Delight as Nik Ellis’ work makes final 95

All in Forms, a piece by street artist Nik Ellis
All in Forms, a piece by street artist Nik Ellis

A street artist has missed out on the chance to scoop £30,000 but could still win £10,000 when he shows his work at an exhibition.

Nik Ellis, who paints under the name Snik, made it to the final 95 places for the exhibition, which will start at the Mall Galleries next month.

His work was selected from more than 3,500 entries into The Threadneedle Prize.

It is the leading competition in figurative and representational painting and sculpture and this is the first time urban art has been considered.

Nik, who lives in Stamford, said: “It’s a huge confidence boost to get this far but this will definitely be enough for me.”

His entry is titled All in Forms and is a five-layer stencil of a young girl which is spray painted onto cardboard.

An exhibition spokesman said: “I chose the painting because the face has a compelling quality that draws you in.

“I wasn’t thinking about the style or medium - the fact that it’s spray-painted doesn’t stop it being figurative.

“It’s a strong image, it’s art, it’s figurative and it has a mystique about it like a young Mona Lisa without the smile.”

Yesterday judges selected the six finalists for the top prize of £30,000.

Unfortunately Nik’s picture was not chosen.

But he said: “To be amongst the selected artists of 100, out of 3,500, personally is a great success.

“Urban art is a very new thing, so every step forward for me is an achievement.

“This is one of the biggest art prizes in the country, and people try year after year to even get past the first stage, so to make the gallery show still seems surreal.”

The 28-year-old is still in with a chance of winning £10,000 if his picture is chosen as the viewers’ favourite.

The exhibition will include 111 pieces by 95 artists, all of which will be on sale.

The exhibition runs from September 25 until October 9.