Leeds mum crowned winner of £1,000 art competition

Krystyna Spink with judges Rob Dutton, Edward Ziff, Marjorie Ziff and Charlotte-Daisy Ziff.
Krystyna Spink with judges Rob Dutton, Edward Ziff, Marjorie Ziff and Charlotte-Daisy Ziff.
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THE picture perfect winner of a YEP-backed art competition will see her masterpiece go on display at a Leeds shopping centre.

Mother-of-four Krystyna Spink won the Merrion Centre’s 50th birthday competition. and her artwork will now be on display at the centre.

Krystyna, from Crossgates, also bagged herself the £1,000 prize.

As part of the centre’s birthday celebrations, the YEP teamed up with the Merrion Centre to invite Leeds residents to create a commemorative piece of art.

The competition aimed to find aspiring artists who could capture the spirit of Leeds and the Merrion Centre.

The grand unveiling took place on Monday, May 26, which was the 50th anniversary of the centre.

Krystyna, who also celebrated her 50th birthday earlier this year, created an acrylic painting, which features the Merrion Centre clock perched on top of an Emett machine flying above the city of Leeds.

She said: “My inspiration came from my children.

“I always used to take them to see the clock in the Merrion Centre and when it went away I told them a fairytale story about it flying off and disappearing!

“It was my aunt who encouraged me to enter the competition. Unfortunately I was ill on my 50th birthday in March so didn’t get chance to celebrate and my aunt sent me a birthday card with the newspaper competition clipping inside and suggested I enter.

“I never thought I would win. It’s such an honour.

“I’ve lived in Leeds my entire life and as a teenager would visit the Merrion Centre with friends after school and when I became a mother I often took my children there.”

She added: “I love Leeds and everything it has to offer, and we should celebrate our wonderful city more.”

Following on from the 50th celebrations, a 1960s exhibition will now be in the main mall for the next two weeks.

What the judges had to say

The Merrion Centre’s art competition was judged by Edward Ziff, chairman and chief executive of Town Centre Securities, Marjorie Ziff, Charlotte-Daisy Ziff and art critic Rob Dutton.

Rob said: “The winning piece provided a very modern approach in both concept and application depicting a real whimsical and very different take on the brief.

“I particularly liked the way in which the artist thought about both the past and the future with her idea and it was fun, bright and uplifting too!”

Edward Ziff said: “Krystyna really captured the heart of the Merrion Centre and we’re delighted to host her artwork. Her artwork struck a real chord as we’re looking forward to welcoming the Emetts back into the centre in October.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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