International art contest winners announced with more than £9,000 raised for charity

Pixie Jenkinson won the over 18s make-up prize.

Pixie Jenkinson won the over 18s make-up prize. - Credit: Pixie Jenkinson

The Unlock Your Talent festival has raised more than £9,000 for North Somerset charity, Vine Counselling Service.

Winners from the contest hailed from Clevedon, Backwell, Congresbury and Wrington.

Winners from the contest hailed from Clevedon, Backwell, Congresbury and Wrington. - Credit: Rachel Mason

The winners for a worldwide art festival founded in North Somerset have been revealed, with plenty of winners within the district.

Unlock Your Talent was created by former Sky TV judge and professional singer Rachel Mason to champion creativity during lockdown.

Rachel Mason founded the Unlock Your Talent festival at the beginning of lockdown.

Rachel Mason founded the Unlock Your Talent festival at the beginning of lockdown. - Credit: Archant

The contest was judged by a host of professionals in the entertainment industry and received backing from the Duchess of Cambridge.

A range of categories produced winners from Clevedon, Backwell, Wrington and Congresbury.

Jeanette Read's entry won the highly contested art category.

Jeanette Read's entry won the highly contested art category. - Credit: Jeanette Read


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Congresbury winner Bronwen entered the 12 to 17-year-old song-writing category, and her winning entry was described by The Voice winner Ruti as ‘so beautiful it nearly brought me to tears’.

Meanwhile, Clevedon winners Ellie and Nina scooped the under 18s Graphic design and over 18s song-writing categories, respectively.

Ellie's entry took top spot in the under 18s graphic design category.

Ellie's entry took top spot in the under 18s graphic design category. - Credit: Ellie Ackrill

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Elsewhere, BAFTA-winning make-up artist Tara Hickman crowned Backwell’s Pixie Jenkinson a winner in the over 18s make-up group with her ‘delicate and original’ submission.

Wrington’s Jeanette Read topped one of the most popular categories.

The Voice winner, Ruti said Bronwen's entry was “so beautiful it nearly brought me to tears”.

The Voice winner, Ruti said Bronwen's entry was “so beautiful it nearly brought me to tears”. - Credit: Rachel Mason

Read’s over 18s art submission faced international competition from Spain and Australia, but her scenic entry, described by all four judges as ‘breath-taking’, was named the winner.

Speaking on the international support the festival received, founder Rachel Mason said: “I am overwhelmed by the number of entries and the amount of support we had from so many people in the media across the world.”

Nina Sundstrom was described by singer and composer Joanna L’Estrange as “a rare talent”.

Nina Sundstrom was described by singer and composer Joanna L’Estrange as “a rare talent”. - Credit: Rachel Mason

Each contestant was required to donate £5, £10 or £20 to North Somerset-based Vine Counselling Service upon entry.

“The festival raised more than £3,000, but we’ve also had donations from organisations all over the world who wanted to put their financial support behind the festival and the charity, so the final total is almost triple that.

“I did worry what I would do when the judging was finished, but I will continue with the charity work.

“I have teamed up with two NHS staff members who have written a song called We Are Here about lockdown and helped them create it.”

Ingrid Clift and Kathryn Harris approached Rachel with the lyrics of We Are Here for it to be transformed into a single.

The said: “Rachel has kindly given her time, recording studio facilities and beautiful voice for free to allow this song to be brought to life and is even releasing it free of charge for us on her own record label, Listen In Colour.

“We can’t believe that a musician of Rachel’s calibre has agreed to be part of this project!”

All proceeds will go toward The Care Workers Charity.

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