David Downes is a brilliant landscape painter who amplifies the sense of place and time through the lens of autism. David completed a MA at the Royal College of Art in Communication Design in 1996. He won his first major contract in 1999, a commission by the BBC to record the Corporation’s most important architecture at the turn of the century and in June 2000 he became artist in residence to BBC Heritage. In 2012, David was commissioned by the Savoy hotel to paint the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant from the Roof of the Savoy. In 2019, David was commissioned by ITV to create a giant mural for the launch of a new period drama depicting the fictional coastal town of Sanditon based on Jane Austen’s last and unfinished novel.
“My work focuses on the juxtaposition of history and modernity in London; graveyards lie next to modern offices; ageing churches stand in built up areas. I often paint my scenes of London from an aerial position, imagining the way the landscape would look when viewed from that angle. In this way my work is a meeting of realism and imagination. I am focused and can capture architecture and urban landscapes in vivid detail.”
David is an active supporter of the National Autistic Society and was made a Vice President of the Society in 2012. David regularly speaks on behalf of the charity and paints live at fundraising events. David is lives and works in Manningtree Essex with his partner Rachel and their dog Winston.
Zoom Rockman (born in 2000) is a British Artist/Satirist whose comic strip, Skanky Pigeon first appeared in the Beano when he was 12 years old.Aged 16, he became the youngest cartoonist in Private Eye Magazine history and has since become a regular contributor.
Described as “A rising star with edgy wit and genuine cultural awareness well beyond his years.” The Evening Standard named Zoom as one of the most inﬂuential Londoners under 25. His award winning comic, ‘The Zoom!’ has attracted wide critical acclaim for it’s funny and irreverent critique of urban life and developed a cult following. London stockists now include Tate Modern and Somerset House.
Zoom’s art humours and heroes the everyday grime and energy of London and has become increasingly collectible. His first solo exhibition at The Hospital Club, Covent Garden was a sell-out event.
Zoom is Young Ambassador for the world’s biggest arts charity, The Big Draw. He is passionate about promoting the importance of creativity in all school subjects and has been invited to speak about this at the House of Commons, Advertising Industry events and Art galleries across the UK.
Zoom was ‘Artist in Residence’ at ‘Simpsons in The Strand’ Restaurant in London in 2018.
He is a member of ‘The Professional Cartoonist Association’ and ‘The British Cartoonist Association’ and the winner of the Mel Calman Pocket Political Cartoon of the Year 2019.
Zoom is a patron for The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival in Kendal which is the biggest event of its kind in the UK
Zoom is currently studying Graphic Design at Central Saint Martin’s, London
Melissa Scott-Miller paints mainly urban landscapes, specialising in London where she was born and still lives, as well as interiors and portraits of people in their surroundings. She is fascinated by light and pattern and texture, particularly on bricks and slates of London buildings and the flora and fauna found in city gardens and parks. She is fascinated in detail and the effects of nature on man-made structures, but also wishes to portray an emotional relationship she has with London streets, where she has lived as a child, an artist and a mother and a dog owner! She likes to concentrate very deeply and feels that she is walking on a tightrope when she works.
Melissa likes to work outside, whatever the time of year, and sometimes from windows, where she can paint larger views. Often favouring unusual viewpoints and with close ups of bricks and leaves in the foreground. She paints with very small brushes, five ‘0’s so that she can draw with the paint and fills in areas as if embroidering, putting great care and attention into each section and generally not going back to it. She favours old Holland oil paint and ready prepared linen canvasses which are light and easy to carry. She draws for several hours in charcoal first, fixing it before painting. She uses a Mabef field easel and puts it in a shopping trolley, carrying the wet painting through crowds of commuters on the tube, being careful not to get any paint on anyone!
Melissa is a member of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP), a Member of the RBA and the Urban Contemporaries
Scholarships, Awards & Prizes
2018 Won the People’s Choice in the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize
2012 Runner-up at the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2010 Oakham Gallery Prize at the NEAC 2009 Painter-Stainers Prize at the NEAC 2008 First Prize at the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 1987 Second Prize, South Bank picture show at RFS 1982 Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation Scholarship 1981 Rodney Byrne Scholarship, Prize for figurative painting at the Slade 1979 Lord Leighton Prize
1980-2015 – 24 times at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 5 times at the BP portrait exhibition, National Portrait Gallery 2015 Go-Figurative, Hampstead 2007 Mark Jason Gallery 1995 Grosvenor Gallery 1993 Royal Overseas League 1987 Albemarle Gallery 1983 Acquavella Gallery, New York
My work has evolved over the years through many themes and ideas, including still life, architecture and perspective, allegory, imaginary composition and most recently portraiture. But the unifying passion in all my paintings is describing a sense of space, volume, atmosphere and detail, arriving at a kind of hyper real
expression of the subject matter. I am very interested in making, process and technique. My work is classically inspired and the journey to a painting can be very multi-disciplinary, often involving the construction of props, dioramas or elaborate maquettes, and the use of complex perspective.
I paint mainly in oils, although I do explore other media. My technique is extremely detailed, applying many layers and glazes to achieve a sense of space and mood. An oil painting can take months to finish. I keep working at a piece until I feel that I have arrived at an expression of palpable space and mood. Over the past ten years I have been mainly engaged in portraiture, from commissions to more personal work where I explore allegorical themes, such as my current series of drawings on ideas of ‘childhood ontology’.
Last year I was awarded the 1st Prize at the BP Portrait Award 2018 for my portrait ‘An Angel at my Table’, a work that tried to be a very personal depiction of my mother whilst at the same time trying to convey a sense of the ‘Universal Mother’