Scottish artist wins prestigious prize

A 23-year-old artist from Glasgow has won one of the UK’s largest independently- funded arts prizes, the Aspect Prize.

Adam Kennedy, who graduated from art school only 18 months ago, said he was “astonished” to win the £15,000 prize but it comes as a reward for taking the “risk” of being a new artist in a recession.

His success was announced at The Fleming Collection in London last night and he was given the award – likely in its last year of its current existence – by the Scottish actor Bill Paterson.

“It means a lot to me because it opens up so many doors,” said Mr Kennedy.

“I didn’t think that I could win because the other three shortlisted artists are all such strong painters.”

His paintings reflect his childhood in Glasgow and his views of work on the River Clyde.

One of his ancestors, Angus Kennedy, was a designer for Fairfields shipbuilders and he regards his images of Clydeside industry as “very personal”.

“I am very happy, but I am also really shocked, I just did not expect to win,” he said. “It will definitely help me. I am only a year- and-a-half out of art school and the first year has been really difficult. This will actually help me have that career as an artist.

“I graduated into a recession, and I had to choose between finding other work or concentrating on being an artist and this feels like a risk that has paid off.”

Mr Kennedy graduated in Intermedia Art from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009.

The Aspect Prize, established by Charles Jamieson, is now in its final year of sponsorship from Aspect Capital, and he will now set up a new prize to replace it.