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Success for artist inspired by Japan.

NEWCASTLE artist Carl Randall, who has done pencil and ink portraits of Hiroshima survivors, is to feature in this year's prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition.

It is yet another success for the artist who is also currently represented - as one of the prize winners - in the BP Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

From almost 3,000 entries to the Jerwood competition, the three selectors chose 77 works by 73 artists to be exhibited at the Jerwood Space, London, from September 12 until October 28.

Prizes totalling pounds 17,000 - including pounds 8,000 to the winner - will be presented on September 11.

Carl Randall trained at the Slade School of Fine Art in London where he won several awards. These included a travel scholarship to Italy and the pounds 15,000 first prize in the Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition which attracted more than 1,200 entries.

In 2003, Carl was awarded a scholarship by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation to continue his painting career in Tokyo. While there he was selected to be artist-in-residence in the city of Hiroshima, documenting survivors of the atomic bomb, and also represented Japan as artist-in-residence at the 2007 Formula 1 races.

He completed a masters degree and a doctorate in painting at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and was awarded the 2011 Nomura Painting Prize.

This meant one of his recent works was bought for the permanent collection of a Tokyo art museum.

Carl's entry to the BP Portrait Award exhibition was called Mr Kitazawa's Noodle Bar, Tokyo.

It won him the 2012 BP Travel Award, which means he has been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to make portraits of modern Japan.

The result of this will be a small solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from June to September next year.

He plans to make paintings depicting places on the famous old Tokaido Road, connecting Tokyo and Kyoto.

They will be a modern equivalent of a hugely popular series of woodblock prints called The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido which was made in the 1830s by the Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige.

The BP Portrait Award exhibition runs in London until September 23.

It then tours to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh (from November 3) and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter (from February 9 next year).

These recent works, says Carl, are part of a series made in Japan and inspired by the people and places of the country.

They are "a personal document of contemporary Japan as seen through the eyes of a visiting British artist".

He will also be exhibiting in a solo show in 2014 at the Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation, Japan House, London.

In May, the artist exhibited a set of six of his portraits of Hiroshima survivors at the Mall Galleries in London.

"I made the drawings directly from life, visiting the Hibakusha (the Japanese name for survivors of the atomic bomb) at their homes in Hiroshima," he says.

Carl, who was born in 1975, has painted many portraits of friends and family, and some of famous people including Jo Brand, Billy Bragg and Julie Walters.


AWARD WINNER Newcastle artist Carl Randall working on one of his oil paintings
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Aug 8, 2012
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