Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Teenager’s oil portrait of old friend chosen for display

A TEENAGE artist from Goring has been invited to display his work at a London gallery.

A TEENAGE artist from Goring has been invited to display his work at a London gallery.

Danny Leyland, 18, is one of 22 students from across Britain who will be exhibiting at the Mall Galleries in Westminster next month.

His piece, Matilda, an oil portrait of childhood friend Matilda Verrells, will hang alongside works by professional artists.

Danny painted it in May, when he was in his final year at The Henley College and it was shown at the college’s student exhibition last summer.

In September, it was put forward for the the Royal Society of British Artists’ annual exhibition by the Henley Decorative and Fine Arts Society. Danny’s painting was chosen out of 465 entries from 87 British sixth-form colleges.

He said: “It is really great news, not least because I didn’t have to put any effort in. I didn’t even know it was happening.

“I wouldn’t have expected that painting to get chosen — it’s quite different from what I normally paint and I didn’t even think it was that great.

“I was really happy when they told me though and I’m really pleased that they’re putting all this effort into representing us.”

Danny is the son of Martin and Anna Leyland, who are both doctors, of Lockstile Way, Goring, and has two younger siblings, Freya, 12, and seven-year-old Charlie.

He is taking a foundation degree in art at Oxford Brookes University and hopes to study fine art at the city’s Ruskin School.

He and Matilda, 18, of Vicarage Road, Goring have been friends since they were children.

She is also a keen artist and is studying art history at the University of Leeds. Danny said: “Lots of my other friends have made portraits of her as well — she’s a good-looking girl and she makes a good subject.

“I guess mine probably isn’t the best painting of her but she really likes it.”

Hedfas is part of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, which works on the London exhibition in association with the Royal Society each year.

Two works by Danny’s college classmates, Anna Kent-Muller and Adam Langer, were also nominated for the show.

Adam, from Caversham, submitted a mixed media collage called Portrait Of My Father, while Anna, from Bracknell, submitted a self-portrait painted in oils.

All three students were awarded a certificate and £50 by Hedfas president Lady Camoys.

l The Royal Society of British Artists exhibition is at the Mall Galleries from March 6 to 17. For more information, visit

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