Royal Academy recognition for artist Danny

Danny Ratcliffe, Fifth Year at Pocklington School with art teacher Nikki Robertson

A self-portrait by Fifth Year pupil Danny Ratcliffe is on show at the prestigious Royal Academy in London and online as part of the RA’s Young Artists’ Summer Show.

The painting on an old wooden cupboard door was selected by a panel of art experts from more than 6,200 submissions from young artists aged 7-19 from the UK and beyond.

The Young Artists’ Summer Show is available to view online until 31 December and a selection of these artworks, including Danny’s, will be on display at the Royal Academy from 14 July – 4 August.

Danny, 16, said: “I’m really pleased that the painting’s been selected and I’m looking forward to seeing it in the gallery this summer when I go down to London with my family.”

The painting reflects the influence of Canadian artist Andrew Salgado, who Danny admires. He experimented with Salgado’s painting technique of using a palette knife to drag the paint, and combined it here with finely detailed painting to create something more dynamic.

His ‘canvas’ was some old wooden planks found at home which used to be attached to a Victorian spiral staircase. Danny was drawn to the layers of paint which had built up over the years, which were chipped and worn away, and decided the texture lent itself well to the style of painting he was practising. 

The striking addition of a tea pot was intended to be one of several items added to the painting to reflect a homely environment. But he decided the tea pot had more impact on its own.

Art teacher Nikki Robertson said: “This is so well deserved after two years of really hard work from Danny. It is great for him to gain recognition from an institution as prestigious as the Royal Academy. I am incredibly proud of him!”

She added: “We’re delighted that Danny will be taking Art and Design among his A levels next year as he’s very skilled at both. He is on track to achieve a great result for Art in the summer and I’m sure a successful creative career will follow.”

People can vote online for their favourite artwork from the Summer Show, which will be awarded a People’s Choice Award. The RA President will also award prizes for two inspiring artworks from each key stage.

To see Danny’s artwork online and to vote for it, please click here.

Self Portrait by Danny Ratcliffe, Fifth Year at Pocklington School