Beka is an established portrait painter based in London since 2007. Her portrait’s come to life and the viewer is looking at that person, not just a picture.Her engaging personality and professionalism enable her to guide her subjects through the sometimes emotionally challenging process of sitting for a public portrait with ease, comfort and confidence.
Beka studied Fine Art in Bristol and went on to become Senior Designer and Illustrator for a design company in the iconic Oxo Tower, London. After success in the BP Portrait Awards with her painting of Dr Leslie Wayper, Fellow of Fitzwilliam College (Cambridge), she decided to follow her ambition to become a portrait artist. She was subsequently chosen by the University’s selection committee to undertake a portrait of the Master of the College Professor Robert Lethbridge. This was well received and she was invited to curate an exhibition there in 2009, entitled ‘Ego, Alter Ego’. In 2015 Beka was delighted to be selected to paint the first female Master of the College, Nicky Padfield which was unveiled in July.
Beka’s paintings have been included in various other recent publications including the book ‘500 Portraits’ by Sandy Nairne (Director of the National Portrait Gallery), and the book ‘International Contemporary Artists’ Volume IV [Paperback] 2012 1st Edition by Eve Lemonidou (Author). Her work is featured in ‘The Artist in Our Midst. Volume 2’ published by Green Pebble, a 2010 series of books which represent a refreshingly new way to look at contemporary visual art by representing the works of leading contemporary East Anglian artists. Her work has also been included several times in ‘Artists and Illustrators Magazine’ and she is now a featured artist on their website.
For her next venture she curated a joint exhibition entitled ‘Stories’ with distinguished artist John Eveleigh, member of the Australian Watercolour Institute, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Fellow of the University of Wollongong. ‘Stories’ was a series of portraits of people associated with the litery world including writers, readers, even publishers each with their own story to tell. Each subject also wrote a short piece about their connection with the artist and the story behind their portrait, bringing the whole show to life. It was held in conjunction with the annual Literary Festival in Folkestone, and was the first portrait exhibition ever held there. It was a sell out success.
Beka made a conscious decision to broaden her repertoire from portraiture for the last show she curated in order to diversify her skills as an artist, and develop new ideas and techniques. ‘Turning the Corner’ (2012), a joint exhibition with artist Hugh Ward was an exploration of the South London world of Greenwich, and its riverside neighbours. The theme, patterns and shapes in man made architecture, included panoramics and single images,depicting some of the iconic landmarks around this historic area of London.
In 2009 Beka joined the renowned ‘Thames-Side Studios’ near her home in Greenwich where she has completed many private and public commissions. Some of these works are in permanent collections, such as her portrait of Emeritus Professor Rosemary Cramp, Vice President of The Society Of Antiquaries, Portraits of Baroness Onora O’Neil, The British Academy and at Newnham College, Cambridge, works at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
Seven of Beka’s portraits are permanently exhibited at Kent’s renowned Ashford School, Winner of Independent School of the year in 2016. The portraits sit side by side celebrating the heads of the school throughout the years in the school hall where she was once a pupil.
Beka is continuing to counter balance her portraiture commissions with other design and to build a body of personal work towards an exhibition.