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Nel’s Striking Artwork

It is often the case that the most striking pieces of Artwork are derived from a personal experience. This is certainly the case in Nel’s GCSE piece “Dad’s Feast” which has been selected from among 17000 submissions for the 2020 Royal Academy of Arts Young Artists Show.

It’s a brilliant and poignant piece of work about an aspect of her relationship with her late Dad. Nel’s dad passed away when she was 12 and one of their shared pleasures was cooking together.

The grey food in the work represents the elaborate meals he would make which are now “greyed out” and gone leaving only the ham sandwich and the glass of water. The Feast is laid out on a tablecloth which bears a repeat of the poem which was read as part of his eulogy.

Nel’s Quote submitted with her work:

“My dad passed away when I was 12 and these are some of the things he would cook for me or I would cook with him. The food he would cook is in grey to symbolise that they are gone in a way and the sandwich in colour is to show what I have now. The food symbolises the father figure that is gone now and what I have left.”

The poem read as part of her father’s eulogy reflects upon the gifts he gave in his life that Nel continues to grow with:

Not – How did he die? But how did he live?

Not – What did he gain? But what did he give?

These are the things that measure the worth

Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not – What was his station? But had he a heart?

And – How did he play his life living part?

Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer?

To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not – What was his belief, not what was his creed?

But – Had he befriended those really in need?

Not – What did the sketch in the newspaper say?

But – How many were sorry when he passed away.

These are the things that measure the worth

Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.


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