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Young artist grabs the opportunity of lockdown to make a career out of art

PUBLISHED: 07:30 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:41 10 August 2020

Zac Patsalides with his painting of Dali Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Zac Patsalides with his painting of Dali Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Lockdown gave an aspiring artist from Ipswich the gift of time to pursue his work - and after only a few months he is on his way to becoming professional.

Zac Patsalides currently has work on show at MF Frames Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNZac Patsalides currently has work on show at MF Frames Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Zac Patsalides, 25, was trying to make it in fine art photography while working in sales to pay the bills, but was put on furlough from his sales role at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Northgate Sixth Form student hadn’t painted since school, but free from the ties of work he ordered some paints and began to hone his skills of portraiture.

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Painting onto glass with acrylics, living plants become part of the pieces, which are displayed at M F Gallery and Framing in St Helens Street in Ipswich.

Zac describes his work as “immersive” and is influenced by the connection between us and nature, which he terms oneness - the name of the series.

This is Zac's Amy Winehouse piece Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThis is Zac's Amy Winehouse piece Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He said: “During lockdown the world got a bit smaller for everybody. I stayed in the flat and didn’t want to watch day-time telly so ordered some paints online.

“What sparked the whole idea was my mum had an old shower door, so a big piece of glass, and didn’t want to throw it away.”

This became his work depicting Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí seated on a bench.

He has also worked on a 5ft piece on famous actress Marilyn Monroe, which is part of his other series called Garden Guests that is only available for commission due to their size. The Oneness series involves planters that are part of the work.

Zac Patsalides with his painting of Dali Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNZac Patsalides with his painting of Dali Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Zac added: “Normally I’m quite impatient and I think that’s why photography suited me. You get the picture and it’s done, but because I had all this time because of the lockdown I had the time to do it.”

He added: “I’m a very optimistic and energetic person and needed to put my energy into something.”

He said he did abstract paintings at school, but never portraits.

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The subjects of his paintings are icons and figures who have inspired him, such as the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat - which was his first sale, purchased by Dial Lane Books in Ipswich.

This piece capturing American artist Basquiat was Zac's first sale Picture: ZAC PATSALIDESThis piece capturing American artist Basquiat was Zac's first sale Picture: ZAC PATSALIDES

He has since gone on to sell another six or so paintings and says he is on his way to becoming a professional artist.

Zac said: “I’m very, very pleased. I’m over the moon. This has been my dream to be an artist since I left school so I really feel I’m on the way to living the dream.

“It’s great so many local, independent businesses have been involved as well. I think that’s really good for the town.”

Zac initially explored the idea of oneness between humans and nature through double exposure photography before moving onto his work today.

Zac Patsalides created this piece on John Lennon Picture: ZAC PATSALIDESZac Patsalides created this piece on John Lennon Picture: ZAC PATSALIDES

He said: “I spent a lot of time travelling in the East learning about Buddhism - that’s something I’m interested in, and meditation.

“I love nature and animals. My fiancée and I are both vegans - that’s also an influence. I believe there’s a oneness between humans and nature, but we are becoming more distanced from it.”

Zac is set to start art college in London in October, but he said he will always have a foot in Ipswich.

“I have had such a positive response and people really love the work, and the fact I have already got the display in M F after just three months of painting gives me great optimism for the future.”

For more information find Zac on Instagram under plantpoweredart or visit his website www.plantpoweredart.co.uk

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