Nine-year-old art prodigy Kieron Williamson to return to Holt

The schoolboy tagged Mini Monet is set to return to the Holt gallery which launched his meteoric rise in the art world.

And once again buyers and media are expected to camp out for an early glimpse of the talent which has already seen him buy a house and set up a company of his own - at the age of just nine.

Painting prodigy Kieron caught the art bug on a West Country family holiday in 2008, and when some of his works were sold during a festival in his then home town Holt, things started taking off.

His last exhibition, in July 2010, saw 33 paintings sell for �150,000 in 30 minutes with a number of people - including a couple from South Africa and four from the US - camping in a queue outside for two nights to be sure of a painting.

The family has now moved to Ludham, in a house bought with Kieron's art earnings, and the new inspirations around him are clear in the new show which opens at Holt's Picturecraft Gallery on November 11.


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The 12 artworks, priced from about �1,000 to �15,000, include two views of St Benet's Abbey, one in watercolour and one in pastel, a scene of Broadland mist and one of a boat tacking on the river near Thurne.

The gallery's managing director Adrian Hill, who has nurtured his talent since Kieron first took up a paintbrush at the age of six, said there had already been significant international interest with clients phoning and emailing from all over the world.

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Five television crews, including three from Germany and France, are expected and clients are known to be travelling to Holt from Manchester and London.

Although he has been dubbed Mini Monet in some sections of the media, Mr Hill said Kieron's extraordinary talent actually made him think of Picasso, who sold his first painting from a gallery, aged nine.

'He is unrivalled. There isn't any other child out there who can paint as well in three different media - watercolour, oil and pastel. His grasp of the technical elements of working with them really is a wonderful thing,' said Mr Hill.

Kieron's mother, Michelle, 38, who gave up her job as a nutritionist to manage Kieron's new company - Kieron Williamson Ltd - recalled how the whirlwind started while they were staying in a holiday cottage in Cornwall in May 2008.

She said: 'We thought he had gone downstairs to watch television but in fact he had been working on a picture of a boat we had seen on a walk earlier that day. We were surprised how good it was.'

That triggered Kieron's insatiable appetite for painting and he spent the rest of the holiday badgering his parents to buy him paper and other art materials.

His father Keith, 45, who became an art dealer when a foot injury ended his career as a builder, said: 'When we got back home to Holt we showed Adrian what he had been doing and he offered some advice. Kieron is such a sponge for information, within a week he had confidently progressed on to watercolour painting.'

The couple, who also have a daughter Billie-Jo, seven, feel passionately it is important to keep life as normal as possible.

Mrs Williamson said: 'There have been times when Kieron has got up at 6am and painted all day, but we try to make every day not just about art.'

His father said: 'He already has his own house so if he decides he wants to do something completely different when he is older, at least he won't have to worry about a mortgage.'

? Kieron's new show runs at the Picturecraft Gallery in Lees Yard Holt from November 11-23. Call 01263 711040 or visit www.picturecraftgallery.com

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