Episode 2 Show Me the Monet


Competition for a spot at a grand exhibition at the Mall Galleries, this time a jazz musician and professional sculptor put their art on the line.


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Transcript


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Britain's top artists make big money. Their works can go for millions.

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9.5 million. 10 million. 10.5 million. 11 million.

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Up and down the country, thousands of ordinary people

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are also trying to get a piece of the action.

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They're putting their necks on the block

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for the chance to sell at the hottest exhibition in town.

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The Mall Galleries. Fabulous!

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I've just had a possible Lottery winning moment!

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It could be the start of a different career for me.

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These artists could stand to make some serious cash.

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What valuation do you put on this painting?

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£45,000.

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But first they need the seal of approval

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from three of the art world's toughest critics.

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I honestly think it would disgrace the walls of a community centre.

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Their hopes are in the hands of the Hanging Committee.

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Fantastic piece of work. The best thing I've seen so far.

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I think you're one to watch for the future.

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It's time to Show Me the Monet.

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Hello and welcome to Show Me the Monet.

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Over the past few months, ambitious artists,

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both amateur and professional, have been appearing

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before our rigorous judging panel, the Hanging Committee.

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Their aim, to be selected to show

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and sell their work at our prestigious London exhibition

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at the Mall Galleries, just down the road from Buckingham Palace.

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But to get there, they have to get past

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three of the most demanding critics in the business.

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David Lee is the bad boy of the art world.

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He's the scourge of the art establishment in general,

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and the Turner Prize in particular.

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Good technique through practice is essential.

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Without it, they'll get nowhere.

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Roy Bolton is an expert in Old Masters, who's valued art

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for some of the world's most exclusive auction houses.

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Originality is the backbone of any great artist.

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If it's been done to death already, why should anybody pay attention?

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And contemporary specialist Charlotte Mullins

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has applied her critical eye

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to some of the industry's most prestigious competition.

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Great art has to have emotional impact.

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It has to have the power to move us.

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That's what I'm looking for.

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Thousands of hopeful artists applied,

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but only the very best would be selected

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to show their work at the Mall Galleries.

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I'm going to say yes.

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Coming up on today's programme,

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straight talking judge David goes right for the jugular.

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You can see from Cappadocia that that's a rotten painting.

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And the panel are moved

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by one artist's amazing struggle against adversity.

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It's showing the anger and the frustration of

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not being able to get my words out,

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due to the stroke.

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Eltham Palace, South London, once home to the entire Tudor court,

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and later taken over in the 1930s by society couple

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and great patrons of the art, Stephen and Virginia Courtauld.

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It was here, in the magnificent great hall,

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that the judges set up their Hanging Committee.

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They sat on the dais, where the kings and queens

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of medieval England once dined,

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as artists from all over the country arrived to face the judges.

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First up was former doctor, 57-year-old Feza Erkeller-Yuksel.

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Turkish-born Feza was in the medical profession for 30 years,

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before she took early retirement and became an artist.

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She's no stranger to starting over.

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In the 1980s she was sentenced for eight years imprisonment in Turkey

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for speaking out against the fascist government.

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She fled the country with her family and came to the UK as a refugee.

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And she worked her way up the career ladder to become a consultant.

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Now she wants to make a living from her art.

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-Welcome.

-Thank you.

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So what do you want to get out of being on this programme, Show Me The Monet?

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I think it will endorse my new career as a painter.

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-And it will open new doors to me.

-You said career.

-Yeah, I...

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So it's not a hobby, it's a career, you want to do this professionally?

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-It is not a hobby, yes.

-Really?

-Yeah.

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-And are you confident?

-Yeah.

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-How confident?

-Very!

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Oh, I like it! You've convinced me.

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-Yes.

-But you've got to convince three judges.

-Yeah.

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-Are you OK with being criticised?

-I'm tough. I'm tough.

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I've been through a lot!

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I bet you have! Now if you do get to our exhibition...

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-Yeah.

-..And you do sell, what's this going to do for you?

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What do you want to do with the money?

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Well, there are two things I still want to do.

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One is to learn about photography. Also I want to try printing.

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-And it'll get you on those courses?

-Yeah.

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-Develop your career. Well, I love your confidence.

-Thank you.

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And we wish you the very best of luck. Through those doors there.

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Feza has given up a highly respected career in rheumatology

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to dedicate herself to her passion,

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and she believes she can make money out of her art.

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But will her oil on canvas, entitled The Edge, convince the judges?

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I'm feeling nervous. I haven't slept very well last night.

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I'm scared of one of the judges, David.

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He's a bit cynical and grumpy.

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-Hello, Feza. Welcome to the Hanging Committee.

-Thank you.

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Please tell us about your painting.

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My painting is called The Edge. It's an oil landscape from Turkey.

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This is a very unusual area called Cappadocia.

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My grandfather escaped prison, and even death penalty, in 1920,

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when the British occupied Istanbul.

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And he took his five kids and young wife,

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they came back to this area for safety.

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66 years later, I had to flee from Istanbul in a week

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with my three-year-old daughter and husband,

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because of a political problem.

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And then I came to England for refuge.

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The painting is clearly packed with emotional significance for Feza.

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But will it resound with the judges?

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Now, Feza, how much do you want for your painting?

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-£1,900.

-Have you sold any work?

-But have you sold, yes?

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I've sold five works so far.

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But, so you're not selling regularly in a gallery for £1,900.

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No, I sold one in a charity auction, one in an exhibition,

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and the other to, you know, to people I know.

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How long did it take you?

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-Two months.

-How many hours do you think you've worked on it?

-Um, 80?

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-80 hours.

