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Dream trip for artist thanks to construction firm

Date 31 Oct 2007
Author The Editor
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A former Newcastle College fine art student has been given the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to a local construction firm. David Thompson has been commissioned by Whelan Construction to provide paintings and sculptures for its new headquarters at Gosforth Business Park. In addition, the firm has agreed to sponsor him on a three month international artists residency programme in New York.

Looking for new artwork which would help celebrate its 35th year in business, Whelan approached Newcastle College's BA Hons in Creative Practice programme in search of local talent.

Whelan commissioned an exterior steel and glass triangular sculpture with 35 levels to reflect its 35 year history, an interior glass block wall hanging display, which marks staff milestones for time worked at Whelan, and a modern painted canvas.

David, who was working a 60 hour week in a local factory to raise funds for his residency prior to Whelan's sponsorship, said: "As a recent graduate this experience is more than I could ever have asked for. It has given me much needed confidence in my abilities and has opened up a fantastic future for me to develop as an aspiring artist."

Tony Whelan, managing director at Whelan, said : "We were impressed with David's work and his manner from the outset. His interpretation of the brief was brilliant, as were his concepts and delivery, We were so impressed with his talent and attitude that we extended our support to sponsorship.

"David is a shining example of some of the really fresh and creative local talent we have here in the North East, and we were only to happy to be able to help him on his way to becoming a professional artist."

Next month David will head for Brooklyn, New York to Point B Residency Work Lodge, an international work lodge for art and science professionals.

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