What's it like to be a New English Scholar?

Every year, we award two scholarships to emerging artists with the most promising portfolios. Our two current scholars reflect on their experiences to date . . .

Paul Wuensche

​'The New English Scholarship is deceptively unassuming: it’s hard to explain what it is in a couple of sentences, but in fact it’s really quite a big deal: a bit like doing an MA, but with a lot more freedom. It’s not very formal – you can do as much or as little as you want – but the more you do the more you get out of it.


The weekly life-drawing gives consistent practise which allows you to really develop your skills and explore as many different aspects of drawing as you want. Although the life classes are open to the public, a lot of control over e.g. length of pose and lighting is handed to the scholars, who can tailor the session to their needs. The workshops are rewarding, perhaps especially when they offer something you don’t normally do. Every member is different, so there’s a lot of variety.


I’ve greatly enjoyed doing studio visits. As a scholar, you decide who to approach so, again, you can just follow your interests. The members I have visited have been very generous with their time and in sharing their experience. Talking to them has given me a clearer sense of who I am and how I want to develop as an artist. It’s really a privilege to be given such close, personal access to another artist’s thoughts and to see them in their own working environments. I’m looking forward to another six months.'


Rebecca Moss Guyver

‘So much has changed for me since I began the New English Scholarship six months ago . . . but perhaps the main thing is that I’m looking harder. Working with a group of artists whose work begins in observation is relevant and informative to my own work.


In one way, it’s upended my comfortable routine of following my own ideas in my studio, day in day out. Now I travel from Suffolk to London weekly where I immerse myself in exhibitions and visit artists in their studios by day and struggle to make sense of new models and new ideas at Mick’s invaluable evening classes and workshops.


Every New English member that I have met, in their studios and at the workshops, has had something unique and valuable to teach me, so I’m packing more into my days, keen to see where it takes me – hoping to grow as an artist. It’s hard but it’s exciting and I can sense that it’s something very precious. It’s a pity I’ve only got another six months to go!’

January 21, 2018