-Yes.

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And £1,900 for an unknown artist.

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I don't think you can measure art like that.

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No. But it's just quite a lot for a work by an artist who,

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-by your own admission, is not that well known.

-Yes. Yes. Yes.

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If Feza sells her painting, she'll spend the money on photography

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and printing courses.

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But she's never before sold a piece for such a large amount.

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-Could we come and have a closer look?

-Please do.

-Thank you.

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Feza has fled persecution in Turkey

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and made a success of her life as a doctor in Britain.

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But can she repeat her success in the medical field in

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the much more uncertain world of art?

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The judges are looking for originality, technical skill

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and emotional impact.

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Feza's painting will have to tick all these boxes,

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and she'll need two yeses from the panel

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to get through to the exhibition.

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Part of me thinks that the way you've painted the rocks

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suits the subject really well, it's made them kind of unusual

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-and anthropomorphic, so they almost look alive.

-Yes. Yes. Yes.

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Is this your style for all your work?

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I think the curves of a human body is quite similar to these forms,

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and I think that was the landscape

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I saw for 30 years working as a doctor.

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This sinuous form on the right here, I mean, what is it?

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Is it rock? Or is it a path? Is it a piece of cloth?

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This is a...this is a path actually.

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Well, it doesn't look like it, Feza.

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I think an artist should be able to, to play around a little bit

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with perspective, I don't think it needs to be...

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I think a painter should be able to paint.

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Ouch! What was Feza saying about cynical and grumpy?

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David's clearly not convinced by Feza's technique,

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but Charlotte rather likes it. This could still go either way.

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Roy?

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Feza, I'm afraid I find it sort of sub-Dali in originality.

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So, so it doesn't really have it for me.

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And as far as the technical ability and skill goes,

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there's no real draughtsmanship here.

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It's time for the judges to cast their votes.

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Remember, Feza is a brand new artist.

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A place at the Mall Galleries could really launch her career.

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But are the judges prepared to give her a chance?

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Roy, yes or no?

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I'm afraid, Feza, it's a no.

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David, yes or no?

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No.

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Feza, I'm afraid I would say no too, but don't be disheartened.

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And thank you so much for bringing your painting to see us today.

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-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

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It's game over for Feza.

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She's set herself a very ambitious goal,

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to achieve recognition as a professional artist.

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And she certain has the passion to succeed.

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But the judges don't feel her work is of a high enough standard.

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You can see from Cappadocia that that's a rotten painting.

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-Oh, Feza!

-Yeah, terrible!

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No, not terrible. Commiserations. I mean, how do you feel?

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Is there anything you disagreed with?

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They say it's not original, but to me it's original,

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to a lot of other people it is.

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I'm looking at your little face,

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-I know you were confident when you went in.

-Yeah.

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-We haven't knocked the confidence out of you, have we?

-No.

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I'm a tough cookie.

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You're a tough cookie! A tough cookie with a lovely smile.

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-Commiserations.

-Thank you, Chris.

-And we'll see you next time.

-Bye.

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To win a place at the exhibition, we asked artists

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both amateur and professional to send us their work.

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And we had entries from all over the country,

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from drawings to photos to paintings to sculptures.

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But only the best got through to our Hanging Committee.

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Our next contender was 41-year-old jazz musician

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Adrian Sykes from Bristol.

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Adrian fell into the jazz scene after art school,

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and was soon making a precarious living

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busking and doing pavement art on the streets of Europe.

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He went on to play in bands up and down the country,

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until recently deciding to go back to art

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to see whether he's got what it takes

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to make it as a professional artist.

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The chance to make some cash by selling his work

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at our exhibition is just the break he needs.

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-So great adventures.

-Yeah.

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But now are you saying to yourself, "I'm going to take this seriously?"

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Yeah, absolutely, yeah. It's something that I've wanted to do,

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and certainly progressively over the last few years, I've really,

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it's been my main passion.

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What difference, then, would it make to make our exhibition then?

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I think apart from obviously exposure and all that side of it,

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to have the sort of confidence that you get

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from other people believing in you is enormous.

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OK, if you sold, what would you spend the money on?

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I think I would, well, I would love to do some more travelling

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-and combine that with art.

-Brilliant. Well, I'm intrigued.

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-I'm looking forward to it. Good luck.

-Thank you. Good to meet you.

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-The judges are through that door.

-Cheers. Thank you.

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As a former pavement artist,

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Adrian must be used to people walking all over his work.

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But he'll be hoping for a very different reaction

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in today's Hanging Committee.

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He's submitted this huge pencil drawing of London,

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which he hopes will impress the judges.

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-Hi, Adrian.

-Hi there.

-Welcome to the Hanging Committee.

-Thank you.

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Would you like to say something about your drawing?

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Yeah, the drawing's called Some Kind Of London.

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And it's been an ambition of mine to try and tackle London,

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to try and make this kind of huge and imposing city

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into something more of an imaginative and personal portrait.

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It took about a year to do, so a year to draw.

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So yeah, quite a few pencils were gone through!

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THEY ALL LAUGH

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What value do you put on this?

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-I'd put, I'd like to put 12,500 on it.

-OK.

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That's great. I think we definitely need to have a closer look at it.

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Yeah! Sure.

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£12,500 is one of the higher valuations

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we've had on the show.

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But for a year's work, I would say that's a bargain.

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The judges are now scrutinising every brick and alleyway in the drawing,

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and Adrian is looking suitably nervous.

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-It took you a year?

-Yes, it took me over a year, doing...

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And you're charging 12,500 quid for it?

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Mmm-hmm.

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The rich will like this. And so make them pay.

