Apprentice to give mum helping hand

Brackley Artist Gill Gilroy is to have her work exhibited in West London thanks to her Apprentice daughter Katie Wright.
Brackley Artist Gill Gilroy is to have her work exhibited in West London thanks to her Apprentice daughter Katie Wright.

BRACKLEY’S Apprentice star Katie Wright is using her connections to give her artist mother a helping hand as she recovers from breast cancer.

Billed as the 13th Apprentice Task Katie and four of her colleagues from the BBC show have teamed up to put on an exhibition of Gill Gilroy’s artwork at a London gallery, with the Apprentices pushing the sales.

The exhibition repeats a task in this year’s series when the teams had to select an artist and sell their work at an exhibition. The task was enthusiastically taken up by apprentice Gabrielle Omar and the exhibition will take place at the gallery she owns in West Kensington.

Over the last few years, Mrs Gilroy has been treated for breast cancer and is currently waiting for the all clear. In addition, Mrs Gilroy said she suffers from a mild form agoraphobia, or fear of open spaces and busy social situations. The condition has caused her to avoid trips to notable landscapes and cultural points of interest, as she can suffer bouts of anxiety while out and about.

She added that at times of stress she has used her art as a tool to cope with her problems, at the same time bringing inaccessible landscapes metaphorically closer.

Mrs Gilroy has been a full-time artist since getting her degree in fine art in 2007 via De Montfort University at Banbury College. Since then she has held a number of collaborative and solo exhibitions at Brackley Library and Rolands Restaurant.

Mrs Gilroy told the Advertiser she was filled with pride for the way her daughter conducted herself during the TV series, and is now overwhelmed as her peaceful life in Brackley collides with the world of television stars. She said: “It is amazing, it’s mind blowing. It’s almost like a dream. I feel like I could pinch myself and wake up. And it is an incredible opportunity to raise the profile of my work.”

As well as Katie and Gabrielle, Adam Corbally and Maria O’Connor have also agreed to help out on the night, with other guest appearances in the planning.

Katie said her mum’s work would stand out in any house or exhibition, but she had always lacked the confidence to assert herself on the market. She added: “I have a short-term yet unique opportunity to use the profile of all the candidates for ‘good’ and the obvious ‘project’ was to take the reins and help mum get the recognition she deserves.

“The other candidates really enjoyed the art task on the show; Gabrielle even ended up opening her own studio. As soon as I showed them mum’s work they were delighted to help.”

The exhibition takes place at the Gallery, from 6.30pm on Thursday, July 12.