A FORMER Salisbury artist has been selected out of thousands of entries to feature in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Charles Moxon, who grew up in Salisbury, has his portrait of business woman and entrepreneur Sharmadean Reid MBE, who founded WAH Nails, on display as part of the BP Portrait Award 2020.

This year the BP Portrait Award saw 1,981 entries from 69 different countries with only 48 works being selected for the exhibition.

The 30-year-old says it is a “real honour” to have his work selected and adds: “It is the most prestigious portrait painting prize in the world and to be in it for the second time is fantastic.”

He says a lot of his work is influenced by 16th and 17th century portraiture and the portrait of Sharmadean was influenced by the artist Hans Holbein.

Salisbury Journal:

“Painting for me is about the act of preservation and in relation to portrait painting it’s preserving a moment of connection with someone and I want to try and portray that moment of connection with someone in the most beautiful and timeless way that I possibly can.”

Charles says from a early age he had a “passion” for art and recalls his “fantastic” art teachers at Norman Court School in West Tytherley who he says were “so encouraging” and even gave him a little area of the art room where he could paint and draw after school.

“It was always my passion. I always thought this is what I want to do.”

He was also encouraged by his grandparents and says he would have special “art days” with his grandmother - painting watercolours and doing still life.

“I’m very grateful for that. I’m really lucky that everyone I met and grew up with in the area were always so encouraging. I know a lot of people don’t have that particularly if they are going to try and follow a career in the arts. I was always encouraged.”

Go to npg.org.uk/whatson/bp-portrait-award-2020/virtual-exhibition