Roy­bridge artist takes on TV chal­lenge

The Oban Times - - News -

A ROY­BRIDGE art grad­u­ate is one of 10 artists se­lected to take part in the BBC’s Big Paint­ing Chal­lenge.

Ruar­idh Lever-Hogg, 24, was se­lected from thou­sands of ap­pli­cants to take part in the BBC 1 pro­gramme, which starts at 6pm on Sun­day Fe­bru­ary 12.

Ruar­idh, who was di­ag­nosed as pro­foundly deaf as a baby, grew up out­side Roy­bridge, where his par­ents run Aite Cru­in­nichidh hos­tel, and at­tended Lochy­side pri­mary and Don­ald­son’s School in Ed­in­burgh, be­fore fin­ish­ing his school­days in Mary Hare Gram­mar school for the deaf.

He grad­u­ated with a de­gree in fine art from Dundee Univer­sity’s Duncan of Jor­dan­stone col­lege and is now work­ing to­wards his Masters.

Af­ter com­plet­ing his grad­u­ate show last sum­mer, Ruar­idh was look­ing for new artis­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties when he re­ceived an email ad­ver­tis­ing the show and en­tered.

Speak­ing about the au­di­tion process, Ruar­idh said: ‘It seemed to go re­ally well and I showed I was very keen to get in­volved as I love learn­ing some­thing new and wanted to ac­cept the chal­lenge.’

He de­scribed find­ing out he had made it through to be on the show as ‘un­be­liev­able’ and added he never ex­pected to be on TV.

The show will have an elim­i­na­tion-style for­mat, with the artists be­ing set chal­lenges in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions and one leav­ing each week, un­til one cham­pion is crowned.

De­spite the com­pet­i­tive na­ture of the show, Ruar­idh en­joyed so­cial­is­ing with his fel­low con­tes­tants af­ter long days of film­ing, some of which took place in and around Roy­bridge, and they still keep in touch and show each other their works.

The con­tes­tants were men­tored through­out the process, an­other as­pect of the ex­pe­ri­ence Ruar­idh en­joyed.

He said: ‘My men­tor, Pas­cal An­son, is fan­tas­tic, not only help­ing me with my paint­ing, he was also very keen to learn sign lan­guage.’

Rather than set­ting him back, Ruar­idh be­lieves that be­ing deaf helps him with his art. He said: ‘I be­lieve my highly vis­ual per­cep­tion gives me an ad­van­tage.’

Ruar­idh Lever-Hogg is a con­tes­tant in the new se­ries of the BBC’s Big Paint­ing Chal­lenge.

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