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Harry Mayston

Vice-Chancellor portrait competition winner announced

Over the last month twenty Fine Art students have been creating portraits of the Vice-Chancellor to commemorate the nine years he has been at Loughborough.

Professor Robert Allison sat for three sessions with the students. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this was the first time many of the students had been in a studio environment, making the experience even more meaningful.

First year student, Harry Mayston was announced the winner on Tuesday and his portrait will be displayed on campus. He will also receive a £1,000 prize.

Harry said: “I found the experience very enjoyable. It was very exciting to be creating art as a group and taking part in the opportunity as a collective, as well as truly fascinating to see how all the portraits evolved over the weeks.

“When it came to actually painting the portrait the process was relatively natural. The Vice-Chancellor spent time telling the group anecdotes of his time at Loughborough, and as a result his character and personality was easy to see from the beginning, and from that, easy to capture in a painting. 

“When it was announced that my painting won, my initial reaction was shock and amazement. There were so many incredible portraits on offer, so for my painting to have been enjoyed by the Vice-Chancellor was incredible, and being able to have been a part of it was an honour.”

The competition had such positive feedback from the students involved that Lorraine Young and John Atkin, who organised the sessions, have agreed that this will become an annual event. The Vice-Chancellor has even suggested that next year it may be a Loughborough gold medal-winning Olympian that sits for a portrait.

All of the portraits by students will be displayed at an exhibition as part of the Vice-Chancellor’s leaving celebrations. You can find out more about the student portrait painting process here.‌