Episode 9 Show Me the Monet


Episode 9

Competition for a spot at a grand exhibition at the Royal College of Art. A potter from the Highlands shocks the judges with her shattering approach to making pottery.


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Transcript


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Britain's top artists make big money.

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Their works can go for millions.

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Six-million-five, seven million.

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So, how do you get a slice of the action?

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Now's your chance to find out as we offered all-comers

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the opportunity to fight for a spot at the hottest exhibition in town.

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Bring it on, please, open the door.

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-Art matters to me.

-This is something I want to do the rest of my life.

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They could stand to make some serious cash.

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What price have you put on?

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I've put it to between £5-10,000.

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-I'd like a £100,000 for it.

-Wow.

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But first they need the seal of approval from three of the art world's toughest critics.

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It looks like it's from the centrefold of a men's magazine.

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My first impression when I saw the picture was...was actual disgust.

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Their hopes and dreams are in the hands of the Hanging Committee.

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I think you need to go back to the drawing board, literally.

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It's time to Show Me The Monet.

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Hello and welcome to the Show Me The Monet exhibition

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here at the Royal College of Art in Central London.

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Some of the world's most famous names,

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Tracy Emin, David Hockney and Henry Moore have all studied here.

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Now, over the last few months

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artists ranging from seasoned professionals to rank amateurs

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have been braving our hanging committee

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in the hope that their work will find a place on these walls.

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Charlotte Mullins has written eight books on contemporary culture.

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She knows what it takes to cut it in the modern art world.

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We're looking for originality. It could be a new twist on an old subject.

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It could be a new subject, a new perspective on something.

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Critic David Lee's been holding the art establishment to account

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for over 20 years.

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His pet hate is work that's all explanation and no substance.

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I'm looking for good technique.

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I think it's very important that artists are able and good at what they do.

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And as an auction house expert Roy Bolton has sold thousands of paintings over the years,

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but he knows there's more to great art than just commercial value.

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We're looking for an emotional response, something we feel part of, something we care about.

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Coming up on today's show - one artist bites back...

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Emotional involvement...zilch.

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-Do you want to say what you think?

-LAUGHTER

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And for another, size really does matter...

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It looks so small! Why isn't it bigger?

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-Why didn't you, sort of, go for it?

-I will work larger next time.

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Let's find out if our judges found any talent in Glasgow.

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At the city's House for an Art Lover,

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I met a passionate potter from a tiny village in the Highlands.

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Alison Weightman is a mum of four boys who gives a whole new meaning

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to "firing" clay by shooting at her work.

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Alison was gunning for a spot at our London exhibition

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where her art would go on sale.

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Have you always been interested in art?

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I was told I had an affinity to clay when I went to night school

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when I was 18 and then when I moved to Scotland

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and went off to art school to do a degree in ceramics.

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Fantastic. What do you want out of Show Me The Monet?

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I suppose I just want people to see my work.

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Is that not what all artists want out of what they do?

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Standing in your way are three judges and they can be quite harsh, they can be quite tough.

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Are you ready for that?

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I'm quite harsh and tough as well.

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Oh, are you? I look forward to the fireworks in there now.

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Away you go. Good luck.

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I won't promise you that. Thank you so much.

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Her entry is a ceramic bowl, full of holes, entitled Shotgun.

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Alison's hoping it'll fire up the judges

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and secure an exhibition spot, which could get her name out there

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and if it sells, could make her some money.

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-Alison, welcome to the hanging committee.

-Thank you.

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Would you introduce your piece for us, please?

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Yes, it's a ceramic piece, which has been high fired

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but while the clay was still wet

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I shot it with a single round from a 12-bore shotgun.

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Well, that has stunned the judges.

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This candidate has blasted her work with a shotgun!

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I've actually got no desire whatsoever to harm a living thing.

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I simply used the shotgun as a tool, same as an Olympic marksman

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uses the rifle as a tool in a controlled and safe environment.

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Alison is a puzzle -

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she's a gentle soul who's found a provocative way to put her message across.

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I want the viewer just to simply contemplate the question

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of man's ability to tread the line

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between perfection and total destruction.

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What price do you put on this bowl?

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It's art. Is art not priceless?

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No, I would put a price of between 750 and £1,000.

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-I have sold pieces, you know, between 500 and 750.

-OK.

-But, you know, you lose a lot of pieces

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when you're producing work, you know, in this fashion.

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-OK, thank you. Do you mind if we have a closer look?

-Not at all.

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Well, at nearly £1,000, it's a pricey pot

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but Alison needs to account for all those breakages.

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Would you like to dong it?

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-DONG Like a Tibetan prayer bowl.

-It is.

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I'd be surprised if the judges have come across

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Alison's explosive style before and it's certainly a talking point.

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-And this is the result of one shot?

-One single shot.

-One barrel?

-One cartridge.

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Will they think it worthy of an exhibition spot,

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which could boost Alison's standing in the art world and drum up

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some business amongst art collectors and members of the public alike?

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What made you start shooting at your work?

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How do you make that first step?

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It's fuelled by the fact that I was shot as a child in the leg

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and I wanted to show people just what damage it did.

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Alison was once shot by accident with an airgun

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and now she's sending out a message about firearms. Will it get her points for originality?

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It's quite an old tradition in art, shooting at things.

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William Burroughs shot at his,

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-the American novelist, shot at his collages.

-Yes.

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Dennis Hopper shot one of Andy Warhol's portraits of Chairman Mao and sold it recently,

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so it's not something that's original, shooting at art objects and making them decorative, is it?

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-Not normally beautiful.

-It's growing on me quite a lot.

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I assumed that I could get bored very easily of something that has been shot at and that's just one idea.

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But actually every time I glance at it and look at it I think I could live with that at home

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as either an object sitting around or something with the meaning.

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Yes, the problem is if you did get bored with it

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you wouldn't be able to think "Hm, I can use it as a punch bowl".

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You could use it... you could use it as a colander.