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HE LAUGHS

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Charge twice as much.

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Right! OK.

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That kind of advice must be music to Adrian's ears.

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Double your money, my friend.

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Adrian, this is your idiosyncratic view of London, from your mind.

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-Yeah.

-So you are using a city I know and love

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and have lived in for 20 years.

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Yes.

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But everything's in the wrong place!

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-Yeah.

-And I'm looking at Big Ben and going, "It's too small."

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I'm looking at the Shard and going, "Tower Bridge isn't there."

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When I'm looking I'm going, "And the point of moving them is?"

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I am like a kid in a sweetshop for this.

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I absolutely love it.

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You will make an absolute fortune with this by reproducing it

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and selling it in many different ways.

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That is extraordinary praise from our resident art dealer, Roy,

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who's quick to spot the commercial potential.

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But Charlotte seems to be getting lost with the landmarks.

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If Adrian wants to navigate his way to the exhibition,

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he needs another ally in David.

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It's very quirky and charming the way you've changed things.

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But I'm just not sure it's sufficient.

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Mmm-hmm.

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So it's time for a vote.

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And whether this should be in our exhibition or not.

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Adrian has spent a lifetime scraping by.

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Now vast sums of money are nearly within his grasp.

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His dream of travelling and making a living from his art

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could be decided in the next few seconds.

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Adrian, I will start. I think I've already made it clear. Yes.

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Charlotte.

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It falls into a chasm between cartography and art for me.

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I'm afraid it's a no.

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I don't think there's enough art in this.

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I really don't.

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But it's a talking point. So let's see what the public thinks.

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Yes.

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Two yeses. Adrian is over the first hurdle.

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He's bagged a spot at the Mall Galleries,

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and the chance to sell his quirky view of London

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for more than he ever dreamed it could be worth.

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Good call, David.

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I would go to the art exhibition just for this alone.

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The question now is, will anyone want to buy Adrian's drawing?

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The Mall Galleries, London.

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And Adrian's drawing of the UK's capital city

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was looking right at home.

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The exhibition was open to the public, art dealers and critics.

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And Adrian and his picture were the centre of attention throughout.

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I love this one here that looks like an old, sort of, etching,

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but it's contemporary London, cos there's the wheel.

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I love the compressed view of London.

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I know there's lots of landmarks in there, and the longer you sit

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and look at that picture, the more there is in it.

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But would anyone want to buy Adrian's drawing?

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He took the judges' advice and upped his guide price

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from £12,500 to £24,500

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The public were invited to make sealed bids to an independent agent,

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who would take a 10% commission on sales.

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The results of the bidding were handed to me in a sealed envelope,

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to be revealed to the artist and the public

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on the final day of the exhibition.

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Until I opened that envelope,

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even I didn't know what bids had been placed.

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-Here we go then.

-Yeah.

-Moment of truth.

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Right. OK.

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24,500 is what we're looking for.

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We only had one offer.

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Despite the fact that it was the talk of the town, basically.

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-And it was for 5,500.

-Mmm.

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THE CROWD MURMUR

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Oh! The crowd aren't happy with that.

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The crowd aren't happy with that.

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And I can see your family and friends all going, mmm!

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How do you feel about that?

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Well, it's still a lot of money to have, you know,

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to sell a piece of work at that much, but I think,

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I think certainly for the amount of work and the time that it took me,

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I don't know whether that quite reflects, you know, those hours.

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So you're gonna turn that down?

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I think I will, actually. I think I will.

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-Although it would be a good night out with the lads.

-THEY APPLAUD

0:17:410:17:43

Well, Adrian, it's been a real pleasure meeting you.

0:17:430:17:46

-You too, thanks.

-Give him a hug.

0:17:460:17:48

I'm sorry we don't have any cash for you, Mummy!

0:17:480:17:51

The very best, give him a cuddle.

0:17:510:17:52

Adrian may not have sold, but shortly after the show

0:17:540:17:57

he was invited to display his work at a group exhibition

0:17:570:18:00

in Hertfordshire, and has since sold a number of prints of his drawing.

0:18:000:18:04

Artist after artist brought their work along

0:18:120:18:14

to the Hanging Committee in the hope of impressing the judges,

0:18:140:18:19

and the standard of the art was incredibly high.

0:18:190:18:22

But not everybody made it through.

0:18:220:18:25

Charity worker and amateur photographer, Gillian Gamble,

0:18:250:18:28

came to the Hanging Committee with her Peter Pan-inspired photograph.

0:18:280:18:32

It's a staged photograph, taken four storeys up

0:18:320:18:35

in my hometown of St Andrews.

0:18:350:18:36

But it wasn't long before our very own Captain Hook

0:18:360:18:40

brought her hopes crashing back down to earth.

0:18:400:18:43

Your friend nearly died for your art.

0:18:430:18:47

But the question is, was it worth it?

0:18:470:18:50

And the answer is, no, it wasn't.

0:18:500:18:52

And Charlotte felt Gillian's talents perhaps lay elsewhere.

0:18:520:18:56

-It's a lovely fashion photograph, but it's no, I'm afraid.

-Thank you.

0:18:560:19:01

Former graphic designer, Richard Davis, brought along this

0:19:010:19:05

creepy interpretation of the goddess Aphrodite.

0:19:050:19:09

Richard, I think those people who enjoy ghoulish surrealism

0:19:090:19:16

will respond to your work.

0:19:160:19:17

Yes, I think this is worth seeing again.

0:19:170:19:20

But while his style interested David,

0:19:200:19:23

Roy felt he'd seen it all before.

0:19:230:19:25

Subject matter is such a cliche

0:19:250:19:28

that I don't think I could bear to see it again.

