Macy-Leigh Birleson wins South Bank commission

Congratulations to Macy-Leigh Birleson for winning our latest art commission. The commission is to create a feature wall at our London artist studios on the South Bank.

One of Macy-Leigh Birleson's painting submitted for the commission
One of Macy-Leigh Birleson's painting submitted for the commission

As always the commission attracted a wealth of high quality innovative work. The brief was

to find an artist who's work could:

  • reflect the location of the South Bank artist studio building, sitting alongside the River Thames,

  • incorporate the history of the Southwark and Borough area

  • incorporate the word or the concept of “bank” (as the building was formerly Lloyds Bank, before that Bankside flats and it is located on the South Bank of the river)

  • it should also feature a Lion to give a nod to the current name, “Red Lion Court.”

  • Lastly, the painting needs to show the importance of “community spirit & support”.

​There were over 30 applications for the commission. After much debate, our judging panel felt Macy-Leigh's work had the edge.

"Her artwork represented the brief extremely well and her work instantly stood out. Her style of work is quite delicate, graceful and very pleasing to look at," said judge Sheena Lennox.

"Her work matches the brief so well. It is energetic and vibrant. The 'drip-like' work is so unique and thought-provoking. She put so much thought into her paintings and it really shows. What an amazing artist. So excited to see what she creates," commented Abbey Lowden.

Commenting on the commission, Macy-Leigh said, "I believe this is a fantastic challenge with the opportunity for me to capture the history of the Southwark and Borough area and also the word ‘Bank.’ There are so many interpretations and places to go which is very exciting on a large scale!

My aim would be to evoke a mode of being or self where we have a sense of unity or connectivity with a place. Through picking up key landmarks of the area mixed with my ‘dream like’ style. I think art can transport you to a place, memory or feeling through colour and what is more colourful than London?"

On winning the commission, Macy-Leigh said, "I am over the moon I won the South Bank commission. I am so excited to capture the essence of the area and create a bright and fun piece of art. Applying for the commission was so much fun and really allowed me to explore why I make art and how I can adapt to a brief. I am lucky to have the support from Aspire Via Studios team and their faith in me is truly incredible. Not only that I get to be a part of the judging panel for the next commission which is such an honour and extremely excited to see someone experience what I have! "

The commission is likely to be painted in coming weeks.

Honourable mentions also go to Faye Troote, George Chionis, Marinna Gutierrez and Max Kohlben. All of their work was strongly commended by the judging panel.

For more on this commission:

As always a big thank you to all artists who submitted their work for this commission. If you are an artist and are interested in being kept informed about future commissions, please contact us and we'll add you to our email list.