independent

Sunday 15 July 2018

Hazel scoops top prize in art show

Jenny McCudden

Hazel Higgins had an inkling that she was a talented artist.

But like many artistic talents, she also lived with a niggling doubt that her work 'was not all that good.' So having studied art and animation in Ballyfermot College of Further Education the Hazelwood student graduated but choose to take a break from art.

"I turned away from it altogether. I worked in a shop and in a cafe. Then after a year or so I decided to do a six week drawing class with Michael Wann in the Model. I did a couple of charcoal drawings which my Mum advised me to enter into the RTE Show 'Painting the Nation,'" explains Hazel.

Tens of thousands of entries from across the country were whittled down to a lucky seven. And 24-year-old Hazel was in the mix. The knock out competition which has just aired comprised of setting tasks for the artists each week which were then judged. Hazel got down to the last two and went on to win the show.

"I was shocked," says Hazel, "But taking part in the programme gave me the confidence that I needed to believe in my work. Winning the show proved to me that it is a natural ability and whether I like it or not it is not going to go away. It is something that is in me. Doing this made me realise I have a talent. I was torn about that but now I've surprised myself and I'm really enjoying it."

Hazel's winning landscape will now be bought by the National Gallery. As for her future plans, this grounded young woman is 'going with the flow' with a few commissions already under her belt!

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