Talented Sohail in line for top art prize

By Dave Doyle | 23/06/2017

Talented Sohail in line for top art prize
Sohail Khalil

A TALENTED teenager has been shortlisted for a £15,000 prize by one of the world’s top art galleries.

Sohail Khalil (19), of Oakdale Road in Kimberworth, is among 20 artists chosen from 24,000 entries to the Saatchi Gallery Art Prize for Schools 2017.

Now the Thomas Rotherham College student’s work could earn him a £3,000  top prize, plus £15,000 for the college’s art department.
Two winners will be announced on July 4.

Sohail’s piece - titled Isolated Space - is a fusion of film photography, linocut and sculpture, capturing architectural contrasts in the Sheffield’s Park Hill residential development.

A photograph of new Park Hill buildings was broken up using a template in the shape of old tower blocks Sohail sketched from below.

“Most people think I have done it digitally, but it has all been done by hand in a darkroom,” he said.

“I put the template over a photosensitive acetate and exposed it to light to get the pattern.

“It’s looking into history while reflecting the redevelopment. 

“In the past, Park Hill was known for crime and isolated from society.

“Now the new building is isolated from the rest, as it looks so different - hence the title Isolated Space.”

The shortlist was announced over half-term, with Sohail finding out he had been nominated on his first day back at college.

“It was such a shock to begin with, because I didn’t enter thinking I was going to get through,” he said.

“I came into college and I had an email from my tutors saying I had to go and speak to them about something important.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to the ceremony very much, but I’m also pretty nervous.

“I’m feeling optimistic, but it has taken a lot of pushing to get me there. 

“But it’s already such a big recognition and just being part of it is fantastic.”

Art tutor Abigail Pannozzo said: “I’ve taught Sohail for three years and his progress in that time has been outstanding. He’s a brilliant and inspirational student.”

Sohail began studying biology and maths at TRC, but changed paths after discovering a passion for art and graphic design.

He is also studying a double BTEC in business and has received offers to study architecture at several universities.

Sohail has had to duplicate his applauded artwork, so that Saatchi judges and A-level examiners can critique it at the same time.

It will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery from July 4 to July 13, alongside the other 19 nominees.

Abi said: “It’s a huge achievement for Sohail to be shortlisted. It means his work has really stood out.

“We encourage students to enter outside competitions all the time - we want them to be recognised for their work and it’s good for university applications.

“Getting involved in the creative industries and getting a foot in the door is great experience.

“The work these students do is of a very high standard and the community needs to see it, because they are very talented.”

To see Sohail’s work and other shortlisted candidates, visit www.saatchigallery.com/schools/prize/2017.

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