Critic’s award for fast rising star of art world

Thomas Allen's painting Love Eavesdropping on Past to Inform Indecision While Lives Lived and Lost
Thomas Allen's painting Love Eavesdropping on Past to Inform Indecision While Lives Lived and Lost

Young artist Thomas Allen is celebrating another accolade after winning the prestigious Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award.

Thomas, 23, who lives in Lindfield, received the award at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Exhibition which took place earlier this month in London.

Artist Thomas Allen

Artist Thomas Allen

The prize was awarded for his painting entitled ‘Love Eavesdropping on Past to Inform Indecision While Lives Lived and Lost’, which demonstrates Thomas’s distinctive painting style and character figures.

The canvas was selected for the Royal Institute exhibition, which was opened at the Mall Galleries by Anthony J Lester, who is an eminent critic, writer and broadcaster in the art world.

The award, which is named after the art critic, is given by him for what he considers to be the ‘best quality and most interesting work in the show’.

Mr Lester announced the winner saying Thomas’s painting was ‘a very powerful and striking image indeed’.

Thomas, who was not there to receive the award in person, said afterwards that he was ‘hugely honoured’ that his painting had been selected from more than 200 on show in this year’s Royal Institute exhibition.

Thomas is a self-taught artist who has concentrated on his passion for painting since he graduated from a backup degree in Sociology with Economics from Exeter University in 2011. He works from his home in Lindfield and from a studio at the Pictureque gallery in Brook Street, on the edge of Cuckfield.

Thomas has also exhibited at the Mall Galleries for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2011 and in Chichester, Hoxton and the London Science Museum for the National Open Art Competition 2012.

As a self-taught artist, he says he offers “a unique perspective on art that asserts the life of the image”.

He says that by using ‘poetic hints, undetermined conclusions and visual ambiguities to draw the viewer into a dialogue with the image, our assumptions about the picture as an inanimate object are challenged; the picture in fact plays an active role in the meaning-making process’.

He is currently looking for gallery representation for his growing collection of works.

More about his art and images and contact details can be found on his website at www.thomasallen.uk.com