0:19:280:19:31

On this occasion, from this picture, I'm afraid it's a no. Thank you.

0:19:310:19:35

Teaching assistant and mum of two, Polly Merrydew,

0:19:350:19:38

came to the Hanging Committee hoping to raise some cash for a new car.

0:19:380:19:42

I'd like £1,300 for it.

0:19:420:19:46

Her hypnotic painting seemed to mesmerise Charlotte.

0:19:460:19:49

It hasn't stopped moving in front of me. I'm really surprising myself.

0:19:490:19:55

I'm going to say yes.

0:19:550:19:57

But it just wasn't enough to take her through to the exhibition.

0:19:570:20:01

I don't feel this fits with what we are looking for in this exhibition.

0:20:010:20:05

So it's a no.

0:20:050:20:06

70-year-old Anne Young had travelled all the way from Liverpool

0:20:060:20:10

with her painting, The Agreement.

0:20:100:20:13

It drew an animated response from judge Charlotte.

0:20:130:20:15

I'm worried what they're celebrating,

0:20:150:20:17

because I think they look like they're about to poison somebody.

0:20:170:20:20

It's up to the viewer. Everyone has a different interpretation, really.

0:20:200:20:25

But David didn't pull any punches

0:20:250:20:27

when it came to judging Anne's technical skill.

0:20:270:20:31

I think areas of this are so crude

0:20:310:20:33

it's almost like looking at painting by numbers.

0:20:330:20:36

And unfortunately for Anne all the judges were in agreement

0:20:360:20:40

when it came to casting their votes.

0:20:400:20:42

Anne, I'm sorry. It's a no.

0:20:420:20:44

-No from me.

-Sorry, Anne, no.

0:20:440:20:46

-Lovely to meet you.

-Lovely to meet you, Anne.

-Cheerio.

0:20:460:20:48

Our next hopeful to appear before the Hanging Committee at Eltham Palace

0:20:500:20:55

was 43-year-old sculptor Steve Eastwood

0:20:550:20:59

from Stafford in the West Midlands.

0:20:590:21:01

Steve used to be an engineer,

0:21:020:21:04

but at the age of 19 he was dealt a devastating blow,

0:21:040:21:07

which put an end to his career and turned his life upside down.

0:21:070:21:11

-Well, a former engineer.

-Yes.

0:21:130:21:15

And then unfortunately you had an event in your life,

0:21:150:21:17

very young age, what happened?

0:21:170:21:19

I was 19, when then, all of a sudden, I suffered a stroke.

0:21:190:21:25

Which took away my dominant hand, my voice,

0:21:250:21:32

which took me about six months

0:21:320:21:35

to even say a word properly.

0:21:350:21:42

You know.

0:21:420:21:43

Let me just try and get this right.

0:21:430:21:44

-So you were right handed, you were right handed.

-Yes.

0:21:440:21:47

And you lost all movement to your right hand side?

0:21:470:21:50

Yeah. Still. Yeah.

0:21:500:21:51

-Still.

-Yeah.

-So you then started retraining the left side?

0:21:510:21:54

-Yes.

-Suddenly you had some artistic talent.

0:21:540:21:56

Yes. I could draw when I was right handed.

0:21:560:22:00

You know, not sculpture before.

0:22:000:22:04

I mean, what are you trying to get out of being on this programme?

0:22:040:22:08

I wanted to show, I'm not being funny,

0:22:080:22:12

you able people that

0:22:120:22:15

disabled people still have a life

0:22:150:22:20

that's still left in them.

0:22:200:22:23

If you do get to the exhibition and you sell your piece of sculpture...

0:22:230:22:27

-Yeah, well, yeah.

-..What would you spend the money on?

0:22:270:22:30

I'd probably take my wife on a nice holiday.

0:22:300:22:34

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

-Thank you.

0:22:340:22:37

-Just through those doors, sir.

-Yes, sir.

0:22:370:22:40

And the judges await.

0:22:400:22:41

Steve has battled against overwhelming odds.

0:22:460:22:50

At the age of 19 he had to learn to speak again and to walk again.

0:22:500:22:54

He now wants to prove to the judges that disability

0:22:540:22:57

is no obstacle to producing great art.

0:22:570:23:00

But will his plaster, wood and resin sculpture

0:23:000:23:03

impress this very demanding panel?

0:23:030:23:05

-Steve.

-Yes. Hello.

0:23:210:23:22

You're very welcome to the Hanging Committee.

0:23:220:23:24

Can you tell us something about your sculpture, please?

0:23:240:23:27

This is a bust of me when I had hair!

0:23:270:23:32

And it's showing the anger and the frustration

0:23:320:23:39

of me not being able to get my words out,

0:23:390:23:43

due to a stroke.

0:23:430:23:46

-So you've had a stroke?

-Yeah.

0:23:460:23:48

Is that recent?

0:23:480:23:50

No, no, no. It happened when I was 19.

0:23:500:23:55

-Gosh!

-Wow! Gosh.

0:23:550:23:58

And it took away all my right hand side, including my voice.

0:23:580:24:04

-I mean it's obviously a very, very personal piece.

-Yeah.

0:24:040:24:06

Which makes putting a value on it probably quite difficult.

0:24:060:24:10

-Yeah.

-Have you thought about a value for it

0:24:100:24:12

if it were to go into an exhibition?

0:24:120:24:14

-I thought 3,200.

-OK.

0:24:140:24:20

It's a high valuation for an unknown artist.

0:24:200:24:23

But Steve has chosen a figure that reflects

0:24:230:24:26

the sculpture's huge emotional value and his own triumph over adversity.

