“ An artist of incredible talent”
When you come across the works of a prodig you get hooked to what you see. That is what happened to African Echo’s Isaac Amo-Kyereme when he met Eugene Ankomah, a highly respected artist, entrepreneur, innovator and one of UK’s most prolific and versatile young artists.
He studied a Foundation in Art and Design at Central St. Martins College Of Art & Design and went on to do his degree in BA illustration and Fine Art at the University Of Westminster where he gained more skills to his already innate sense of creativity.
He has been extensively exhibiting his artworks in numerous galleries and winning many awards and has a large clientele that have bought many of his artworks as well as having a huge fan base both in the UK and outside, fans of his work include the T.V presenter Gail Porter and the world renowned paranormalist Uri Geller.
Eugene was born in London to Ghanaian parents and lived in Ghana for many years before returning back to the UK. Drawing, painting and making things came very naturally to Eugene at a very young age, he says “I used to be obsessed with drawing boxes as a kid and then I moved on to drawing members of my family”.
He attended Willesden High School in 1991 and became known almost immediately for his impressive drawings of his classmates and teachers who were always captured completely unaware. In time Eugene’s work caught the eye of Mr. Richardson (the then head of art) who said “we might have a genius on our hands”. Soon Mr. Blackburn who would later become Eugene’s ALevels Art teacher witnessed Eugene drawing and insisted he enrolled in his A-Level Art class. In his own words “Mr. Blackburn was God sent”. His support, encouragement and passion for art left an invaluable impression on the young artist. Under the wings of Mr. Blackburn Eugene was set challenging projects in painting, drawing and sculpture which really tested his ability to work in not one but several artistic styles at the same time as well as having to study thoroughly art history and the great artists of the past.
The younger students of the school, mainly the year 7’s and 8’s became big fans of Eugene’s work and would often pop in to watch him create his many works and would constantly ask him to draw for them .He remembers Mr. Blackburn his art teacher jokingly suggesting he might as well create his own fan club.
Enjoying their company Eugene decided to volunteer in the art lessons of the Year 7,8 and 9 which he describes as “One of the best periods in all his education”.
By the end of Eugene’s A-level Art course he had produced such an impressive body of work which left everyone from Mr. Blackburn his art teacher through to the head master and parents of the other students in complete amazement.
Commenting on one of his most popular paintings at the time “Elijah Ascending to Heaven”, his proud art teacher Mr. Blackburn remarked “At your age (16/17yrs) I have never seen a talent like yours, you never fail to amaze me”. This comment was very much
echoed by two other teachers, first by Mr. Richardson (Head Of Art) who asked “If you are creating such accomplished and amazing works at this young age, I can only imagine what you’ll be creating by the time you’re 30 years of age”.
Mrs. Blankson (geography teacher) was a bit more emotional about it when she asked “What is it that makes you see the way you do?, the way you paint, the colours you use are so beautiful it makes me want to cry” Eugene was soon nominated for the first ever Peter Evans Award for most outstanding student and won it, receiving £900 as part of the prize. The first of many art awards and prizes, It also lead to a newspaper coverage which help expose him to a wider public for the first time Eugene started to take part in professional art shows and also started to take on many professional art commissions, which ranged from making portraits of some wealthy people to making designs for post cards, posters as well as exposing his work through more magazines and newspapers. His success continued with two more awards in 2001 and 2002 from the Apthorp Fund For Young Artists.
To date one of Eugene’s proudest achievements is being part of a few selected artists who
were commissioned to design various flags which were displayed on the top of Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen’s 50th Anniversary celebrations some years back. In late 2002 Eugene and an artist friend of his collaborated on a series of paintings when they became artists in residence at the Brent Artist Register, based in the Northwest of London. They called the project
Cypher, Cypher developed into a small organization in charge of carrying out art workshops in schools, youth clubs and at a college. Over the years Cypher evolved into in to an, organization called Visual Ambitions which continues to provide art workshops, and takes on various commissions concerning community art projects. Eugene says “Through our workshops, many kids and the youth have been deterred from doing graffiti outside on walls, and have made better use of their abilities by producing quality artworks on canvas, works good enough to sell,its inspired a huge boost in their self esteem, its been fantastic being able to pass on my skills and experiences unto them”.
Eugene says that his dream was always and still is about simply being great at what he does and being able to push his abilities to the very limit and to have fun whilst doing it. The best part for Eugene is the joy, supprise and the happiness his art seems to have brought to both fans and total strangers who have come across his work.
His Story continues..........
More of Eugene’s work can be viewed at the Kaleidoscope Gallery in kilburn,
Willesden Lane, London NW 6.
For any enquiries about Eugene’s work please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to www.eugeneankomah.com (website will be up very soon).