risked the judges' wrath in London was Rob McPartland.
18 months ago, Rob jacked in his job as an art teacher
and took the plunge to paint full time.
Getting his work on show at the Royal College of Art
would be a dream come true,
as well as a chance to make some money.
He's pinning his hopes on this still life of a ladle,
which he's called Argo.
Rob, welcome to the Hanging Committee.
I'm fascinated to hear more about your work.
The painting is oil on canvas
and is a meditation on a small silver ladle, about that big,
on a piece of silk fabric.
Would you like to give us a valuation for your work?
The valuation I put on the picture was £5,500.
-£5,500. Do you mind if we have a closer look?
-Oh, please, please do.
For an artist craving recognition, it's a difficult moment.
Rob's fate depends on the subjective judgment
of three opinionated critics.
Rob, are we looking at that ladle lying on crumpled paper
or a crumpled sheet, or are we looking at it suspended?
Well, that's great.
The ambiguity is deliberate.
It was actually laid
on a piece of fabric.
-That's the fabric.
-So it was actually viewed from above.
But of course here, it has a feeling of being vertical as well.
I'm seduced by the background surface,
particularly the top half and the bottom left-hand side.
For a white background, there are some beautiful colours in there -
lilacs and peaches and greys and whites.
It's almost like looking down on mountains from above or something.
And the ladle in itself is well painted, the reflections are good.
I don't feel the relationship between the fabric
and I know that you said, Rob, that you like that ambiguity
but for me, looking at this work, I find that a bit of a problem.
I think I disagree with you.
I don't think the highlight on the handle particularly
is that well painted.
It's kind of reduced to a pattern in a way.
I accept what you say about the quality of the painting.
I did have particular trouble with the handle, but I felt that
it...worked well enough at the time.
It looks to me like an icon for some weird religious cult worshipping ladles.
I mean, I saw it connected to a tradition of still life.
Childlike wonder is a great thing in art and there's a lot, for my eyes of that in this.
I don't see any childlike wonder in that. It's a beautifully painted background.
I'm less interested in the ladle.
I don't get the relationship between the two, but there's nothing childlike in...
I find the realistic but not imagery of the background, which could be water,
it could be some sort of opaque fabric and then
the completely contrasting sort of globular form of this ladle.
-I think that's stunning.
-I think it's Rob showing...
Rob's painting has provoked a lively debate,
but has it got what it takes?
Is it original? Um...
I have never seen such a large picture of a ladle before
so the answer to that is obviously, yes, it is.
Technique, it's OK. Emotional involvement?
I'm a big fan of ladles when I'm serving out soup at Christmas, but not generally.
Right, I think that's enough from David.
The imagery, I think, is very, very gripping.
For me this is giving everything I need from a picture.
Rob hopes to make thousands from his artwork at the Exhibition.
For the chance of making a sale, he needs the judges' seal of approval.
I find this really difficult, Rob.
Charlotte's had both praise and criticism for Rob's ladle so will she be a yes, or a no?
I'm going to have to say no, I'm sorry.
That's a real blow for Rob. To get through he needs two yes's
and although Roy's been supportive, David's far from a fan.
I find it difficult despite my remarks because it's a very contemporary picture...
Well, I'm very, very sorry
to hear that from my fellow judges
because it's a resounding yes, from me.
-I'm very sorry, Rob. Thank you very much for bringing it in.
It's dashed the chances of the former art teacher
whose career change could have been fast tracked at the Exhibition.
But he's still got one champion.
What were you both thinking?!
Seriously, what are we doing sitting here if this isn't coming with us?
He's a good painter, but he's not connecting those two materials together.
That's really, really fundamental.
Bad luck, sir. Is there anything you wanted to say to David
because I could see visually when he gave his analysis, it hurt.
Of course it hurt.
I was disappointed that he couldn't read the painting
in any other way than that really superficial, literal manner.
There we are, that's the world, you know.
You put stuff out there and you have to take what comes back.
-Thank you for coming in. I'm sorry it didn't happen this time.
-Not at all.
It's been a great experience, and it was a pleasure to meet you.
-I wish you the very best of luck in the future.
-Thank you, Chris.
-Bye, nice to meet you.
All our Hanging Committees have been held in spectacular art galleries.
And I, for one, enjoyed the chance to nose around Liverpool's wonderful Walker Art Gallery.
It's a pretty imposing building and for good reason,
because it holds some of the best and biggest pieces of art in the UK.
Just have a look at this.
That chap is Samson and the painting itself is by Solomon J Solomon
and he produced it when he was only 27 years of age, and apparently he used his brother as a model.
It weighs nearly two tonnes
and it's been hanging here since 1887.