0:24:260:24:32

Can we come and have a closer look, so we can get a better idea of...

0:24:320:24:35

Of you?

0:24:350:24:36

Steve's been living with the consequences of his stroke

0:24:360:24:39

for over 20 years now.

0:24:390:24:42

It's been a tough time for him and his wife.

0:24:420:24:44

If he sells his sculpture for over £3,000,

0:24:440:24:47

he's promised to take his wife on holiday.

0:24:470:24:50

He's also hoping a place at the exhibition

0:24:500:24:53

will open some doors for him,

0:24:530:24:54

and launch him on his career as a sculptor.

0:24:540:24:58

But first he'll have to get past these razor-sharp critics,

0:24:580:25:02

starting with David.

0:25:020:25:04

With art, Steve,

0:25:060:25:10

art goes one step beyond illustration.

0:25:100:25:13

And I think what you've done is you've

0:25:130:25:16

illustrated your state of mind

0:25:160:25:20

with great conviction and skill.

0:25:200:25:24

If it's going to be art there has to be something

0:25:240:25:27

in the way you've handled, one-handed, the material,

0:25:270:25:33

in order to raise it beyond that

0:25:330:25:36

into something which is a beautiful object.

0:25:360:25:41

That's not a great start.

0:25:410:25:43

David's not convinced the sculpture works as a piece of art.

0:25:430:25:47

I still can't quite believe you did this after not having sculpted

0:25:470:25:50

-before you had a stroke.

-No, I know, but...

0:25:500:25:53

So you're very technically able.

0:25:530:25:54

And, emotionally, I do think this is determination,

0:25:540:25:57

this is your determination, going through what you went through.

0:25:570:26:02

Steve, I think the expression in this is amazing.

0:26:020:26:06

The colour, everything about it shouts loudly,

0:26:060:26:09

but silently, in ways that you don't expect.

0:26:090:26:14

It's a strange, ochre-y, chocolate colour.

0:26:140:26:17

It makes you have to, it makes you stare and ask questions about it.

0:26:170:26:20

So the sculpture definitely packs an emotional punch for Charlotte

0:26:220:26:26

and Roy, and Charlotte thinks it shows technical ability.

0:26:260:26:29

But is it good enough to secure Steve a place at the exhibition?

0:26:290:26:33

It's a most tremendous illustration of your plight.

0:26:360:26:41

But it fails as art, I believe. So my answer is no.

0:26:430:26:48

For a bust that's almost now 20 years old,

0:26:530:26:55

it's incredibly contemporary feeling.

0:26:550:26:58

I feel I have to say yes.

0:26:580:27:01

Thank you.

0:27:010:27:03

Steve needs two yeses to go through,

0:27:050:27:07

which means his fate now lies with Charlotte.

0:27:070:27:11

It's a very hard decision to make.

0:27:180:27:20

I'm afraid it just doesn't make it for me, it's a no.

0:27:260:27:30

I'm sorry.

0:27:300:27:32

Thanks.

0:27:320:27:34

It's the end of the line for Steve.

0:27:340:27:37

His sculpture won't be appearing at the Mall Galleries.

0:27:370:27:40

Frustrating or enlightening?

0:27:440:27:47

Frustrating, really.

0:27:470:27:50

I thought that I would be able to sell it

0:27:500:27:55

in an exhibition.

0:27:550:27:59

I was trying show all the rest of the world...

0:27:590:28:04

that anger.

0:28:040:28:07

You wanted to demonstrate to people.

0:28:070:28:08

-Yeah.

-Able-bodied people.

-Yeah.

0:28:080:28:10

That disabled artists have a lot of talent

0:28:100:28:13

-and with work they can create something quite special.

-Yes.

0:28:130:28:17

And I think quite easily you have achieved that.

0:28:170:28:19

Thanks a lot. Bye.

0:28:190:28:21

Artist after artist faced our judges,

0:28:260:28:30

hoping to win a coveted place at the Mall Galleries.

0:28:300:28:34

Back at Eltham Palace we met 29-year-old Usman Sheik from London.

0:28:340:28:40

For seven years he worked as a highflying city trader,

0:28:400:28:43

known to his colleagues as Shaky.

0:28:430:28:46

He dealt with billions of pounds' worth of commodities every day.

0:28:460:28:50

But just three weeks ago he gave it up,

0:28:500:28:53

quitting his well paid job

0:28:530:28:55

to see if he could make it as a professional painter.

0:28:550:28:58

My art means everything to me. It's how I express myself.

0:29:020:29:06

He's submitted this acrylic painting of two dancers,

0:29:090:29:13

and he needs a good reaction from the judges

0:29:130:29:16

to make a return on his latest investment.

0:29:160:29:19

Hello, guys.

0:29:190:29:22

Hello, Shaky. Welcome to the Hanging Committee.

0:29:220:29:24

Please tell us about your painting.

0:29:240:29:26

This painting is called The Sufis.

0:29:260:29:28

It's essentially my depiction of the state of mind

0:29:280:29:32

these dancers get into when they swirl to music.

0:29:320:29:36

And how much would you want to sell this painting for?

0:29:360:29:39

It's £2,200.

0:29:390:29:41

£2,200. We'll come and take a closer look.

0:29:410:29:45

Please.

0:29:450:29:46

Now, Shaky's used to a stressful environment on the trading floor.

0:29:490:29:53

But this is a different kind of pressure.

0:29:530:29:56

His painting is being examined

0:29:560:29:58

by three of the art world's sharpest critics.

0:29:580:30:02

A place at the exhibition would give him some serious recognition

0:30:020:30:06

and a chance to sell his piece.

