A succcessful Knaresborough artist who overcame her lack of self-confidence as a teacher and single mum is celebrating winning a major art prize for her work inspired by Britain’s growing homelessness problem.
Bridget Adams, who teaches part-time at Nidderdale High School, has won The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts Award, her artwork Organised Kindness triumphing over 2,000 other entries.
Bridget Adams said: “It’s like a dream come true. It’s wonderful to win the prize. II is such an honour to win the award from such a prestigious body. “
It’s been an amazingly quick rise for the mother of a 16-year-old daughter who first studied art at Harrogate College.
Bridget has only been an artist proper for two years but has already seen her work exhibited at the OXO Tower, Southbank in London, Sunnybank Mills in Farsley and Blossom Street in York, as well as local shows including the Great North Art Show in Ripon, Art in the Mill in Knaresborough and the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate.
She said: “I always wanted to be an artist but never had the confidence. When my daughter got to be about 14, she started having a social life. I found I actually had some free time.”
She says winning artwork Organised Kindness was inspired by a visit to Manchester where she experienced the plight of that city’s homeless community first-hand..
Bridget, 49, said: “I was digusted that certain cities are now putting arm rests through the middle of public benches and inserting retractable spikes in public shelters to stop the homeless from resting there at night.
“They’re treating people like pigeons or vermin. It makes me feel ashamed.
“I believe all art should have a message.”
Bridget’s idealism and observations of the modern world’s failings feed directly into her art.
Her winning piece Organised Kindness is a diptych on the theme of the homeless rising above their challenges and combines pain-staking hand-drawn elements with layers of print and photography to produce a stunning digital collage.
Bridget said she was immensely grateful to Nidderdale High School in Pateley Bridge where she has been a part-time art teacher for nine years. She said: “Kath Jordan, head of school at Nidderdale High School, and the whole school, in fact, have been so supportive of me.”
Not one to stand still, Bridget’s art work is also set to be exhibited in Edinburgh, Doncaster and at Manchester Cathedral - and the Clio Art Fair in Manhatten!
Bridget said: “There are loads of truths out there but the single one truth is that we’re all human beings with lots in common.”