Would your skills benefit from a period of study overseas? Austin Emery’s did. He won a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship that financed a trip to Studio Sem in Pietrasanta, Italy. It gave him the opportunity to realise his dream of going from a skilled stonemason carver to an artist sculptor.
Working at Studio Sem has enabled him to have his work exhibited alongside the studio’s renowned artists such as Barry Flannigan, Peter Randall Page and Helaine Blumenfeld. He has had work at prestigious auctions with Sotheby’s and Lyon & Turnbull and three of his pieces were selected to go into the Cork Street Open Exhibition in London last month (August).
The Fellowship allowed Austin to work directly with clients and redefined his practice and the type work he is now offered and chooses to accept.
He is currently working on a commission from Royal Albert Hall to sculpt a series of terra-cotta plaques. “Other commissions since my Fellowship have included the designing and sculpting of evangelical symbols for Bermuda Cathedral and a portrait head in Portland stone.
“Without this intensive period within such a creatively stimulating environment, this shift within me may have taken many years to occur. Or worse, it may have never happened at all. My Fellowship was truly a chance in a lifetime.”
Each year 100 or so Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowships are awarded to finance overseas study. This year the average grant has been £5,500 covering travel and living expenses on visits normally of between four and eight weeks. Churchill Fellows can be of any age and in any occupation. A lack of qualifications is not a bar.
Applications for next year’s Fellowships are now being accepted, although they have to be submitted before 6 October.
You can find out how to apply by visiting the Trust’s website. The address is below.