Third time lucky for artist Elidh

Alnmouth Arts Festival poster winner  Elidh Gardiner
Alnmouth Arts Festival poster winner Elidh Gardiner

A north Northumberland artist has proved that ‘third time lucky’ does ring true after winning our competition to find the poster design for next year’s Alnmouth Arts Festival.

The 11th edition of the popular event, which sees artists from all over the North East displaying in venues across the village, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21.

This is the poster image for next year's Alnmouth Arts Festival, by Elidh Gardiner.

This is the poster image for next year's Alnmouth Arts Festival, by Elidh Gardiner.

The festival committee once again teamed up with media partner the Northumberland Gazette to run a competition to find the poster image for the 2015 Alnmouth Arts Festival.

And following an hour’s worth of debate by the judging panel at Alnmouth’s Old School Gallery last Friday, a winner was declared.

Reacting to the news, Elidh Gardiner, from Whittingham, said: “I’m very pleased because it’s the third time I have entered the competition.

“I have been thinking about it for a while and it’s very flattering to be chosen.”

Elidh used to be an art teacher before moving abroad with her husband and since their return, she has not gone back to teaching, but has spent time on her paintings, which she often exhibits in the Coquetdale Gallery in Rothbury.

She likes to tell stories through her works and a lot of her previous pieces are based on her journeys through Northumberland.

“I paint landscapes, but while all the elements are real, they are not necessarily in that arrangement,” she said.

“I like art nouveau and art deco so I’m not trying to do exact 3D representations.”

Referring to her winning image, she added: “I did it specifically for the competition, but I did it like I do my landscapes; it’s how I see Alnmouth.”

That is one of the key criteria for the competition, which calls on artists from ‘twixt Tyne and Tweed to produce an artwork that is of portrait orientation; readily identifiable with Alnmouth; and eye-catching.

This is the fourth time the competition has been run in conjunction with the Northumberland Gazette and the previous three winners gained considerable publicity as a result to promote and market their work.

The 2012 poster artist and winner of the first competition was Francesca Simpson, from Hipsburn, whose art career has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Then in 2013, the winner was Jane Jackson, from Rock, a textile artist who won over the judges with her layered collage made from Harris Tweed and wool yarn. She used the competition win as the push she needed to finally take the plunge and become a professional artist.

This year’s image was of the walkway on the beach at Alnmouth by Katherine Renton, who works as an art teacher at St Paul’s School in Alnwick.