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I don't think you'd ever use it.

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It's far too beautiful to be used as a kitchen implement.

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There's some confusion on the panel...

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is it an enduring, beautiful piece or just a quirky novelty?

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The mum of four is willing the judges to give her the chance

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to be seen at the exhibition, where the bowl would go on sale.

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For this exhibition we do have strict criteria. Originality is one of them.

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There is a tradition of shooting at artworks, but I haven't seen it in ceramics

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and technically you've got a very good end result.

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Alison scores points with Charlotte on originality and technique

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but will the others agree?

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Emotional content, it does for me, because of this line between creation and destruction.

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I think that's something I could live with that and revisit it and

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always be reminded of that in a very gentle way, in a very beautiful way.

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I tend personally not to go for things that sit there looking pretty and decorative,

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as this does, paradoxically, given the way it was made.

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Alison's poured her passion and her principles into the piece.

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At stake is a huge opportunity for her to make some cash

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and a splash on the London art scene amongst a guest list rarely spotted in her Highland community.

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All she needs now is two yes votes from the judges.

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Charlotte.

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Alison, I am going to say yes.

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Thank you.

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Roy?

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-Alison, I am going to say yes.

-Thank you so much.

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Do you know, I think I probably would have said yes, as well.

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Thank you.

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How strange.

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Bingo! Alison's hit the jackpot. But this is only the first hurdle.

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She's off to the exhibition, but will her work sell for the price she wants?

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This glittering event in Central London is a far cry

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from mum Alison's quiet life in the Highlands.

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She's put a guide price on her work of £975.

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And her ceramic centrepiece is certainly bowling over the guests.

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She's obviously shot it.

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The guests can make offers on any piece that takes their fancy.

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But Alison won't be negotiating directly.

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Anyone who wants to bid can make a sealed offer to the independent agent at the exhibition,

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who'll take a 10% commission.

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And if Alison does get any bids then she must accept offers that are over her guide price of £975.

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It's a nervous wait to find out if Alison has sold her work.

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-Well, we had an offer for your piece of work.

-Really?

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It was £653.

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So it was quite a long way below your asking price.

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How do you feel about that?

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You know, to have a bid, that's very nice.

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Do you think you'll sell?

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Yes, cos I don't want to take it home!

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So this is a sell for £653.

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-I'll say congratulations, put it there.

-Thank you so much.

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Alison's made a sale!

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The exhibition has been a resounding success for this mum from the Highlands,

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who returns to her village with a huge wad of cash in her back pocket!

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We asked all comers to send us their works of art,

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and the very best entries were sent to the hanging committees.

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Hello.

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The judges have had to assess art of all shapes and sizes,

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including sculptures, pictures, paintings and photos.

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Judging on originality, technique and emotional impact

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the judges have dashed some dreams and made others a reality.

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Thank you, thank you so much.

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Contenders needed two votes or more to get through to the exhibition.

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-Yes.

-And it's yes, from me.

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Oh! Thank you!

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Art student Andrew Thomson failed to impress with this wordy sculpture

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which he hoped to sell for £500.

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It's definitely, I'd say, quite concept-driven.

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The letters were laid out back-to-front and read spelt backwards

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"art rarely speaks to me" and they touched a raw nerve with David.

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Conceptual art isn't just a dead end,

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it's floating belly up in the Clyde as far as I'm concerned.

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David, how can you make such a ridiculous blanket statement?

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Next into the firing line was a DIY enthusiast who makes these

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crafty wooden sculptures.

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This is what I call a knot. I'm John Knott.

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There's a bit of a visual pun there.

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But he came a cropper when the judges questioned whether it was art or just an ornament.

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-This is an art exhibition. Where's the art?

-Yeah, I mean, for me...

-It's a no from me.

-OK.

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28-year-old artist Sandhya Pai was hoping to get to the exhibition

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and turn a pencil sketch of an old family photo into cash at the sale.

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It's a classic picture of four generations together, like a picture of the past.

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There's some very deft, crisp pencil work there.

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But ultimately the judges didn't think it would connect with other people.

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Emotionally it's obviously very personal to you

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but I'm not sure it translates that much. I'm sorry, it's a no.

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The judges' standards are exceptionally high.

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Dozens of hopeful contenders came to pitch their art for our exhibition, but fell at the very first hurdle.

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In London, I met retired illustrator and writer Jean Gilder.

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She's been thrilling generations of children with her drawings,

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including her own eight grandchildren!

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Jean is here at the Art Workers Guild to promote illustration as an art form

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and is in perfect company as it's home to a portrait of one of

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the most famous illustrators of all time, Arthur Rackham,

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who illustrated many children's books, including The Wind In The Willows.

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Nothing would make Jean and her family happier

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than to see one of her drawings on the wall at the Royal College of Art

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and a possible sale there would be an even bigger endorsement.

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Now, I do know something about you, you're our oldest participant in Show Me The Monet. How old are you?

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I'm eighty.

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-Can you believe that? You look so young!

-Thank you.

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So when did you get into illustration and painting then?

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Well, later in life I got married and had my children

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and was rather busy and finally started in my 40s, really,

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and was accepted by The Medici Society with a story and cards so then I was off.

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What are you doing now? Are you still illustrating, are you still selling your art?

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Well, I do pieces for local exhibitions and art clubs

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and I sell to commission, occasionally.

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What are you expecting from today, because it can get quite tough. Obviously you're showing your piece.

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Well, I think probably I can stick up for myself.

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-I wish you the very best of luck.

-Thank you.

-I'll shake your hand.

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Away you go and good luck, just help you from the stool

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and it's through those doors.

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OK, thank you, Chris.

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Whilst illustrations are normally made to go with text,

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there's debate over whether they can work as art in their own right.

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Jean believes they can and is hoping her colourful watercolour called

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Thimble Manor will prove it by earning a spot at the Royal College.

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But will it meet the judges' strict criteria of originality, technique and emotional impact?

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-Tell us about your work.

-Thank you.