0:30:060:30:08

What do you do as your day job then?

0:30:130:30:15

I was in the City, I was trading commodities

0:30:150:30:17

-until a couple of weeks ago.

-Oh!

0:30:170:30:19

Yes. So I decided to...

0:30:190:30:21

Oh, you've been fired, have you?

0:30:210:30:23

-David is so, he's so warm!

-Yes!

0:30:230:30:25

Why did you choose to leave?

0:30:260:30:28

I think I just need more time for this.

0:30:280:30:30

I'm trying to do something on the side, to earn a bit of money,

0:30:300:30:33

and I think I'd like to be a full-time painter eventually.

0:30:330:30:37

It's clear David doesn't approve of Shaky's previous career,

0:30:370:30:41

but this is all about his future one.

0:30:410:30:42

So come on, guys, let's get back to the art.

0:30:420:30:46

Just let me get this right. These green smears at the back are the audience, are they?

0:30:460:30:50

Light and audience, both.

0:30:500:30:51

-Not people?

-People and audi...people and lights.

0:30:510:30:54

-Oh, right.

-It's essentially...

0:30:540:30:55

There are people and lights, which are coming onto the stage.

0:30:550:30:59

Oh, right. You could have fooled me.

0:30:590:31:01

In fact, you did!

0:31:020:31:04

THEY LAUGH

0:31:040:31:05

You have captured a sense of movement,

0:31:050:31:07

I really get that in the, in the skirts.

0:31:070:31:09

-I disagree. I think that's a completely static image.

-Do you?

0:31:090:31:13

-The way the brush strokes are done on the skirts?

-There's no movement.

0:31:130:31:16

This bloke on the right couldn't possibly move,

0:31:160:31:18

he's the size of a barrel.

0:31:180:31:19

The bloke on the right, it doesn't look like he's moving,

0:31:190:31:23

it looks as though he's falling out of the picture on the left hand side.

0:31:230:31:26

The quality of the painting is what will make this work

0:31:260:31:30

into an exhibit-able piece, and it's an absolutely,

0:31:300:31:35

to my eye, it's an absolutely appalling daub.

0:31:350:31:39

Hmm. I'm pretty sure that's not a compliment.

0:31:400:31:43

In fact, the dictionary says a daub is a crude, clumsy painting.

0:31:430:31:48

So we know where David stands.

0:31:480:31:50

Shaky's hopes now lie with Charlotte and Roy.

0:31:500:31:53

Shaky, I haven't seen anything quite like this.

0:31:550:31:59

You're trying to be expressive and impressionistic,

0:31:590:32:03

wrapped into one.

0:32:030:32:06

It's not quite getting any of those things for me.

0:32:060:32:10

Given that you have had a successful career,

0:32:100:32:12

you hopefully have some money behind you,

0:32:120:32:14

get yourself to art school and have some grounding in how to paint

0:32:140:32:18

and draw well, to go back to a style that's more expressive.

0:32:180:32:23

You said a few moments ago, you need more time for this.

0:32:230:32:28

-No, no, for paintings. For art.

-Exactly. You certainly do.

0:32:280:32:32

Shaky turned his back on a career in the City,

0:32:340:32:37

and it's a testament to his ability that he's got this far.

0:32:370:32:40

But will the judges want to see his art in their exhibition?

0:32:400:32:45

So, Shaky, we are going to take it to a vote now.

0:32:480:32:51

I'm going to start with David.

0:32:510:32:53

No.

0:32:530:32:55

-Roy.

-No.

0:32:550:32:57

Shaky, it's no from me too.

0:32:580:33:00

But thank you for bringing it to show us today.

0:33:000:33:02

-And it's lovely to meet you.

-My pleasure. Thank you.

0:33:020:33:05

-Thank you.

-Bye-bye.

0:33:050:33:07

It's three no's for Shaky.

0:33:070:33:09

And unfortunately his painting won't be whirling its way

0:33:090:33:13

to the exhibition.

0:33:130:33:15

That was tough, wasn't it?

0:33:150:33:16

Yeah. I've never had anyone say that they don't like this painting.

0:33:160:33:20

One of the judging criteria is technicality.

0:33:200:33:22

Maybe it wasn't there because I've never got training.

0:33:220:33:25

Charlotte advised you to go to art college or get some grounding,

0:33:250:33:29

do you think you would do it?

0:33:290:33:31

No, I don't think so. At the moment, I don't think so.

0:33:310:33:33

I think I'll just stick to try... Keep on expressing myself.

0:33:330:33:36

-OK. Well, really nice to meet you, Shaky.

-My pleasure.

0:33:360:33:39

-Best of luck in the future.

-Thank you. Bye-bye.

0:33:390:33:41

One after another they trooped before the Hanging Committee,

0:33:460:33:50

and it was bound to be a day of disappointment for some

0:33:500:33:54

and triumph for others.

0:33:540:33:55

Our last contender to appear before the Hanging Committee

0:33:550:33:59

was 38-year-old professional sculptor, Brendan Hesmondhalgh.

0:33:590:34:03

As well as making art for a living,

0:34:050:34:07

Brendan mentors budding artists from his own workshop.

0:34:070:34:10

He's been in the art world for 11 years,

0:34:100:34:13

but if it wasn't for an old schoolteacher

0:34:130:34:15

his career could have taken a very different path.

0:34:150:34:18

I actually applied to do law at Keele University.

0:34:180:34:22

I had a law teacher who sat me down at 17 and told me I wasn't good enough,

0:34:220:34:25

and an art teacher that applied to art college for me.

0:34:250:34:28

How did your parents feel about that?

