UWTSD Student wins the Urdd Art Scholarship to complete the double


The winner of the Art Scholarship at the Urdd National Eisteddfod Bridgend, Taff-Ely 2017 is UWTSD student Tomos Sparnon.

Tomos Sparnon

This Scholarship completes the double for Tomos, as he also won the Art Medal in 2015 at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Caerphilly. The Art Scholarship is kindly donated by Dr Dewi Davies and family, with a value of £2,000 it is awarded to the most promising piece of work by an individual between 18-15 years old. 

Responding to hearing of his success in winning the Scholarship, Tomos said, “Winning the Art Scholarship is a great privilege. Winning the Art Medal in Caerphilly two years ago was an excellent experience, and it was only natural to try for the scholarship. My work has changed and developed since then, and knowing that adjudicators and others still like my work gives me confirmation and motivation to continue experimenting. The Eisteddfod is close to my heart and to exhibit in it, and through the medium of Welsh, is extremely important to me.  I’d like to thank my lecturers at Swansea College of Art for inspiring me daily, and for their support at all times. I'm convinced my work would not be what it is without their contribution.

I have always been interested in painting, especially portraits. The human face and structure of the head attracts me, as each face is unique, either in terms of shape, colour of the skin or expression. Lately, my interest has expanded to the human body. I believe this has come from studying the works of the Old Masters, such as Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Velázquez and Raphael, and classical sculptures such as ‘Belvedere torso’ and 'Laocoön'. These are the things that have inspired me to put paint, charcoal or pastel to canvas.

I use the past to find a modern figure. Recently, I have been trying to challenge myself by overworking my work and going against my idea of perfection. I want to convey the suggestion of a human body, rather than an obvious picture. Through looking at the pieces, my aim is to for the viewer to see themselves, not just me.”

Tomos from Neath is currently in his second year studying for a degree in Fine Art at UWTSD’s Swansea Art School.  Tomos will use part of his Scholarship to apply for a place on the Human Anatomy course at Ruskin Art School, Oxford. As he is currenly in the process of establishing a studio in his garden, he will also use part of the Scholarship to help him buy professional equipment for the studio, to give him a good foundation to work independently.

Tomos 3

Gwen Beynon, Programme Director at the Swansea College of Art UWTSD said:

“I am delighted that Tomos has won the Scholarship for Art Design and Technology at the Urdd Eisteddfod this week. This is a well deserved reward and a great accolade for all the hard work and dedication that Tomos puts in to his Fine Art: Studio site & Context degree here at Swansea College of Art. Tomos is one of our students who is undertaking his degree through the medium of Welsh, supported by a scholarship from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, it is therefore more deserving a win for his dedication to art and to the Welsh language in his studies. The Exhibition at the Urdd Eisteddfod has hundreds of entries from a range of age groups that displays creativity and imagination which is great to see.”

Tomos said that exhibiting his work in Wales and through the medium of Welsh is very important to him, and he’s exhibited his work in a number of places over the past year, including Swansea, Cardiff and Lampeter. Two of his paintings will be exhibited at the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff over the next few months. He also had a taste of competitive success by winning the ‘Open Art’ competition at The Gallery, Caerphilly earlier this year, and won the third prize in the Wales Art Challenge in 2016.

Professor Ian Walsh, Dean of Art and Design at the Swansea College of Art UWTSD added:

“I’m delighted that Tomos’ work has been recognised by the Urdd. Tom's artistic ability marks him out as one of the most talented emerging young artists practising in Wales today. It is particularly pleasing that Tom has chosen to study through the medium of Welsh at Wales’ oldest College of Art. It underlines Tom’s dedication and commitment to both his art and his mother tongue.”

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Further Information


For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676663 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk