22 May 2023

For the coronation of King Charles III the Government Art Collection has commissioned nine amazing British artists to create new works of art in celebration of the event. We are thrilled to announce that one of these nine artists is none other than Venture Arts legend, Leslie Thompson.

Working in paint, pencil, photography and sculpture these new artworks mark this historic occasion and will become part of the Government Art Collection.

A man, Leslie Thompson, sat drawing at a table with a union jack flag on it in Manchester Cathedral.

Leslie Thompson drawing at Manchester Cathedral during the Coronation. 

“It’s fantastic to be chosen to draw the King’s coronation. I’m looking forward to seeing the ceremony in London and to drawing all the people, the horse and carriage, the crown, and the buildings, as well as people celebrating here in Manchester”.

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As well as recording responses to the Coronation, these newly commissioned artworks will explore themes of sustainability, diversity, community and youth associated with King Charles III’s reign.

Leslie’s work draws on his own memories, as well as popular cultural references from the 1970s and 1980s to produce vibrant drawings, most often in ink but also on textile, in ceramic and in paint.

While some of Thompson’s drawings allude to his upbringing in Manchester’s Moss Side area, others depict a rich array of flora and fauna or focus on architectural details. Often commissioned to produce live drawings, Thompson has gained a reputation as one of Britain’s most dynamic mural artists. His work has been exhibited across the UK and is held in both private and public collections. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of Leslie’s commission when it’s completed.

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