A BARNSLEY College student was thrilled to see his artwork lit up around the town centre during the Bright Nights Festival after winning a £2,500 commission.

The winning work by Jan Piwowarski – chosen amongst tough competition from fellow students Eboni Kasza and Scarlet Bradwell – was shown to thousands at the Cooper Gallery on Church Street.

It features portraits of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I created using LED strips and clear acrylic, which give the effect of images having been ‘drawn with light’ in one continuous motion.

Jan said: “As this was my first commission as an art student, it was a huge opportunity for me but I didn’t take into account how challenging it truly was going to be.

“I faced having to constantly change something every week, saying, ‘yes that may look good but am I pushing myself to create this project to its fullest potential?'

“My piece of art that I had made, came up with, was going to be shown to the public the next day, and when the next day arrived all my friends and family came down to see it and I don’t think I’ll be able to relive a happier moment in my life than this.

“Everyone was smiling and in awe as to how great it was, and telling me how proud of me they are.

“I just couldn’t stop smiling for the next two days about it.”