Graduate Sorcha Williams who studied a B-Tec in art and design at the further education college in Aberystwyth between 2004 and 2006, has landed a prestigious job as one of Damien Hirst’s art assistants. The student has since gone on to complete a masters degree in Fine Art at the Slade School of Art.
“I was pleased to be offered the post and the chance to use the skills learnt at college and university,” Sorcha told her former college’s website. I’m looking forward to working in a busy studio for a successful contemporary artist and to the new perspective this will give me to reflect back upon my own artwork.” He added: “Now she’s mastered her own style, the challenge of working for someone like Damien Hirst will be to adapt and mimic the “house-style”, so that she’s able to recreate not just her own ideas, but bring to life other people’s visions,” he said.
Hirst has a reputation for using his art assistants to help him mass produce works on an industrial scale; as with the artist’s spot paintings featuring rows of often randomly chosen coloured spots. The concepts for which were inspired by Hirst but largely completed by his assistant staff on hand. A process that was publicly derided by artist David Hockney – although not dissimilar to renaissance artists who relied on their protégés to paint the backgrounds of masterpieces.
Julian Ruddock, Sorcha’s former art and design tutor at Coleg Ceredigion, told the BBC: “Even ten years ago when she was just setting out, you could tell Sorcha had a very special gift indeed” He added: “Now she’s mastered her own style, the challenge of working for someone like Damien Hirst will be to adapt and mimic the “house-style”, so that she’s able to recreate not just her own ideas, but bring to life other people’s visions,” he said.
Hirst, made a name for himself in the mid-nineties as part of the YBAs (Young British Artists), with controversial works such as ‘A Thousand Years’ an artwork exhibited in the original Saatchi Gallery consisting of a vitirine filled with living flies feeding from a rotting cows head, and being killed by a hanging insectocutor. A piece of work reportedly liked by the great British painter Francis Bacon; although that story may be apocryphal, as Hirst drew many of his ideas from works by Bacon. Yet the artist has since gone on to become an entrepreneur, and is reported to be the richest living artist in history.