Ian Rawling

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Sheffield-based artist, Ian Rawling’s incredible picture of cheese on toast was recently voted ‘Best in Show’ at the Pastel Society Exhibition at the Mall Galleries on The Mall in Mayfair. When we heard that we knew we had to ask him all about it.

Just how many pieces of cheese on toast did you get through to create this picture, Ian?
Unfortunately only the one as I hadn’t planned to turn it into a painting until it came out of the grill. It was then a race against time to get the perfect photo before it went cold so I could still eat it!

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Why did you decide to enter it to the Pastel Society Exhibition this year?
I make regular trips down to London from Sheffield to see the exhibitions & galleries & the Pastel Society Exhibition has always been my favourite. I’ve always wanted to exhibit there and eventually just decided to go for it and see what happened.

How did you celebrate being voted the Best In Show?
I’d like to say I had another piece of cheese on toast but I’d already had my dinner so I settled for a glass of wine with my wife Nicola and an evening of telling everyone I know about my success, while trying not to boast too much!

You’ve put in the hard graft as an artist, working literally on the street and on a production line – what was harder, the pavement art on a cold day or the feeling of having think up ideas to illustrate greetings cards?
Pavement art definitely, as I think my knees are still suffering all these years later. It was a good grounding for working under pressure though as there are a lot of art critics out there!

Where can we see more of your work?
I have a newly set up website: ianrawlingstudio.com & am currently represented by the Mall Galleries’ site: mallgalleries.org.uk/buy-art. Also I keep some of my work at my studio in Sheffield City Centre… just in case anyone happens to be passing.

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As interesting as watching ice melt