It's an incredible achievement for an artist so young, but we've met
plenty more ambitious young artists at our Hanging Committees.
One young hopeful who went before the judges in Liverpool was Barbara-Sally Humphries from Galway.
Barbara-Sally, nice to meet you. How are you?
A bit awkward. This is so far out of my comfort zone, but, you know, I'll be all right.
I've got a feeling you'll be able to handle it.
You're only 21, so one of our younger competitors.
-But fiercely ambitious I hear.
I don't know if it's youth speaking, but this is what I want to do with my life.
It's not something that I want to do as a hobby.
You've got to impress three judges.
What are you looking for from today's experience? What are you hoping for from them?
More than anything, I'm hoping for some really good constructive criticism.
-I wish you the very best of luck.
-Thank you very much.
-Go for it.
Barbara-Sally's bid for the exhibition spot where she could sell
for some serious cash rests on her hand-crafted rag doll.
Barbara-Sally, welcome to the Hanging Committee.
Would you like to tell us something about your work?
The first thing I'd like to talk about is the fact that it's from a series.
There's about eight dolls in total.
They all deal with very strong emotions for me
and moments in time where I felt something that's just uncomfortable,
and, having felt like that, I felt like I'd never move on
from that moment without creating something that embodied it,
so I didn't have to carry it with myself any more.
There's pieces of myself inside it.
There's my own hair. It's an embodiment
of a part of myself that I now wish to move on from.
That's very intense, Barbara-Sally.
Can you give us a price for your work?
I've put quite a high price on it because I feel anyone who did
wish to purchase it, it would be an investment in my future,
so I've priced it at £6,000.
-OK. Do you mind if we have a close look at it?
-No, not at all.
Thank you very much.
Barbara-Sally, do you mind if we touch it?
No, I don't mind if you touch it. It's quite a tactile piece, so...
-It does have a form of itself.
It's light, but it's weighted in all the right ways.
It's clearly a personal piece for Barbara-Sally and the judges' scrutiny could be hard to take.
You talked about this coming from a series of eight.
-Are they all personal moments to your childhood?
They're not all from my childhood, but they are all from my life.
But I just felt that this one was the strongest for me.
What are your ambitions? Where do you think you'll end, if there is an end?
I don't want there to be an end. I feel very passionately
about this and about what I do, and about expressing to others.
I know that it may come across as being a bit vain only dealing with myself.
I don't think you need to apologise about talking, working with your own experiences.
-It's what all of us do.
-It's all we've got.
Exactly, ourselves as human beings.
My worry is the work is not communicating the emotion you want it to communicate.
And I'm going to be very honest, when I saw it, just before you came in, I found it quite funny.
So MY concern is that,
-..you're not communicating to the viewer what you deeply feel this piece communicates to you.
-So maybe that's not a problem.
-I agree with Charlotte on that.
For me, the emotional importance was in making it, not in conveying that emotion to others.
It feels like this is a piece of installation art.
I feel that this fits with your other dolls.
And possibly this would work better with a group of them or as a time-based piece.
Some constructive criticism from the panel. But today it's the judges votes
that count if Barbara-Sally's dream of kick starting her career can come true.
Her rag doll needs to be original,
technically strong and emotionally moving.
In terms of originality, there's only one you and this is your memory.
Technically, I don't think this piece is about how you've made it.
It communicates what you want it to communicate.
-Emotionally, I think it's very strong for you.
I feel that I'm reading it wrong.
That mixture of deep and difficult emotion
and memory is not transmitted through a very amusing object.
But, you know, is it something that I would like to see in my home as a piece of art?
-I think it probably is.
I'm moved by what you say, but I'm not moved by the object.
OK, decision time. It's quite a difficult one to predict here.
Barbara-Sally only needs two votes to get a place in the exhibition, but will things go her way?
For this piece, no.
I think in the right context, yes. But for this piece, no.
It's not quite expressive enough. It's not quite there yet.
You're still getting there. Just keep working hard at it.
-No, I'm afraid.
-But it's very kind of you. I've enjoyed talking to you. Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
Well, it's not the result Barbara-Sally was looking for, but she's far from downbeat.
I think my piece got three no's, but I got three yes's.
I was just about to say, they were captivated.
So it's not all bad news, is it?
No, not at all. I thought they were going to tear chunks out of me.
But they were... They were quite respectful, actually.
I think it was a good experience apart from anything else.
Thank you for joining us. We wish you the very best of luck in the future.
-See you soon.
For those lucky artists who have made it here to the Exhibition they're having a great time,
because there are art dealers and connoisseurs everywhere you look.
I think we've got just enough time to have one more trip to the Hanging Committee.