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So this I got the inspiration when I was walking through a wood

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and saw these wonderful trees and a little old tumbledown hut

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with thatch on it and I thought that would make a wonderful subject.

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I did this over a period of weeks last year and enjoyed it thoroughly,

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putting everything into it I could think of.

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Would you like to put a financial value on it for us?

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Well, it's very difficult.

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Well, I thought about £400, it's quite a good one I think.

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-Do you mind if we have a closer look?

-Of course, do, yes.

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This grandmother is here to show the judges that her watercolour

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illustration of rabbits, hens and badgers could stand alone

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as a work of art at the Royal College.

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And to make money from a sale there would be a gold-plated seal of approval on her 40-year career.

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-Hi, Jean.

-Hello.

-You said you worked as an illustrator before

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-for many years.

-Yes.

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Do you see this as fitting within that tradition of illustration, or within a fine art tradition?

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Yes, I think, basically, I am an illustrator, really,

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and this is what I do, what I do best, I think.

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You'd absolutely have it as a card, as a poster, children would love it,

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gorgeous detail, the box is falling on the bunny in the attic,

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Mrs Badger with her bucket by the door,

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but we're judging a fine art exhibition, and so for that, it falls down for me.

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Charlotte's raised the thorny question that's on all the judges' lips -

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do they think illustration for children's books qualifies for their art exhibition?

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Remember, their reputations are on the line.

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Whenever I see illustrations like that I immediately go into the text.

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-It is the basis for a story, isn't it?

-It is, it is.

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I think every individual viewer can make up their own stories

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as they look at it, really, don't you?

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When it comes to art, I think art is slightly different to that.

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I know what you mean exactly, but I think there's a very fine line,

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isn't it? And I think what I do is extremely artistic.

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I don't mean to sound big headed or anything,

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but I put everything into it and a lot of drawing.

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Jean's sensing the judges' scepticism

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and she's not backing down.

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She for one firmly believes that her drawings count as art.

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Jean, I think you're right...

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there is a fine line between illustration and fine art

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-but there is a line.

-Yes.

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And I do feel that you are comfortably on the side

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-of illustration.

-Do you?

-I think you are technically superb

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-and your work deserves to be better known.

-Skill is phenomenal, it's clearly there.

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Thank you, that's kind.

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And originality within the context of what you're doing I'm sure

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-is there as well.

-Yes.

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Lots of positives, but has Jean managed to convince her

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biggest sceptic that her work speaks for itself?

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Original...yes, it is.

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-Technically, I'm very impressed with you as an illustrator.

-Thank you, thank you.

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-You could reproduce that on virtually anything and sell it, I don't doubt.

-Yes.

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Emotional involvement? Yes, the child in me loves these kinds of things

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but I like a bit of text to go with it as well.

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It's almost as though even though it's a picture, you know,

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it's only half the story.

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Jean's desperately hoping for at least two votes to take her

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to the Royal College, where showing and selling her work

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for lots of money would be a huge triumph for illustrators everywhere.

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But will the judges be prepared to put their necks on the line

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and put it through to their exhibition of fine art?

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-Jean, I'm sorry, it's a no from me.

-Is it? OK.

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Jean needs a yes from David to keep her dream alive.

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-No.

-Oh, that's it, oh. How sad.

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I'm sorry, it doesn't matter what I say,

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but I would say again it falls into illustration.

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Sure, I understand.

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Mine would have been a no but qualified with the skill is superb.

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-Thank you for those nice compliments anyway. Bye bye.

-Cheerio.

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The judges have dashed Jean's hopes of showing

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and selling at the exhibition.

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They loved her work but couldn't see it fitting in at the Royal College.

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That said, this grandmother of eight is still adamant

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her fairytale cottage should have gone through!

0:19:110:19:14

-You put up a fight there, which I liked about it.

-Did I?

0:19:140:19:16

Well, I think when you said, you know,

0:19:160:19:18

there's a fine line between illustration and art.

0:19:180:19:21

Well, you see, there's a lot of drawing in it and I actually

0:19:210:19:24

don't see what the difference is between drawing and fine art.

0:19:240:19:27

-They're all in the same house, aren't they?

-I tell you something.

0:19:270:19:31

You've given loads of pleasure to all of us here today.

0:19:310:19:34

Oh, thank you.

0:19:340:19:35

And I want to know what your diet is, because I want to look that good at 80 years, I promise you!

0:19:350:19:39

-But thank you very much for coming.

-Thank you so much, Chris, thank you.

0:19:390:19:43

Now, getting through to the exhibition is really tough going.

0:19:430:19:47

Remember, the judges are putting their reputations on the line.

0:19:470:19:51

The work that they put through to this exhibition will be

0:19:510:19:54

seen by their peers and collectors who may be looking to invest.

0:19:540:19:57

So let's remind ourselves exactly what the hanging committee are looking for.

0:19:570:20:02

First and foremost,

0:20:050:20:06

it's got be original, each work of art must be cutting edge.

0:20:060:20:10

Secondly, technique is key, each artist needs to be

0:20:100:20:14

a craftsman in their field. And finally, we need emotion.

0:20:140:20:18

Does the art leave you breathless, or just bored?

0:20:180:20:21

At the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, I met high-flying advertising creative Shaun Loynds.

0:20:260:20:32

He thinks today might just change his life.

0:20:320:20:35

At 42 years of age, he's at a crossroads.

0:20:350:20:37

What he really wants is to turn his back on the high-powered world of Mad Men,

0:20:370:20:41

the 6am starts and the daily grind, and follow his dream of painting.

0:20:410:20:46

A golden ticket to the Show Me The Monet exhibition

0:20:460:20:49

at the Royal College of Art and a chance to make his first ever sale

0:20:490:20:52

could be one giant leap towards a second career.

0:20:520:20:55

-Nice to meet you, Shaun.

-And you.

-How are you?

0:20:550:20:57

-I'm good thanks, yeah.

-You're looking remarkably confident, I like the look of you.

