Friend & Mentor
We are delighted that Hampstead School of Art Patron, Frank Bowling, has been awarded a knighthood for his contribution, over 6 decades, to British Art and Art History. Frank has been a great supporter of the art school for many years and, also a friend and mentor to me from a young age. The ‘Frank Bowling Bursary’ at HSoA has provided greater opportunities for our Foundation Course students and his lectures have helped to inspire our young artists of the future - 3 of whom were selected to exhibit at Saatchi Gallery.
Frank’s passion is shared by HSoA’s in our commitment to creating opportunities for young talent, giving them confidence to find their own artistic voice, and inspiring them to tell their own personal stories. His own stories told in intimate gatherings at the school relate to his personal endeavours and about his own journey as an artist through difficult times, while positively narrating what it is to explore the world as an artist. These discussions often addressed topics championing the diverse experiences of artists from America, Africa, and the diaspora and the concept of Blackness in contemporary art. These were bought to life in his exhibitions; Mapping Black Identities and Relations: Diaspora and Painting. His ‘White Paintings’ exhibition at HSoA Gallery was pivotal in inspiring many of our teaching-artists and students to explore the use of abstract ideas, methods and materials.
So much so, that one of our students, Tedi Lena, was inspired to paint his portrait which was then selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the BP portrait awards last year.
Frank, we will continue to reach into our communities at home and abroad to inspire and create opportunities for aspiring artists by delivering an holistic approach to creative learning that meets the needs of so many, from the learning artist to the professional practitioner. Frank’s contribution to our art school is immeasurable, his generosity in; awarding the annual Frank Bowling Bursary, taking a keen interest in our students, lecturing, and supporting exhibitions brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to the art school.
Thank you, Sir Frank!
Isabel H Langtry, Principal of HSoA
‘False Start’ Mapping Black Identities 1970