Sudbury: Gallery boss ‘bowled over’ by schoolgirl’s work

A SCHOOLGIRL who was turned down by universities to study art has left a gallery owner “blown away” after she walked in with one of her paintings.

The work “Redemption Song” was painted by 18-year-old Sudbury Upper School student Susie Beckham. And within just four business hours of it going on display at the gallery Bookends of Sudbury, in Gaol Lane, Sudbury, it had sold for the full asking price of �300.

The 5ft x 4ft acrylic canvas has been bought as an investment item by a private collector.

Gallery owner Julia Prior said: “I was absolutely blown away by her talent.

“She brought the painting in at 3pm last Tuesday and by 11am the next day the painting had sold for �300.


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“This is remarkable talent for such an age. The new owner of the painting has allowed us to keep the painting in the gallery for a few weeks on display.

“People are astounded by it - doubly so when I tell them it was done by a student at Sudbury Upper.”

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Speaking to the EADT, Susie said: “I just emailed the gallery a copy of the picture and they said to come in. I took it down to the gallery and it sold the next morning.

“It is my first big proper sale - though I’ve done a few commissions in the past.”

Amazingly, the young artist, who completed her art A level a year early, has been turned down by two universities, including the Glasgow School of Art, to study for a practical arts degree.

Instead, she plans to study art history with the global auction house Christie’s, in London.

She is currently studying for her other A Levels, including philosophy and English Literature.

Asked whether she planned to drop an more paintings off at Bookends, Susie, who specialises in portraits and figures, said: “I’m finishing off a couple of commissions at the moment. But after that, who knows?”

Her father Adrian Beckham said: “It (the sale of her work) is fantastic. We are very proud. We don’t know where she gets it from.”

Her mother, Helen Beckham, is currently taking art lessons from her daughter Susie.

She said: “As her family, we want her to understand just how good she is.”

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