0:20:570:21:01

-Well, yeah.

-So, you've painted all your life?

0:21:010:21:05

Went to art college and even though one of my lecturers

0:21:050:21:08

said do not go into advertising, you're a painter, part of me

0:21:080:21:13

wishes I'd stuck with my first love and done that.

0:21:130:21:15

I've got a workshop at home. I'm normally in there from nine o'clock

0:21:150:21:19

or 11 o'clock at night, painting in the small hours,

0:21:190:21:22

just trying to have that opportunity to fulfil the desire to paint.

0:21:220:21:25

So maybe if you got recognition today that might be the first step?

0:21:250:21:28

Yeah, absolutely.

0:21:280:21:29

I mean, that was my main reason for entering the competition,

0:21:290:21:32

really, was to... Maybe that some people may see it and like what I do

0:21:320:21:36

and maybe commission me to make some work.

0:21:360:21:39

Are you looking to learn anything today?

0:21:390:21:41

Absolutely. Any comment or feedback about your work is always going to be helpful.

0:21:410:21:45

-Well, I wish you the very best of luck.

-Thank you very much.

0:21:450:21:49

So this is the work that Shaun's been creating in his workshop.

0:21:530:21:57

And there's a lot riding on it.

0:21:570:21:59

He hopes it will take him straight to our grand exhibition, where it will go on sale.

0:21:590:22:04

In his job, Shaun has to pitch ideas to clients regularly,

0:22:040:22:09

but how will he get on in front of his most fearsome audience yet?

0:22:090:22:13

Shaun, welcome to the hanging committee.

0:22:140:22:17

Could you explain the title of your work and tell us a little bit about it?

0:22:170:22:20

Yes, certainly. The piece is one of a series

0:22:200:22:23

called The Me I'm Meant To Be,

0:22:230:22:25

and The Me I'm Meant To Be just comes from the fact that

0:22:250:22:28

I'm a dad, I'm a husband, I'm a brother, I'm a son.

0:22:280:22:33

You suddenly find that you are lots of things but, actually, who am I?

0:22:330:22:38

At 42, what on earth have I done with my life, where am I going?

0:22:380:22:41

It's not a mid-life crisis, honest.

0:22:410:22:43

Can you tell us what the value of the work might be?

0:22:430:22:45

I mean, I would have said about £150,

0:22:450:22:48

I don't know if I'm being like a bit modest or too...

0:22:480:22:50

I think you're being very mean there. I think so, yes, yes.

0:22:500:22:54

-Oh, right. Thank you.

-Do you mind if we have a closer look at it?

-Absolutely. Please do.

0:22:540:22:58

It's a confident start. But, mid life crisis or not,

0:22:580:23:01

Shaun's not going to make a fortune by pricing this low!

0:23:010:23:06

He's used to criticism in his day job, but will the judges rate

0:23:060:23:10

or slate this complex piece done in charcoal, oil and pastels?

0:23:100:23:14

If it meets the mark, Shaun could be on his way to the exhibition,

0:23:140:23:18

where his work would be put up for sale for the first time ever,

0:23:180:23:22

and he could get the career-building commissions he dreams of.

0:23:220:23:25

Well, a few smiles from the judges.

0:23:250:23:27

But now is where the fun begins.

0:23:270:23:30

I'd like to ask about the patterns on the frame.

0:23:300:23:33

-They look like fashion fabric patterns.

-They are...

0:23:330:23:36

it literally is my little nudge at the whole idea that

0:23:360:23:39

I just can't ever fit into a pattern or, I know it probably

0:23:390:23:42

sounds like a cliche but I just can't fit into a set formula.

0:23:420:23:46

The colouration as well...

0:23:460:23:48

it's great, you know, blocks of vibrant, vivid, vibrant colours.

0:23:480:23:53

-Yeah, shapes.

-I disagree with Roy.

0:23:530:23:55

I don't think the colours are vibrant at all.

0:23:550:23:58

I think they're a bit muddy and, you know, I'm rather concerned

0:23:580:24:01

that... Why should we be interested in who Shaun wants to be if he doesn't draw it

0:24:010:24:10

particularly well and he doesn't paint it particularly well.

0:24:100:24:14

Ouch, that's got to hurt. David's slammed Shaun's painting technique.

0:24:140:24:18

What do the others think of this autobiographical piece?

0:24:180:24:24

I think this seems to me a very much, very internal, documentary, diary piece.

0:24:240:24:29

And that's my problem with it, because it's very personal to you, Shaun.

0:24:290:24:33

The symbolism in it is not...

0:24:330:24:36

is fantastic when you explain it, but really a great painting has

0:24:360:24:40

to convey that without a textual explanation.

0:24:400:24:43

The judges don't think that

0:24:430:24:46

Shaun's art speaks to them in the way he wants it to.

0:24:460:24:50

But Shaun isn't giving up on his dream of making a radical

0:24:500:24:53

career change and selling his work for big bucks like other more famous artists.

0:24:530:24:58

If you take Tracey Emin's bed, for example, OK, it's a bed

0:24:580:25:00

but once you see it in the flesh and you want to look through the notebook and to turn

0:25:000:25:05

the Polaroids over, then surely it creates a feeling...

0:25:050:25:08

-That is what we're trying to get.

-Yeah.

-Is that sense, when you see a work as a viewer, you want to

0:25:080:25:12

emotionally engage with it or you have to emotionally engage with it,

0:25:120:25:16

and this feels like a very personal work to you.

0:25:160:25:18

We as judges today are very privileged to meet the artist

0:25:180:25:22

and see the work, and that in an exhibition doesn't happen,

0:25:220:25:25

so the work has to stand alone.

0:25:250:25:28

Shaun's sensing his chances of getting through are slipping away from him.

0:25:280:25:32

His painting may have helped him analyse his role in life,

0:25:320:25:35

but does it only mean something to him?

0:25:350:25:38

Emotional involvement...zilch.