0:34:280:34:29

My father was a little bit unsure about it,

0:34:290:34:32

he reluctantly took me to art college,

0:34:320:34:34

dropped me off, suitcase out the car, went home, and said

0:34:340:34:36

-"Don't ring up for any money!"

-Oh, right!

0:34:360:34:39

So from that point on I realised that if I was going to do it,

0:34:390:34:42

I had to make sure I was going to do it as a job,

0:34:420:34:44

and actually make a living out of it.

0:34:440:34:46

When students sit there, they want to be discovered and know

0:34:460:34:48

-if they can justify their place in the art world.

-Yeah.

0:34:480:34:51

Whereas you've got lots to lose.

0:34:510:34:52

Possibly. You're now really making me nervous!

0:34:520:34:55

Good, good! We like to see you a little bit nervous,

0:34:550:34:58

-a little bit on edge.

-On edge. Yeah. Thanks.

0:34:580:35:00

What would you do with the money?

0:35:000:35:02

I think it'll quite happily go towards

0:35:020:35:03

some of the renovations of the workshops.

0:35:030:35:06

I'm modernising. Too many years of cold, damp, wet workshops.

0:35:060:35:09

All right, well, I wish you all the luck in the world.

0:35:090:35:11

Thank you. Cheers.

0:35:110:35:12

-Just through those doors. Best of luck.

-Cheers.

-Take care.

-Thank you.

0:35:120:35:15

There's a lot riding on this for Brendan,

0:35:160:35:19

and it's not just the upgrade of his studio that's at stake here.

0:35:190:35:22

He's putting all his faith in this multi-coloured sculpture of a bull,

0:35:220:35:27

entitled Spanish Blue.

0:35:270:35:30

It's about to be critiqued by three of the best in the business,

0:35:300:35:33

and if they don't like it,

0:35:330:35:35

his professional reputation could be on the line.

0:35:350:35:38

Hello.

0:35:380:35:39

-Brendan, hello.

-Hi.

0:35:430:35:46

Welcome to the Hanging Committee. Please tell us about your work.

0:35:460:35:49

It's an original, hand-built sculpture.

0:35:490:35:51

The medium that I use is clay, it's a stoneware and porcelain mix.

0:35:510:35:56

It's all slab built,

0:35:560:35:58

and what I mean by that is it's built from the inside out,

0:35:580:36:01

I stretched the clay from the inside to push out the shape and form

0:36:010:36:05

of the subject, and kind of put forward the sort of essence,

0:36:050:36:07

and the sort of character of the subject,

0:36:070:36:09

rather than anatomical correctness.

0:36:090:36:11

What valuation do you put on this piece?

0:36:110:36:14

The retail price of a piece like this would be £1,800.

0:36:140:36:16

Great. Could we come and take a closer look?

0:36:160:36:18

Please.

0:36:180:36:20

A confident start from Brendan,

0:36:220:36:24

who obviously has belief in his sculpture.

0:36:240:36:27

But his bull is about to come under some serious scrutiny,

0:36:270:36:31

as our judges give it the once-over.

0:36:310:36:34

The decoration, or whatever it might be,

0:36:480:36:52

it seems the elephant in the room. What is that all about?

0:36:520:36:55

The application of colour is done with very much sweeping lines,

0:36:550:36:59

very loose, and it's just to sort of try

0:36:590:37:01

and sort of make the piece look alive, to make it look like,

0:37:010:37:03

you know, it would actually move.

0:37:030:37:06

It's trying to sort of capture that essence.

0:37:060:37:08

Brendan spent over a decade developing his unique style.

0:37:080:37:11

But the big question is, will the judges like it?

0:37:110:37:15

I mean, I think anyone taking on a bull today, for me,

0:37:160:37:19

takes on Picasso.

0:37:190:37:21

With that amazing series, the very famous series of bulls,

0:37:210:37:25

when you start with a very real bull,

0:37:250:37:27

and with each print it becomes more and more the essence of the bull.

0:37:270:37:31

But do you think Brendan has gone far enough away from

0:37:310:37:34

trying to make it look like a real bull, towards the essence?

0:37:340:37:37

Personally, I couldn't give a toss about Picasso's bulls,

0:37:370:37:40

I'm looking at a bull.

0:37:400:37:43

And it seems to me to, to work, in its handling, its material,

0:37:430:37:49

its unusual finish.

0:37:490:37:51

Its pose. It's...it's monumental, in a way, isn't it?

0:37:530:37:58

I think David's in love!

0:37:580:38:01

There's no doubting Brendan has one judge on board.

0:38:010:38:05

But he needs two yes votes if he wants a place at the exhibition.

0:38:050:38:10

I'm hoping that I've done enough on the surface,

0:38:100:38:12

and enough with the piece to make it more than just, dare I say,

0:38:120:38:16

a mere mantelpiece ornament.

0:38:160:38:17

The coloration on it is certainly pulling it away from ornament.

0:38:170:38:20

It's still leaving me cold,

0:38:200:38:22

and I don't think a powerful animal like this should.

0:38:220:38:25

I think that's probably what we all are deliberating,

0:38:250:38:28

where this, where this piece sits.

0:38:280:38:30

For me, I've made my mind up.

0:38:300:38:32

OK, Roy has made his decision, but what is it?

0:38:320:38:37

David thinks the bull is monumental,

0:38:370:38:40

but Charlotte is questioning whether

0:38:400:38:42

it has the necessary emotional impact.

0:38:420:38:44

So I suspect it's Roy's vote that will decide Brendan's future.

0:38:440:38:49

Failure to make the exhibition would be a real knock

0:38:490:38:52

for an artist of his stature.

