A ROMSEY-born artist will have his work showcased at an outdoor exhibition for more than two months in a bid to celebrate key workers amid coronavirus.

Benjamin Senior, who grew up in Romsey and attended Barton Peveril Sixth Form College in Eastleigh, is one of the few artists to have his artwork displayed at the 'Everyday Heroes' exhibition outside of the Southbank Centre, London.

Now, the former Mountbatten school student has revealed the inspiration behind his painting, which will be displayed until November 7 after the event kicked off yesterday.

Benjamin, 38, said: "I was asked by Ralph Rugoff, who is the Hayward Gallery director, because I had worked with the gallery as part of their touring exhibition last year, called Slow Painting, so that is how he came across my work.

"The exhibition celebrates key workers during the lockdown period and, since I have been painting market scenes for a while, it seemed natural to do a piece of my local market - [Surrey Street Market, Croydon].

"I have been using that market for quite a while and it has been a big inspiration for my paintings for a couple of years now, so this was the perfect excuse to just go right ahead and do it.

"The jobs that keep us fed became a focal point in our lives during lockdown, because it meant going down to the high streets and hunting for things like flour, so shopping became this completely different activity for us."

He added: "The painting took me two weeks to do and it was nice to make something that is celebratory and positive at a time when it is so easy to respond with anxiety.

"The original painting is only 40cm by 30cm, but it has been blown up five metres high and is on the front of the Royal Festival Hall facing the Thames."

When asked what other projects the artist has in the pipeline, Benjamin said he will be doing a group exhibition at the Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate, Kent, from November 8.

As reported, