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Artist from High Wycombe to have painting exhibited at the 21st National Open Art Exhibition in London

| September 26, 2017

Refugee Rescue by artist Stephen Burgess from High Wycombe.

An amateur artist from High Wycombe is to have a painting exhibited at the 21st National Open Art Exhibition in London.

The painting entitled ‘Refugee Rescue‘ by 60 year old amateur artist Stephen Burgess, a driving instructor teacher from High Wycombe, is to be exhibited at the 21st National Open Art Exhibition being held the Oxo Tower’s Bargehouse, London in November 2017.

The painting (pictured above) was inspired by an real-life image of Libyan refugees taken from an Italian Navy helicopter. The picture won the 2017 MS Amlin World Art Vote organised by National Open Art.

Stephen, who became an active member of the Refugee Support Network after watching a TV documentary about Syrian and Libyan refugees, said: ‘The boat had been at sea for six days yet the joy on people’s faces is undeniable. Lots of people have their faces turned to the sky, looking at the helicopter above them, and many have their hands raised.

There is a real sense of relief to it – it’s the moment they realised they’ve been saved.

The 2017 MS Amlin World Art Vote saw around 28,000 votes from 60 countries cast, with Stephen beating more than 700 artworks by professionals and amateur artists to win first prize.

Refugee Rescue, which measures 102cm wide by 51cm high, will now be exhibited at the 21st National Open Art Exhibition at the Oxo Tower’s Bargehouse, London in November 2017 alongside 200 artworks selected by NOA’s judging panel, which this year includes artists from the Royal Academy of Arts.

Further category winners will be announced when the exhibition opens in November and more than £50,000 worth of prizes awarded.

Adrian Britten, Global Director of Communications at MS Amlin, said: ‘We believe art and culture are essential for vibrant societies and communities and the MS Amlin World Art Vote provides a way for a wide range of people to express their opinions and share their views on contemporary works of art.

With submissions from across the UK and Ireland we can see there is a strong desire for artists themselves to engage with a wider public, with established artists willing to pitch their work against amateurs in a public vote.

The 21st National Open Art Exhibition runs Friday 17th to Sunday 26th November 2017 at Oxo’s Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH.

The World Art Vote is sponsored by MS Amlin, a global speciality commercial insurer and reinsurer operating in the Lloyd’s, UK, Continental European and Bermudian markets.

The judges for the 21st National Open Art Competition are Royal Academician Hughie O’Donoghue, artist Jane McAdam Freud, former NOA winner Kelvin Okafor, gallery director Cynthia Corbett, photographer Zelda Cheatle and filmmakers Elaine Pyke and Adam Saward. Marta Altés judges this year’s Children’s Competition.

Further information can be found at www.nationalopenart.org.

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