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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Friday, 6 August 2010 17:32 UK
Kieron Williamson: Media circus surrounds 'Mini Monet'
David Keller, BBC Norfolk
By David Keller
BBC Norfolk

Kieron Williamson, 8-year-old child painting prodigy
Kieron's paintings are fetching thousands of pounds

Painting prodigy Kieron Williamson, aged 8, has secured world media attention after his latest exhibition fetched £150,000 in under 30 minutes.

Kieron and his family, from Holt in north Norfolk, have featured on international news channels and across the UK's TV shows and newspapers.

"It's just been phenomenal... an emotional rollercoaster," said Michelle, Kieron's mother.

Despite his age, the family are creating a workable schedule.

"It's our little 8-year-old boy that's the centre of attention and that does get to you. You get stressed and worried for him because he does get tired and he is just a little boy," said father Keith.

At Kieron's last exhibition in his home-town of Holt on 30 July 2010, art buyers from across the world camped outside of Picturecraft Gallery to be first in line to snap up his 33-strong collection featuring Norfolk landscapes, worldwide cityscapes and other watercolours.

"Mini Monet"

Ferryside by Kieron Williamson (detail) (Copyright: Kieron Williamson)

Since being dubbed by the press as the "Mini Monet", the boy wonder has appeared on BBC's The One Show and ITV's This Morning, with profiles in many national newspapers.

He is also currently being filmed as part of a Channel 4 documentary and has been featured on television channels in America and Australia.

"Routine this week has gone completely out of the window, even down to when you're going to grab a meal. Bed times have also gone out of the window," said Michelle.

"We've realised to do any sort of exhibition or function it has got to be within the summer holidays because we just couldn't cope with school and work at the same time as this," she added.

"They've all been really nice. We've only had one or two bad ones," said Kieron, who turned 8 years old on 4 August.

Worldwide interest

The worldwide interest over Kieron is something that has changed the Williamson family forever.

(Left to right) Keith, Michelle and Kieron Williamson

But Keith and Michelle are working hard to ensure the pressures do not mount up on such a small boy, who simply treats art as "his best friend".

"We were excited about the exhibition and we were completely overwhelmed with that, but this week has been equally as busy," said Michelle.

"I think the campers outside the gallery two days early really started to make us realise there was a lot of people out there who were serious about buying his work and would practically do anything to get a painting.

"The response has been absolutely phenomenal from the locals - the [Picturecraft] gallery has been busy every day so it's been a satisfying thing, because people have not only bought his work but are still coming to appreciate it."

"If he says tomorrow I don't want to paint anymore then so be it. We aren't taking a living from him or rely on Kieron for anything. All the money he makes is going towards his future and if he wants to call it a day then that's entirely up to him," said Keith.




SEE ALSO
In pictures: New Williamson art
06 Aug 10 |  Arts & Culture
In pictures: Williamson's artwork
30 Jul 10 |  Arts & Culture
Boy's paintings fetch 150,000
30 Jul 10 |  Norfolk

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