Dream Valley Commission Winners Announced

Work by one of our winners Ali Haynes | Aspire Via Studiso
Work by one of our winners Ali Haynes

We are pleased to announce the winners of our recent Dream Valley commission.

Congratulations go to the following artists:

  • Kyle Shim-Thomas

  • Ali Haynes

  • Emily Hyett

  • Elinor Henry

  • Giorgia Tomasi

  • Clara Tournay

  • Michael Sutherland

This commission provided an exciting opportunity for winning artists to take part in a new music and arts festival. Dream Valley is an arts and dance music festival taking place in near Camber Sands in Ashford, Kent on Saturday 28 May 2022. In partnership with Aspire Via Studios, Dream Valley offered winning artists the chance to play a role in the festival and display and sell their artwork. The winners received:

  • Showcase of their work at the festival free of charge

  • Free festival VIP ticket

  • Full inclusion in festival marketing campaign

  • Featured on social media - check our posts on Facebook and Instagram

  • Sale of artwork 100% to artist, if sold at the show

  • Full hospitality x 2 (artist +1) at the Live Show

Commission Winners

Kyle Shim-Thomas

On his work, Kyle says:

"The celestial style of art I create began several years ago as a way to express the ache of longing to become a father. The idea of a universe and galaxies to portray deep and vast emotions.

Now I paint a range of things in this style; representing and celebrating ideas such as people's relationship, a beloved pet, heritage, or becoming parents. I use acrylic paint along with 'blackest black' paint to add more depth. I work in sizes A3, A2 and mainly A1 (the bigger the better!)"

Ali Haynes

Peacock by Ali Haynes  Aspire Via Studios
Peacock by Ali Haynes

Ali says, "After rediscovering my love for painting this year I took the plunge and opened a local art gallery with a group of 7 others. Although I’m massively proud of what I’ve achieved in a short time it’s all ‘local’ so feel it’s time to try and fly the nest and get the opportunity to exhibit my work a little further afield.

After studying Fine Art in Plymouth then illustration in Swindon (many years ago!) I got a ‘proper job’ met my husband, had a family and the dream of art and painting got lost. After helping him build our family business and the kids starting school I found time for me again and grabbed it with both hands! Working is both acrylic and oils depending on the composition, I have recently played with acrylic pouring for art backgrounds. Creating art on a ‘full’ background and running with the uncertainty of how the pour will turn out adds to my work."

Emily Hyett

Peckham Rye By Emily Hyett | Aspire Via Studios
Peckham Rye By Emily Hyett

Emily says, "I'm an Astrophysicist turned artist. I use bright acrylic paint to bring spaces to life. My work covers both original paintings and then prints of these works too.

My work focuses on bringing community spaces to life in magical and bright colours that pop. My aesthetic really aligns with the Dream Valley sense of fun, love and community so I think I'd be a brilliant fit. I want my work to trigger a sense of passion for home and a feeling of belonging."

Elinor Henry

Organic Binds Bloom by Elinor Henry | Aspire Via Studios
Organic Binds Bloom by Elinor Henry

About her work Elinor says: "In my current fine art practice anchoring on the thematic words of ‘immersion’, ‘transform’ and ‘sustainability’, I investigate the landscape of the female form and ownership of oneself as a woman. Crossing a variety of mediums, techniques and materials, I work towards making connections between gender, society and forms amongst urban and natural settings. My research from academic journals, literature, other artists’ practices and socio-political news enrichens my concept development.

I use mixed media painting with a process of collage from photography, digital manipulation, mark making and occasionally sculpture to create visual tension and debate around subject matters. The intent of this is to propel viewers into discussion and ultimately behavioural change.

Continually considering the future expansion of my practice, the topics of ecology and global women’s rights draw me in. As well as painting and photography, I’d like to further explore interdisciplinary print, sculpture, and audio-visual installation. I am particularly fascinated with the idea of creating interactive public art experiences that serve a social purpose. Dream Valley festival would be a great opportunity for me to experiment with this.

My professional background influences my process and desired outcome as a fine artist. At 28 I’ve had a past career in design and marketing in Australia, Singapore and London. I spent three years at Google working on learning and development programmes to shift behaviour in areas such as culture and inclusion. Volunteering alongside this with arts charities such as Secret Garden Festival Australia and pandemic artist support organisation Artist Relief Tree has strengthened my desire to be involved in collaborative initiatives in support of communities."

Giorgia Tomasi

Totes by Giorgia Tomasi | Aspire Via Studios
Totes by Giorgia Tomasi

Giorgia Tomasi, on her work says:

"I come from Ticino, south of Switzerland. After graduating as a designer in visual communication I’ve moved to London, where I’m currently staying and working for a graphic design studio. I’ve always loved editorial design and have been interested in web and interaction design for a couple of years now, so I’m a designer who loves work in different fields of design. My biggest hobby is collecting vinyl, I really appreciate the quality of the analogue sound. I consider my approach to design simple and functional.

My personal project about illustrations on analogue/digital theme born from my passion for music. The idea of the project is to combine two elements with the same function belonging to two different eras in a single illustration. The illustrations are printed personally using the silkscreen technique on tote bag and poster.

Clara Tournay

Flowers by Clara Tournay | Aspire Via Studios
Flowers by Clara Tournay

Clara is originally from France; of her work she says:

"I live and work in Paris. I started painting at a young age and now work mainly with self-taught techniques using acrylic paint and ink.

I explore our perception of reality in a dreamlike work that joins the surrealist movement, touching the fragility of the world, our relationship to what surrounds us, and our reason for being. My works are initiated from the gesture and the breath building an abstract pictorial plan through basic elements such as the colour and the line. You will sometimes come across symbolic and suggestive elements, oscillating between nostalgia and a subversive critique of our society.

My work does not aim to deprive us of the reality of current events. On the contrary, I use my art to create a universal language, to speak from soul to soul, where colors become revelators of consciousness. To open the discussion, to ask questions, to create a catharsis and to bring about an upheaval in oneself.

Currently resident at Plateau Urbain, I am preparing my next solo exhibition for the Crous de Paris gallery which will take place in June 2022."

Michael Sutherland

Portrait by Michael Sutherland | Aspire Via Studios
Portrait by Michael Sutherland

Michael Sutherland is a South West based artist. Specialising mainly in oil painting and portraiture, Michael employs a range of techniques which marry the organic with the formality and structure of the traditional. Inspired by the human form and colour, Michael is happy to let his work lead him into new and unplanned territory by embracing mistakes.


As always we have had a tremendous response to our commissions. We'd like to thank everyone who took the time to enter. You can see all the entries in our Dream Valley Gallery. We're sure you'll agree the standard and variety of entries was really exciting.

The Dream Valley Festival takes place on 28 May 2022. Click here for more information.


Recent Posts

See All