The latest success story from a Bexhill College Student comes from Alumni Grace Bentley. After studying A Level Philosophy, English Literature and Fine Art, Grace progressed onto further education at the University of East London to study a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. Her studies concluded in June where she achieved not only a result of a First Class with Honours degree but also being awarded the Linklater Art Prize 2021 at the University of East London Degree Show.
Commenting on her work, Grace said: "My 3rd year final Degree Show entitled ‘Done’ revolved around my obsession with producing ‘the perfect artwork’. I had always tried to impress my peers and Tutors with realistic paintings to receive praise and feed my narcissism. However this year I realised what I was trying to accomplish, was the very thing destroying not only my art but my brain. Therefore I let go of this need for perfection and simply painted my pain, worries, agonies and daydreams. I adopted the abstract, using it as a tool to share my thoughts and memories onto a canvas that let me express my rage and deep agony towards them.
The inspiration behind this whole exhibition was the Dadaists, which was the main focus of my Dissertation this year. The group of people devoted to the nonsensical and bizarre, all in pursuit of protest towards the First World War; especially the German people who were targeted for adopting a mechanical mindset, transforming themselves into wooden puppets. This is depicted in Raoul Haussmann’s ‘The spirit of our time’ and George Grosz’s ‘Automations’, two of my favourite artworks of the Dadaist era. Similarly to the German people, I too have adopted a mechanical mindset, towards my own artwork as something that needs to be flawless and beautiful. That is why there is a collision of the abstract and the realistic, as I am at war with myself and my desperation to create ‘good art’. I had become my own enemy machine, that craved approval, once she was destroyed did I finally start to do well... I know, how cliché."
An excellent accomplishment for Grace, we are very proud of all that she has achieved, both at Bexhill College and everything subsequent to her studies here.
To view the finalists' and Grace's artwork, click the button below:
A full gallery of Grace's paintings can be found on our social media:
If you wish to apply for 2022-2023 academic year, please complete the online application form.