0:25:380:25:40

I don't think it's well painted and I don't think it's well drawn.

0:25:400:25:44

Well, for me...

0:25:440:25:46

Do you want to say what you think?

0:25:460:25:48

LAUGHTER

0:25:480:25:49

-He likes to hold back, does our David.

-Well said, well said!

0:25:490:25:52

I like the colours. I think the draftsmanship...

0:25:520:25:55

maybe you could spend more time,

0:25:550:25:58

if you're going to do something figurative, showing the real you as a face

0:25:580:26:01

maybe a bit more... Show us that you can do better than anybody else in the room.

0:26:010:26:05

-Yeah.

-It's important, I think, you do that.

0:26:050:26:07

I think you've got originality and I think you have emotional content.

0:26:070:26:11

For you, it's just about communicating that

0:26:110:26:14

to me or the viewer.

0:26:140:26:15

It's crunch time. Will Shaun's originality

0:26:150:26:17

save his chances of getting through

0:26:170:26:20

and making some cash at the exhibition sale?

0:26:200:26:24

His dreams of becoming a working artist

0:26:240:26:26

and getting a raft of money-spinning commissions are at stake.

0:26:260:26:29

He desperately needs at least two yes's.

0:26:290:26:32

-So, it's time to vote.

-Yeah, great.

-Erm, Charlotte?

0:26:320:26:36

I think we're selecting on very strict criteria,

0:26:360:26:39

so on the basis of those criteria

0:26:390:26:41

-I'm going to have to say no, sorry.

-OK.

-David?

0:26:410:26:43

-No.

-I'm afraid, for the reasons I gave...

0:26:430:26:47

-That's fine.

-..I'm a no also, but I do like the piece.

0:26:470:26:49

-I appreciate your comments.

-You did very well.

0:26:490:26:51

-Thanks a lot.

-Thank you.

0:26:510:26:53

Great to meet you.

0:26:530:26:54

-Not a problem.

-Cheerio.

0:26:540:26:56

It's a no to the advertising creative, who for now,

0:26:560:26:59

won't be ditching the day job.

0:26:590:27:01

-Commiserations.

-That's all right. I enjoyed that.

0:27:010:27:03

You say you're used to having your work analysed and criticised,

0:27:030:27:06

how was that in comparison to advertising?

0:27:060:27:09

Yeah, they were a bit soft on me, to be honest.

0:27:090:27:11

My creative director's been worse than that, yeah.

0:27:110:27:14

What are you going to take from today and go back into your work?

0:27:140:27:17

Maybe I should keep the colours a little cleaner.

0:27:170:27:20

I think the big thing, though, would be don't put too much

0:27:200:27:23

of yourself into the work, in that context, anyway.

0:27:230:27:25

Shaun, commiserations and I look forward to seeing you another time. Good luck with everything.

0:27:250:27:30

While in Liverpool I got a chance

0:27:330:27:35

to look around the Walker Art Gallery,

0:27:350:27:36

known as the National Gallery of the North.

0:27:360:27:39

It boasts some great masterpieces, some that are very large

0:27:390:27:42

and some that are very small, indeed.

0:27:420:27:46

Take, for example, this tiny painting.

0:27:460:27:48

Well, this is a Votive picture - like an offering to you and me -

0:27:490:27:53

to the Virgin Mary and this is by Raphael and, believe it or not,

0:27:530:27:57

when he painted this he was just

0:27:570:27:59

12 to 13 years of age. Quite incredible.

0:27:590:28:03

'In this grand setting I met Lydia Bauman,

0:28:030:28:06

'a professional artist with a long track record

0:28:060:28:08

'and today she's putting her reputation on the line.

0:28:080:28:12

'She's one of the most exhibited artists we've had on the show,

0:28:120:28:16

'and her work already sells for four figure sums.'

0:28:160:28:19

-Lydia, very nice to see you. You're cold.

-I am cold.

0:28:190:28:21

-Does that mean you're nervous?

-I think it's the weather.

0:28:210:28:24

It's the weather, thank goodness for that.

0:28:240:28:27

How do you feel about this whole experience?

0:28:270:28:29

It's exciting, it's a new experience.

0:28:290:28:32

The chance of actually standing in front of three proper critics

0:28:320:28:36

and actually hearing something constructive.

0:28:360:28:38

Are you good with criticism because it can get tough in there?

0:28:380:28:41

I'm OK with my work so I can give as good as I get.

0:28:410:28:45

That is what I like to hear as I'm just about to send you

0:28:450:28:48

through those doors. So the very best of luck.

0:28:480:28:50

Thank you, Chris.

0:28:500:28:51

-And hopefully we'll be celebrating.

-Thank you, we'll see.

0:28:510:28:54

-Away you go, see the judges.

-Bye, bye.

0:28:540:28:56

'She's taking a brave step today in putting her work up

0:29:000:29:03

'for scrutiny in front of our highly respected critics,

0:29:030:29:05

'whose stamp of approval would mean the world to her.

0:29:050:29:08

'And, of course, the opportunity to make a sale

0:29:080:29:11

'at our prestigious exhibition would be a huge boost to her career.

0:29:110:29:15

'Lydia's showcase piece is a scene from Italy

0:29:150:29:18

'and it's painted unusually in plaster, pigment, wax and sand.'

0:29:180:29:23

-Hello, Lydia.

-Hello.

0:29:250:29:26

Welcome to the hanging committee. Tell us about your work.

0:29:260:29:30

I brought today one of the many landscapes

0:29:300:29:32

I've painted over the years. It's a Tuscan landscape.

0:29:320:29:35

One of the reasons I love Tuscany is because it's hilly,

0:29:350:29:39

it's also beautiful and I do look for beauty and order

0:29:390:29:43

and mood in my work because I interpret it in a kind of technique

0:29:430:29:47

which is a kind of personal invention of mine, a technique

0:29:470:29:51

based on plaster, wax, resin, sand, texture gels and other things.

0:29:510:29:57

Can you give us a valuation of your work?