0:38:520:38:54

Not to mention losing the opportunity to sell his bull

0:38:540:38:58

and earn some cash for that studio makeover.

0:38:580:39:02

So, Brendan, we are going to take it to a vote.

0:39:020:39:05

I'm going to start with David.

0:39:050:39:07

Very impressive. Yes.

0:39:070:39:08

Thank you.

0:39:080:39:10

OK, I'm afraid I'm going to say no.

0:39:110:39:14

-OK, thank you.

-So it's down to Roy.

0:39:140:39:15

No surprises with those votes. As suspected, it's all down to Roy.

0:39:150:39:21

It's got everything I need to see and feel about something, so yes.

0:39:210:39:25

-Thank you.

-Well, it doesn't matter that I said no,

0:39:250:39:28

thank you very much, we will be seeing it and you at the Mall.

0:39:280:39:31

-Thank you.

-Congratulations.

-Cheers.

0:39:310:39:33

Two yeses. Brendan is past the first hurdle,

0:39:330:39:35

and he's on his way to the exhibition.

0:39:350:39:38

The question now is, will there be any buyers for Brendan's bull?

0:39:380:39:42

The Mall Galleries, London. And Brendan's bull took pride of place.

0:39:470:39:52

I think the fact that it's at the front, down the steps,

0:39:520:39:55

I think it's going to stand out in its location.

0:39:550:39:58

I think the fact that it's 3D as well gives it a slight advantage

0:39:580:40:01

in the fact that there's more 2D work than 3D.

0:40:010:40:04

Brendan rubbed shoulders with art dealers, collectors,

0:40:040:40:07

and members of the public of all ages.

0:40:070:40:10

And his bull caused quite a stir,

0:40:100:40:13

even if some people didn't know what it was.

0:40:130:40:15

I like the pig, but I find out it's not a pig, it's a bull!

0:40:150:40:20

I would love to possess the bull.

0:40:200:40:22

I think it's such a strong, full of life, slightly exaggerated...

0:40:220:40:26

I love that style.

0:40:260:40:28

Brendan was keen to sell,

0:40:280:40:31

so he lowered his asking price from £1,800 to £1,600.

0:40:310:40:35

But would anybody be prepared to dig deep

0:40:350:40:38

and take this bull home by the horns?

0:40:380:40:41

It was time for me to reveal to Brendan,

0:40:410:40:43

his friends and visitors to the exhibition,

0:40:430:40:46

whether anybody had many any secret bids.

0:40:460:40:49

Do you think you got people interested enough to buy it?

0:40:490:40:52

I had a few people interested,

0:40:520:40:53

but whether actually to purchase I'm not sure.

0:40:530:40:56

I think, an honest answer, I'd probably say I wouldn't have sold.

0:40:560:40:59

Right. How much did you want?

0:40:590:41:01

The guide price was about £1,600.

0:41:010:41:03

Right, let's open this envelope

0:41:030:41:06

and see how we get on.

0:41:060:41:10

So your guide price, 1,600?

0:41:110:41:13

Well, you've got seven offers.

0:41:140:41:17

CROWD GASP AND MURMUR

0:41:170:41:19

Right. Starting with the lowest, 700.

0:41:190:41:22

How about the next offer, 800?

0:41:220:41:25

-Probably not, no.

-OK.

0:41:250:41:26

-Then there was 959.

-OK.

0:41:260:41:30

973.

0:41:300:41:32

Then we came to the fifth offer. Which was 1,500.

0:41:330:41:37

OK.

0:41:370:41:40

The sixth offer was for 2,075.

0:41:400:41:45

OK.

0:41:450:41:47

Not too bad now, eh?

0:41:470:41:48

Last night's paid for.

0:41:480:41:50

Last night's paid for.

0:41:500:41:51

THEY LAUGH

0:41:510:41:52

OK, let's get serious now, because this is the highest offer

0:41:520:41:55

that we had on the night, the final offer.

0:41:550:41:59

And it was for £2,251.

0:42:000:42:04

Very good.

0:42:040:42:05

CROWD APPLAUD

0:42:050:42:08

Well done. Not bad at all, eh?

0:42:080:42:11

I was wrong, so. Yeah, I'm pleased with that, it's very good.

0:42:110:42:14

-Big round of applause, well done.

-Another night in London!

0:42:140:42:18

THEY APPLAUD

0:42:180:42:19

What a result for a shell-shocked Brendan.

0:42:230:42:25

He got a record number of offers for his bull,

0:42:250:42:28

and he's sold it to the highest bidder for £2,251.

0:42:280:42:34

Even after the 10% commission he'll have to pay to the agent,

0:42:340:42:37

that's still well above his original asking price.

0:42:370:42:41

He'll now be able to put the money

0:42:410:42:43

towards building his new workshop in West Yorkshire,

0:42:430:42:47

and he's made a name for himself on the London art scene.

0:42:470:42:50

That's it for today.

0:42:500:42:51

But join us next time on Show Me The Monet,

0:42:510:42:54

when the judges will be meeting more ambitious artists.

0:42:540:42:58

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:080:43:11

41-year-old jazz musician Adrian, from Bristol, used to eke out a precarious living busking and creating pavement art in his youth but now he's decided to see if he's got what it takes to make it as a professional artist. His detailed and exhaustive pencil drawing entitled 'Some Kind of London' took a year to complete. But will his painstaking efforts be rewarded?

38-year-old professional sculptor Brendan earns a living from his art and from mentoring budding artists, he's hoping his appearance in front of the Hanging Committee with his porcelain and stoneware piece will catapult his career to the next level.


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