Artist wins top award after work showcased in Mall Galleries

Emily Gillbanks was awarded the de Laszlo Foundation Prize for her artwork in the Mall Galleries 

Emily Gillbanks was awarded the de Laszlo Foundation Prize for her artwork in the Mall Galleries - Credit: Rosie Stanley

Suffolk schooled Emily Gillbanks has been awarded the top prize and £1,500 at the Royal Society of British Artists' Annual Exhibition after her work was showcased at the Mall Galleries.

The former Thomas Gainsborough School student won the prestigious de Laszlo Foundation Prize and the money which is awarded to the best artwork from a life by an artist aged 35 or under featured at the Mall Galleries show. 

The Royal Society of British Artists exhibition where Miss Gillbanks work was shown, boasts just over 100 of the UK’s top painters, sculptors and printmakers as members, all possessing the highest level of skill in their chosen styles and media.

Emily's artwork 'Is it broken?' 

Emily Gillbanks previous work 'Is it broken?' - Credit: Emily Gillbanks

Miss Gillbanks, who is now studying for a Masters Degree in Painting at the Royal College of Art in London, said she was still in shock that her artwork was selected for the award. 

"I still cannot quite believe the de Laszlo Foundation selected my painting Three-Things and made me the prize-winner, especially after seeing all of the other incredible paintings in the exhibition. I keep randomly  smiling to myself," she said. 

The piece 'Chloe and Leon through video call' created by Emily Gillbanks

The piece 'Chloe and Leon through video call' created by Emily Gillbanks - Credit: Emily Gillbanks

The 22-year-old, of Wormingford, near Colchester, who previously studied Fine Art at the University of Suffolk added: "The de Laszlo’s have congratulated me, and I really look forward to meeting them later in the year to learn more about the de Laszlo portraits when I receive my medal.  

"The community of artists from the Royal Society of British Artists have been extremely complimentary. 

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"Portrait artist Alastair Adams, whose work I have admired since seeing his painting in the BP Portrait awards 2018, shared my painting on his Instagram alongside Katie Jones, Ilsa Brittain, James Earley, Owain Hunt, and Michael Riddle, who all also had portraits featured in the exhibition, and I was amazed that the art critic Tristram Fane Saunders has written about my oil painting being featured in the show."

Emily Gillbank's artwork at the Mall Galleries

Emily Gillbank's artwork at the Mall Galleries - Credit: Emily Gillbanks

Miss Gillbanks, who previously won the prestigious Global Design Graduate show awards, in the Fine Art category, last year has expressed her desire to continue her artistic career.

She said: "I am currently working on a series of oil paintings of subjects underpinned by technology.

"In September, I will start my second year on the MA Painting programme at the Royal College of Art, so I plan to work towards showcasing work for the degree show in 2022.

"I am currently in the process of moving to London where I am excited to seek a lot of new people to paint."

Emily has put up a art workshop in her families garden in order to help her complete her degree.

Emily has put up a art workshop in her families garden in order to help her complete her degree. - Credit: Emily Gillbanks



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