Wed, 27 Jan 2021
A former pupil at Theale Green School is among a handful of artists competing in 2021's edition of Landscape Artist of the Year, currently airing on Sky Arts.
Julia Burley left the school in 2017 and went on to study for a degree in illustration at Plymouth College of Art.
The new series of Landscape Artist of the Year sees creatives from across the UK competing for a £10,000 commission for a major British institution, as well as £500 worth of art supplies.
The winner will also be crowned the nation's finest landscape painter.
Ms Burley was selected from among thousands of applicants to appear on the programme.
Of her achievement, she said: "I applied for Landscape Artist of the Year during my final year at university, using a drawing in one of my rough sketchbooks.
"I had not expected to get very far, but I found out I had a place as a contestant a few months later.
"The show is a competition filmed in picturesque locations across the UK, with the contestants painting the same view for the chance to win an exciting commission.
"The experience was definitely one of the hardest artistic challenges I've faced.
"Although it was very interesting being able to receive help and advice from the other contestants, the time limit and pressure of being watched by a crowd was very stressful at times.
"It was an experience I won't find anywhere else – I feel very glad to have had the chance and the challenge.
"I feel possibly even more nervous to watch it back than I was during filming.
"I had a wonderful time in the art department at Theale Green School.
"I was always inspired and through the experimentation that was encouraged by my teachers Mr Wilson, Mrs Bratton and Mr Spurrett, I found my specialism that I then went on to study at university."
Theale Green head of art and technology Andrew Wilson said: "Julia was a wonderful student to work with in art.
"She was both talented and creative, producing amazing paintings, illustrations and sculptures in her time here.
"We are very proud of her and really looking forward to watching her on Sky Arts. We would like to wish her every success."
The third episode of Landscape Artist of the Year is to be broadcast tonight (Wednesday).
It will shortly be available online.