Today's final contender met the judges in Glasgow
at the appropriately named House for an Art Lover, which was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
26-year-old Fiona Cockburn is fresh out of art school
and has her sights set on the big prize.
And are you used to criticism?
As long as it's constructive, I don't have a problem with it.
-If they start being malicious, I might have something to say about it.
-Are you going to bite back?
-Is that how you deal with it?
-We're from Glasgow. You've got to bite back!
-I'm looking forward to this one! I wish you the very best of luck.
-Your destiny is there.
-Go for it, grab it.
Fiona's presenting this triptych of Perspex panels,
showing three iconic Scottish lochs.
Getting her work on show in London would be a real coup
for such a young artist and a chance to make some cash.
Fiona, welcome to the Hanging Committee.
Would you like to introduce your piece, please?
This is The Lochs -
Loch Lomond, Loch Ness and Ffion.
I wanted it to be contemporary and Scottish and I wanted it to be cool.
I didn't want it to be in your face with tartan or shortbread or anything tacky.
I wanted to prove that Scottish art could be really cool.
I wouldn't accept anything less than £750 for a private sale.
-Can we have a closer look?
-Yes, you may, of course.
Fiona's confident her work could fetch hundreds, but she'll only
get the chance to sell in London if she wins the judges' approval.
The judges have made their close inspection.
Now, Fiona looks quite cool and calm.
But now it's question time.
Fiona, just explain...
how you did it. Are they on ceramic?
Two sheets of Perspex, a layer of coloured transparency in the middle,
which is then sandwiched together and sealed.
The areas that I want to leave and let you look through
are then masked off.
-The paint is then applied, the mask removed, touched up and then...
The three dimensionality and the glazes you've used...
-..that looks phenomenally difficult and very new to me.
-How did you manage that?
-The ultra high gloss was,
when you look at water when it's still
it has this gorgeous sheen to it and I wanted to try and recreate that.
And the only way I knew how to do that was to do a super-gloss finish on the paint job,
which involves hours and hours and hours of hand sanding, but there is
no doubt about it, it is just elbow grease, really, and a lot of work.
I'm fascinated by these, but I think it does come down to that question
of the boundary between decoration design and art.
That is the biggest question I have.
-Are they interior decorations or art?
-Like you're talking about.
There is a very fine line, we have to tread very carefully about that.
I mean, my initial reaction to these was that they're design.
You could have them replacing the three ducks
over the mantelpiece, couldn't you? The three lochs.
You could have a full set and change them around.
-But they're more interesting than that.
-That's more facetious than your last comment!
-Spot the loch.
-I find them quite beguiling.
-I find them very beguiling as well.
I like the stillness that you capture of...
-..when you look at a loch in the early morning,
that real stillness, you get a sense of the water.
They fit very well together as a composition,
working the one on the left like that and that...
Fiona's work has perplexed the judges.
Is it fine art or simply a stylish piece of decorative design?
Their final decision must be based on originality, technical skill and emotional impact.
Fiona, I think you've made the Scottish landscape look sexy.
The colours are fantastic, it really works, it looks great, it has a lot to say for itself.
They are quite original as...
I've seen cut outs before,
as we all have like this. Emotional involvement.
I might want to play a game and say,
"Can I identify a loch?",
nothing more, I'm afraid.
It's time for the vote. Remember, she needs two out of three to get
through to the Exhibition and the chance to sell her Perspex panels.
-Fiona, they're beautiful and that's enough for me. Yes.
-Thank you very much.
Fiona, I'm going to surprise myself and say yes.
It would have been a no from me, Fiona, because I don't think there's any art there.
But you'll be included in the Exhibition. Thank you for showing them to us.
-Thank you for your time.
-It's been an absolute pleasure.
See you again soon. Thank you.
Fiona's survived her ordeal and got the judges' seal of approval,
but will the buyers at the Exhibition be tempted by her Perspex panels?
Fiona's triptych is in pride of place at the Royal College Exhibition
and in the light of her success, she's gone for a bold guide price
-So, how's it going? Has it been worth the trip down from Scotland?
-Definitely worth the trip.
There's been a lot of interest in it and a lot of people making comments and saying they like it.
-Fingers crossed someone buys it.
You put £1,100 on it, but you said you might take less.
I might take less. Might.
Does this feel like quite a big step up from what you've been doing before?
I couldn't ask for anything better for my first exhibition
since leaving university. I think I'm doing OK.
That's fantastic. You ARE doing very well!
Well, Fiona she didn't receive any offers this time,
but for such a young artist fresh out of university,
this launch on the London art scene has been an incredible way to start.
That's it for today, but join us next time on Show Me The Monet when those judges will be meeting
more budding artists. But for now, bye-bye.
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