0:29:570:29:59

I would say 1,500, which reflects

0:29:590:30:01

both my current state in the market and the recession.

0:30:010:30:06

-That's based on the fact that you've sold work for £1,500.

-That's right.

0:30:060:30:10

We'd like to take a closer look at it.

0:30:100:30:12

-Yes, of course.

-Thank you very much.

0:30:120:30:15

So what are the judges going to make of Lydia's gritty style of painting?

0:30:180:30:23

Despite her use of basic DIY materials,

0:30:230:30:26

she's hoping that it will meet the high standards

0:30:260:30:29

for their exhibition at the Royal College

0:30:290:30:31

where she stands to sell for a four figure sum.

0:30:310:30:35

I'd just like to ask what brought you to using such glazes and texture?

0:30:400:30:45

OK, well when I was at University in my final year I was given a studio

0:30:450:30:49

very, very high up, up many, many narrow and rickety steps,

0:30:490:30:53

which meant that nobody ever bothered to come to see me, none of the tutors.

0:30:530:30:56

I found that when I tried to paint in the usual media of oil

0:30:560:30:59

or acrylic I wasn't satisfied with the texture,

0:30:590:31:02

the textures it offered,

0:31:020:31:03

so I bought my first, my first box of Polyfilla and never looked back.

0:31:030:31:09

I added other things - beeswax,

0:31:090:31:10

you can see that in the trees, a nice translucent sort of effect.

0:31:100:31:14

I can see the light on the side of the buildings you captured well.

0:31:140:31:17

The buildings are very sculptural.

0:31:170:31:19

You get a very good sense of the...of the configuration.

0:31:190:31:25

Now, I could build a model of those buildings.

0:31:250:31:27

I rather like those.

0:31:270:31:29

So far, so good for Lydia.

0:31:290:31:31

The judges are intrigued by her unconventional style.

0:31:310:31:35

This is the feedback that Lydia's been hoping for.

0:31:350:31:38

It's a thumbs up for her technique, but something's troubling David.

0:31:380:31:42

I'm just slightly worried about... it's Tuscany...

0:31:420:31:45

it's obviously a summer scene.

0:31:450:31:48

There doesn't seem to be much sense of heat or shadow. Why's that?

0:31:480:31:53

The shadows are very delicate shadows

0:31:530:31:55

but they come from the tree trunks, and you can see them.

0:31:550:31:57

If it was early enough to give you

0:31:570:31:59

that strong sun that comes from being low in the sky -

0:31:590:32:02

you have that on the buildings but the shadows don't suggest that.

0:32:020:32:06

There are no shadows at all on the further hill.

0:32:060:32:08

I mean, I think realism is not necessarily what I'm after.

0:32:080:32:11

It's for the painting to actually work visually.

0:32:110:32:14

But David's not finished yet. He's got another sticking point.

0:32:140:32:19

Could you tell me what the grey/green grooves are,

0:32:190:32:23

what crop is growing there?

0:32:230:32:25

I'm not particularly concerned about what crop it might be. It's an approximation.

0:32:250:32:29

Somebody looking at the picture will be.

0:32:290:32:31

-I think it's left to the imagination.

-All right.

0:32:310:32:34

Has Lydia's attention to detail let her down? Art is so subjective.

0:32:340:32:39

Lydia's dreams of getting the judges' approval

0:32:390:32:42

and winning a coveted place at the exhibition,

0:32:420:32:44

where she could sell for four figures, now hang in the balance.

0:32:440:32:48

Will she meet their three strict criteria?

0:32:480:32:51

Your technique's interesting.

0:32:510:32:53

You've developed a personal style.

0:32:530:32:55

I've not seen a work like this before.

0:32:550:32:57

However, I'm not sure that you're applying it

0:32:570:33:00

perhaps to the best of your advantage

0:33:000:33:03

and I'm not getting any emotional connection from...

0:33:030:33:06

to the work.

0:33:060:33:08

I would say I love your technique, I love texture in any flat art,

0:33:080:33:12

so I applaud you for that.

0:33:120:33:14

How you've chosen to put it together, skillwise, as I see

0:33:140:33:18

in this picture in front of me, I'm not quite there.

0:33:180:33:21

Originality of technique...

0:33:210:33:23

I've not seen anybody deploy quite as many gels,

0:33:230:33:27

grits and textures as you do, that's true.

0:33:270:33:32

Will we get the vote? Will she go to the exhibition?

0:33:320:33:35

I'm afraid it's no, Lydia, from me.

0:33:380:33:40

I'm afraid it's no from me also.

0:33:420:33:44

Well, it's a fait accompli for me.

0:33:440:33:47

Although I had reservations about it, I would have said yes,

0:33:470:33:51

but I think there's sufficient there

0:33:510:33:53

and you've organised the space well enough for me to have said yes,

0:33:530:33:57

but sorry, you won't be joining us in the exhibition, Lydia.

0:33:570:34:01

Thank you for your time. Very constructive, thank you.

0:34:010:34:04

It's a disappointment for Lydia.

0:34:040:34:07

She wanted feedback, but not like this.

0:34:070:34:10

She won't go to the exhibition

0:34:100:34:11

and she won't get to sell her work there.

0:34:110:34:14

Oh, I'm sorry about that.

0:34:140:34:16

It was very constructive and definitely food for thought.

0:34:160:34:20

There were some negative comments, what did you make of the comments?

0:34:200:34:24

I was a little bit surprised about the idea that everything should be

0:34:240:34:27

so realistic that, you know, people have to be able to know what crop it is.

0:34:270:34:31

It's a bit nonsensical, frankly.

0:34:310:34:33

You handled yourself extremely well, put your points across

0:34:330:34:36

-and you won't give up?

-Worse things have happened to me.

0:34:360:34:39

-Lydia, thank you for joining us.

-Thank you very much.

0:34:390:34:42

-I wish you the best of luck in the future.

-Thank you.

