AN 11-year-old girl has beaten off stiff competition to be declared the overall winner of a popular art competition – despite being the youngest ever to enter.
Primary school pupil Daisy Gilman won the overall prize at Mercia Marina’s annual art competition organised in conjunction with Willington Arts Festival.
Daisy was the youngest artist to enter this year’s competition, yet she also bagged the most public votes for her pencil drawing of a family of ducks on the water at Mercia Marina, near Willington.
People were invited to submit entries in any creative medium for the theme ‘Anything that Floats’. Votes for category winners were then cast during Willington Arts Festival on May 17 and 18, where all entries were displayed.
Daisy, who attends Heath Fields Primary School, in Hatton, was crowned overall winner as well as winning the ‘Under-16s Drawing’ category. Her prize is a free trip for up to 12 guests on a canal boat at Mercia Marina plus a meal at the forthcoming Boardwalk pub-restaurant, which is due to open this autumn.
Daisy, who said she had been drawing ever since she could remember, said: “I was speechless. Winning was such a shock and an amazing feeling. I’m so happy to win and really excited about my future.”
She said that she could see herself pursuing a career in design or fashion.
“My mum’s an artist and a huge inspiration - as is my dad and the whole family. My older brother works in design, so I guess it runs in the family.”
Daisy’s dad, David Gilman, is a moorer at Mercia Marina, while her mum, Deborah Gilman, lives in nearby Bretby.
Deborah said: “I’m so proud of her. Daisy always says she’s going to do a famous painting for me one day and make lots of money. Let’s hope this prize is the start of it.
“It’s fascinating to watch Daisy when she draws. She doesn’t even have to look at the subject matter.”