Belper artist’s success

Iona Rowlands
Iona Rowlands

The work of a talented young artist from Belper has received award-winning recognition at Buxton’s Festival Fringe.

Iona Rowland was awarded second place with her work Spectacle in the Peak District Artisans’ Young Artist of the Year at the group’s annual Great Dome Art Fair.

Iona described her painting Spectacle as ‘a satirical take on the virtuality of fashion advertising’. Its artificial dimensionality, colour saturation and high gloss finish suggests the piece could be computer-generated, a fictional product of the photoshop generation.

First prize went to 19-year-old Sam Westwood from Accrington for his piece Woman with a suitcase.

The competition, organised by Peak District Artisans, aims to identify and give recognition to art students aged 16-25, with outstanding talent.

PDA chairman Jane Cummins said: “Since launching in 2010 we have continuously gained more interest each year – this year was no different, the standard of entries was fantastic.”

She added: “As a group, we understand how challenging it can be for young artists starting out in this industry and we want to support these people who are serious about art.”

Among her prizes, Iona received art equipment from Turner’s Art Supplies as well as £100 cash from partner St John Street Gallery, Ashbourne, where her work will be exhibited alongside fellow finalists.

Speaking of her success, 23-year-old Iona, who is enjoying a successful art career based in London, said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised among such great talent, and a real privilege to have the opportunity to exhibit my work alongside some of the Peak District’s finest artists.”

Organisers have hailed this year’s Great Dome Art Fair a huge success. They are now making plans for their next group event, the Autumn Extravaganza, which takes place in October.

n Established in 1991, Peak District Artisans is a highly successful association of some of the very best professional fine artists, designer makers and contemporary artisans based in and around the Derbyshire Peak District.