0:34:420:34:45

For those artists who made the grade

0:34:450:34:48

and are at the exhibition, they're really enjoying themselves.

0:34:480:34:51

It's in full swing. Let's meet our final contender.

0:34:510:34:54

We met the last contender on today's show at London's Foundling Museum.

0:34:580:35:03

Rory Clarke is a passionate amateur who's taught himself

0:35:030:35:06

to paint from scratch and loves to experiment with his art.

0:35:060:35:10

He has struggled to afford basic art materials

0:35:100:35:13

so makes use of whatever he can find.

0:35:130:35:16

In this case, some old fence panels!

0:35:160:35:18

This work, curiously entitled Grom Ollie,

0:35:180:35:20

is a graffiti-style skateboard scene,

0:35:200:35:22

painted from a photo taken by a friend.

0:35:220:35:25

He's hoping it will end up on the walls of the Royal College,

0:35:250:35:28

his first prestigious exhibition.

0:35:280:35:31

What's more, a sale there would earn him some extra cash

0:35:310:35:34

to plough back into his art.

0:35:340:35:37

Rory, welcome to the Hanging Committee.

0:35:370:35:39

Tell us about your work of art.

0:35:390:35:41

I'll say three things about it.

0:35:410:35:44

I have friends and I like to look at their photographs

0:35:440:35:47

and when I see one which engages me, I decide...

0:35:470:35:49

I choose to interpret what they've done.

0:35:490:35:53

Secondly, it's about the human body.

0:35:530:35:57

I like images that capture the human form in what seem to be unnatural poses.

0:35:570:36:01

And the third thing is part of my art practice is to improvise,

0:36:010:36:04

it's to work with what I have to hand,

0:36:040:36:06

especially with this piece because what I had to hand was old fence panels.

0:36:060:36:10

What would you value this particular work at?

0:36:110:36:13

I'd put a four-figure sum on it,

0:36:130:36:15

because I don't really want to sell it.

0:36:150:36:17

Well, this is a turn up for the books.

0:36:170:36:20

Unlike others artists we've had on the show,

0:36:200:36:23

Rory doesn't want to sell.

0:36:230:36:24

I haven't put my work in this programme

0:36:240:36:27

perhaps for the same motive as some people.

0:36:270:36:29

It's really the feedback from folk like yourselves,

0:36:290:36:32

which I would not normally have access to, which I'm wanting to hear.

0:36:320:36:36

If it does go to the exhibition and sell,

0:36:360:36:38

it's worth making the sacrifice to get the feedback.

0:36:380:36:42

Have you sold other works?

0:36:420:36:43

-I've sold one other painting.

-OK.

0:36:430:36:45

-How much did you get for it?

-£50.

0:36:450:36:48

-Do you mind if we take a closer look?

-Please do.

0:36:480:36:51

It looks like Rory will only part with his fence panel

0:36:530:36:58

if he gets offers over £1,000!

0:36:580:37:00

A chance for this new artist to get honest feedback

0:37:000:37:03

from our three heavyweight critics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

0:37:030:37:08

Rory's desperate for them to say he's one to watch.

0:37:080:37:10

-(It's like decking.)

-(Yeah.)

0:37:120:37:14

With no track record, will the judges think his fence panel

0:37:140:37:17

is worth a spot at the exhibition,

0:37:170:37:19

where everything's for sale

0:37:190:37:21

and new artists can indeed earn thousands?

0:37:210:37:24

Rory, I've been looking at your shoes

0:37:240:37:26

-and thinking you must be quite a keen skater.

-No.

-You're not?

0:37:260:37:29

No, I'm not.

0:37:290:37:30

-I was reading this as a self portrait, or as you on the board.

-No.

0:37:300:37:34

-It's not?

-No.

0:37:340:37:36

-The title gives it away.

-To you, maybe.

0:37:360:37:38

-Can you explain to lay people like myself an Ollie, please.

-So uncool.

0:37:380:37:42

I do know what an Ollie is.

0:37:420:37:43

A grom, and the title which is Grom Ollie...

0:37:430:37:45

grom is a sort of adolescent surfer or skater

0:37:450:37:49

up to the age of say 13, 14.

0:37:490:37:52

Looks like Roy, our expert in old masters,

0:37:520:37:54

is also a secret skater-boy!

0:37:540:37:57

So what does he make of this piece?

0:37:570:37:59

-This splattering, this white underneath on the wall.

-Yes.

0:37:590:38:02

Is that in any way realistic?

0:38:020:38:04

I took it as being white surf,

0:38:040:38:05

with the similarities between skating and surfing.

0:38:050:38:08

It's coincidental that you've read it in that way.

0:38:080:38:11

A lot of the way that I've applied the paint to it is experimental.

0:38:110:38:17

It doesn't disappoint me so much

0:38:170:38:19

that perhaps it's not as immediately understandable

0:38:190:38:22

as perhaps Banksy's work, for example, would be.

0:38:220:38:25

That may provoke people to engage with the painting a little more.

0:38:250:38:29

But you see...you're painting it in a gritty, in-your-face style

0:38:290:38:35

and it looks so small.

0:38:350:38:39

Why isn't it bigger? Why didn't you sort of go for it?

0:38:390:38:41

-Well, that's a good question.

-It's sort of almost apologetic.

0:38:410:38:44

It's an experimental piece, and I will work larger next time.

0:38:440:38:48

Never mind next time, Rory!

0:38:480:38:50

The judges need to assess THIS work on their strict criteria

0:38:500:38:54

and they seem genuinely stumped as to whether it's any good.

0:38:540:38:58

In terms of originality,

0:38:580:38:59

I haven't seen a work like this before.

0:38:590:39:02

From a technical perspective, I really like

0:39:020:39:04

how you have combined the materials that you have access to.

0:39:040:39:08

It shows that if you don't have much money,

0:39:080:39:10

you can still create something quite interesting

0:39:100:39:13

using, you know, a mate's photograph, fence from your garden.

