Artist’s joy at winning gallery slot

AN ARTIST has spoken of his delight after one of his paintings was chosen for the country’s largest contemporary art exhibition.

Matthew Webber, from Great Cornard, beat off competition from 12,000 other entries to have his artwork included in the Royal Academy of Arts’ 2011 summer exhibition in London.

Matthew submitted his painting – Junction I – after failing to have his work accepted last year.

The 37-year-old was delighted when he heard the news that his painting had been selected second time round.

“I was a bit pessimistic about my chances,” he said. “But I had a positive response and it was a really exciting day when I received the letter telling me I’d got a painting in the exhibition.

“Seeing my work on the walls next to such established artists is an honour. It’s been a real boost to me and my career.”

Junction I was sold for £725 soon after it went on display in the exhibition – a feat which Matthew described as the “cherry on the cake”.

The former Great Cornard Upper School student added: “I did my art A-level there and the teachers gave me a real passion for art.”

The 2011 summer exhibition is open until August 15 in the main galleries of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Tickets are £10 and can be bought by calling 0844 209 0051 or by going online at

More of Matthew’s work can be viewed on his website at