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Painting by student snapped up by City Council

A student from Central College Nottingham is celebrating after her painting of some of Nottingham’s best-known icons was chosen to hang at Nottingham City Council’s Loxley House on Station Street. Designer Paul Smith and literary greats DH Lawrence, Lord Byron and Alan Sillitoe all feature in Soniya Ahmed’s painting, as well as Albert Ball, the First World War flying ace.

Soniya Ahmed standing beside picture

Soniya, 18, is studying a BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design at Central College Nottingham. Her painting was commended in the visual arts category of the Young Creative Awards earlier this year. That is when her impressive painting was spotted by the council. The theme of the awards was ‘Made in Nottingham’ and Soniya found plenty of inspiration while researching the great influencers of Nottingham, both past and present.

Soniya said:

“I entered the awards as part of a college project and wanted to use some famous subjects, but also bring back to life those that maybe not everyone knows about. My previous college bought a piece of my artwork, but this is the first time that I’ve sold a piece of my artwork outside of college, so I’m really excited. It feels like I’m getting closer to my dream of becoming a famous artist!

Central College has helped me because I started late in the first term and they helped me catch up. They also let you know about competitions and projects to help promote your work.”

Soniya Ahmed standing beside picture with Nigel Cooke, Director of One Nottingham and Mandi Chandler, Curriculum Manager for Art & Design at Central College Nottingham

Nigel Cooke, Director of One Nottingham who organise the Young Creative Awards, said:

“We were impressed by the sheer scale of the painting, and the way Soniya brought the characters to life in such detail. I think it is a fitting addition to the Committee room at Loxley House as the subjects of the painting are some of the great influencers of Nottingham’s rich history, and also as it’s an investment in some of Nottingham’s young talent.”

Soniya is originally from Kurdistan, and lives with her mum, dad, brother and sister in Nottingham. She’s now working on an even larger painting which evokes the global politics of the modern world and the White House in Washington. The work will feature portraits of 10 presidents, including Iraq, Russia, Syria, and Pakistan.

For more information on Art & Design courses available at Central contact 0115 914 6414.