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Burston painter has works selected for Creative Coverage virtual art exhibition




A painter from Burston has had three of his pieces selected for a virtual art exhibition.

John Atkinson’s oil-based portraits have been selected for Creative Coverage’s Virtual Exhibition, with one expected to fetch almost £1,000.

The three paintings, titled The Dicky Bow Chicken Farmer, The Very Happy Butcher and Ice Cream – Yummo, are currently on display as part of the online exhibition, which uses 3D imaging to create a fully immersive and explorable virtual art gallery.

Local artist John Atkinson in his Burston studio with his paintings which are to be shown in Creative Coverage's virtual art exhibition. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.
Local artist John Atkinson in his Burston studio with his paintings which are to be shown in Creative Coverage's virtual art exhibition. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.

Mr Atkinson, a former graphic designer who moved from London to his home in Mill Road 20 years ago, said he had been approached by Creative Coverage to submit three pieces, with the expectation that just one would be selected.

To his surprise, however, the organisers chose to use all three.

“It feels great to have them included,” he said. “They invited me to send three paintings – I only thought they would choose one, but they said ‘we like them all’, and they chose all three. I was very pleased.”

With the Government’s lockdown roadmap stating that conventional, brick and mortar art galleries can not open until May 17 at the earliest, virtual exhibitions have allowed artists to continue showcasing and selling their work.

“It’s new, and it seems to be very popular with people,” said Mr Atkinson, who used to run Frederick’s Fine Foods, in St Nicholas Street, Diss.

“It seems to be growing in popularity because, at the moment, people still can’t go to normal exhibitions.

“There are some downsides to it, because you can’t see the colours, texture and depth like you normally could.

“But I quite enjoy it and, on the other hand, it means that a lot more people can see your work.”

All three of Mr Atkinson’s selected pieces are based on black and white photographic images from the Getty Images library – taken between 1920 and 1950 – which he paints on to a canvas with oil.

“The subjects are not just portraits, they have to have a warm quality about them, doing something that they enjoy and that they have depth in subject and colour,” said the 73-year-old.

“I always look for subjects that I’m interested in, and I like to make up a story about the people.”

The Dicky Bow Chicken Farmer, which is on sale for £950, features a farmer, who Mr Atkinson said wears a different dicky bow every day, stood at a window, watching his favourite cockerel.

The Very Happy Butcher – listed for £500 – depicts a butcher, who has served his last customer of the day and has decided to go home for his vegetarian supper.

Lastly, the £750 Ice Cream – Yummo depicts a couple, Mavis and Joe, enjoying an ice cream in the park as they watch a brass band on a summer’s day.

To explore the virtual exhibition, click here.



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