0:39:130:39:16

Where it perhaps falls down for me,

0:39:160:39:18

I'm still not decided, is emotionally.

0:39:180:39:20

I'm not connecting with it as much as I should.

0:39:200:39:25

It's a bit crude in places, that painting.

0:39:250:39:27

It's not as descriptive or as evocative as it might be for me.

0:39:270:39:31

David and Charlotte are struggling to connect with it on an emotional level.

0:39:310:39:36

But will it click with Roy, our skater boy?

0:39:360:39:38

I like the material you've worked on, plenty of originality in areas,

0:39:380:39:42

sort of white surf, the kind of pebble dashing...

0:39:420:39:46

it works quite well and the feeling

0:39:460:39:49

of this man and gravity falling through, I think works quite well.

0:39:490:39:52

It's still all up in the air for Rory,

0:39:520:39:55

who's hoping to hear that he's got real talent.

0:39:550:39:58

Oh, Rory, I don't know what to do.

0:40:010:40:03

OK, I think if I'm this undecided,

0:40:060:40:09

I should give you a shot. I'm going to say yes.

0:40:090:40:11

Rory needs just one more yes,

0:40:130:40:14

but will David be sending him to the Royal College?

0:40:140:40:17

No.

0:40:200:40:21

The verdict could go either way.

0:40:210:40:24

Does Roy think this struggling amateur

0:40:240:40:26

deserves the chance to break through into the limelight?

0:40:260:40:30

It's a tricky decision.

0:40:300:40:32

I don't mean to milk this one but I'm still on the fence myself,

0:40:320:40:35

no pun intended with your fence medium.

0:40:350:40:38

I think...

0:40:380:40:39

you're worth a shot,

0:40:390:40:42

so it's a yes from me.

0:40:420:40:43

-Congratulations, Rory.

-Thank you.

0:40:450:40:47

We look forward to seeing you and your picture again.

0:40:470:40:50

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:40:500:40:51

Rory has skated through to the exhibition at the Royal College

0:40:510:40:55

and got the official stamp of approval that he came looking for.

0:40:550:40:59

But that's only the first step.

0:40:590:41:01

Rory could be facing a huge dilemma at the sale.

0:41:010:41:04

He really doesn't want to part with his art

0:41:040:41:06

but what if he does get a bid that tickles his fancy?

0:41:060:41:09

Rory normally exhibits in empty shops, council spaces

0:41:140:41:18

and his friends' living rooms.

0:41:180:41:20

To get a place at the prestigious Royal College

0:41:200:41:23

is a huge promotion for this self-taught amateur.

0:41:230:41:27

Does this feel like a kind of step in the right direction for you at an exhibition?

0:41:270:41:31

Just to have my work on the wall, properly lit

0:41:310:41:35

with such an incredible variety of such high quality work,

0:41:350:41:39

I'm very, very pleased.

0:41:390:41:41

This has been fantastic fun. I'm really, really enjoying it.

0:41:410:41:45

Rory used some old fencing because he couldn't afford a canvas

0:41:450:41:49

and now he's at an exhibition

0:41:490:41:51

where buyers, dealers and members of the public

0:41:510:41:53

are bidding hundreds and thousands of pounds for artworks.

0:41:530:41:57

Rory said he had no interest in selling his work,

0:41:570:42:01

but all this flashing of cash seems to have whetted his appetite.

0:42:010:42:04

He's had a radical change of heart and given his work

0:42:040:42:07

a £700 guide price.

0:42:070:42:09

I went to visit a gallery on Saturday

0:42:100:42:12

and saw a painting there I had quite an extreme emotional reaction to,

0:42:120:42:16

so now I'm really quite hoping it will sell

0:42:160:42:18

because then I can go there the day after and hand over the money.

0:42:180:42:21

OK, well, if we can get some people over here and get them

0:42:210:42:25

-to part with their readies, then that could happen.

-Yeah.

0:42:250:42:28

Unfortunately, Rory's painting didn't get any bids on the night,

0:42:300:42:33

but the feedback he got definitely put paid to any serious disappointment.

0:42:330:42:38

People said very kind things.

0:42:380:42:39

I got some really, really helpful feedback, really, so...

0:42:390:42:43

That's the main reason I put it in.

0:42:430:42:45

I won't get depth and maturity in my work without that feedback,

0:42:450:42:48

so it was really helpful.

0:42:480:42:50

It means a great deal.

0:42:500:42:51

It represents a significant step forward in things I've tried to do,

0:42:510:42:54

so I've not lost anything here.

0:42:540:42:56

I wish you the very best of luck. It's been a real pleasure meeting you.

0:42:560:42:59

-Thank you.

-And I hope this journey continues.

0:42:590:43:02

It will.

0:43:020:43:03

All in all, a great experience!

0:43:030:43:05

Rory certainly got the thumbs up he desired

0:43:050:43:07

and a launch at the Royal College has positioned him

0:43:070:43:10

as a brand new talent to be reckoned with.

0:43:100:43:15

That's about it for today, but join us next time on Show Me The Monet

0:43:150:43:18

where the judges could give an artist a chance of a lifetime.

0:43:180:43:21

See you then, goodbye.

0:43:210:43:23

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:280:43:31

Email [email protected]

0:43:310:43:33

Series following the fortunes of amateur and professional artists from all over the United Kingdom, as they battle it out for a spot at the Show Me the Monet grand exhibition and sale at the Royal College of Art in London, where members of the public and the art world alike will bid to buy the best of the art work on show.

Contenders could stand to make some serious cash, but first they need the seal of approval from three of the art world's toughest critics. To win a spot at the exhibition and the chance to sell and make some money from their work, hopeful artists must first face the Hanging Committee, where their hopes and dreams could be made or dashed.

A potter from the Highlands shocks the judges with her shattering approach to making pottery. Will Allison Weightman's blasted bowl make it to the Royal College of Art and sell for a decent profit? Or will Rory Clark, who decided to paint on some old fence panelling instead of a canvas, impress the judges with his creativity?


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