Homerton Artist wins royal accolade

A wood engraver from Homerton says she was “stunned” to be elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Anne Desmet, 47, was born with a dislocated hip, and spent long periods of time in hospital, until the age of 18, recovering from gruelling operations.

“My interest in art arose from trying to alleviate the boredom,” she said. “Initially, I drew cartoons of the other children in the beds near me, and then I moved on to drawing the fruit people brought me. I even remember drawing my own feet at one point.”

Today, Ms Desmet, of Queen Anne Road, specialises in turning her drawings into limited edition wood engraved prints and unique printed collages.She was elected to the academy under the engravers, printmakers and draughtsmen category.

The mother-of-two, who has been working as an artist for 25 years, said: “I’m stunned, honoured and absolutely delighted. As a wood engraver - an art form rather rarely in the public eye – it’s a great accolade.

“I’ve shown in the Royal Academy summer exhibition almost every year for the last 20 years but, even so, this news is an unexpected and wonderful surprise, and I hope I will prove worthy of the honour.”

Ms Desmet, who was officially elected to the academy during a meeting on Thursday, May 26, is due to receive a silver medal, and a diploma signed by the Queen, in September.

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People interested in Ms Desmet’s work should visit www.annedesmet.com.