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Lexi Strauss is awarded Winsor & Newton Bursary 2012/2013

   Lexi Strauss, Debutants, oil on canvas 230 x 160 cm

As part of our on-going commitment to support Fine Art students, Winsor & Newton has now awarded the first bursary to support a student in the UK.

We work closely with Art Schools and University across the UK giving lectures, conducting materials training sessions and supporting in many ways.

We elected to award our bursary for this academic year to Lexi Straus who is studying for an MA Painting at the Royal College of Art. 

Using found imagery; Lexi tends to work in painted series’, creating the same image both in miniature and at large scale. When working from a dark ground she builds up density and light very gradually, using thin watery glazes of acrylic, oil or egg tempera. 

Lexi describes the very busy and exciting time ahead of her. 

“I divide my week between college in London and being a mum in Malvern, Worcestershire. It’s a busy time for me right now but I’m relishing it and luckily I have a very supportive partner. 

I worked as an actor for fifteen years before I began painting 3 or 4 years ago. 

I’ve loved drawing since I was a child, especially portraits, but I’d always been scared of using paint. It seemed very complicated to me to add colour into pencil drawings, I guess I thought I’d spoil them somehow, because I’d never really handled paint or brushes. But when I finally took the plunge it was as if I’d always painted, and eventually I found it easier than drawing. Night courses at my local college really pushed things along for me too.

The imagery I paint now varies mostly between still life and portraiture. The work is humanitarian in nature, the theme of the work generally touching on alienation and escapist activity within society.

It amazes me how much has changed in such a short time, Four years ago I’d never have imagined myself painting at the RCA, especially with a bursary and support from Winsor and Newton. I feel lucky that I’m now able to talk to them about materials. I frequently use variations of oils, acrylics, watercolour and egg tempera on paper, board and canvas, so there's plenty to experiment with and understand still, I’m really looking forward to visiting Winsor & Newton’s Studio Building soon.”

 Lexi Strauss, Ozymandias, oil & acrylic on canvas 230 x 170 cm

Paul Robinson Artists’ Outreach Manager & Resident Artist for Winsor & Newton says “We are thrilled to be working with both Lexi and the RCA. It was a difficult task selecting a candidate for the bursary as the standard of painting was so high. Lexi’s work and her experimentation with different materials means our relationship will be very fruitful one. To find out after selection how hard Lexi works made the bursary all the more worthwhile. Meeting her in her studio at the RCA was really interesting, especially to see how her work is evolving yet further and listen to her enthuse about her painting practice. In addition to this strengthening our links with the amazing MA Painting Department at the RCA is absolutely fantastic. The course and department’s reputation speak for itself”

The RCA MA Painting programme is a world leader in research and practice, with a commitment to broadening the understanding of the discipline in all its forms. 

The primary aim of the programme is to enable students to take ownership of their artistic practices within a critical and supportive environment. Students set their own agenda, and the RCA pride themselves on their diversity and pluralism. The Painting programme has a culture where every student is actively supported and is encouraged both to explore all the possibilities and to realise the potential of their ideas. Throughout the two years, the programme is geared to foster self-reflection and self-criticism as well as developing the skills to question and be questioned by fellow students and the many practising artists, critics, writers and curators we have visiting the course.

During the course all students are given the opportunity to exhibit twice in the College galleries, once at a Work-in-progress Show at the end of the first term and then towards the end of their second year as part of the final Summer Show. Students are encouraged and actively supported when exhibiting outside the College.

The Painting programme supports career development by tailoring professional practice provision for students to the culture of the discipline. 

RCA Painting alumni include David Hockney, Peter Blake, Frank Auerbach, Bridget Riley, Tracey Emin, Chris Ofili, Dexter Dalwood, Nigel Cooke, Gillian Carnegie, and recent visiting lecturers include Neal Tait, Merlin James, Amikam Toren, Sophie von Hellermann, George Shaw, Jamie Shovlin, Varda Caivano, Kate MacGarry, Margot Heller, Daniel Sinsel, Martin Herbert, Markus Vater, Toby Ziegler and Katy Moran. RCA graduates’ work is exhibited continually in museums and galleries worldwide.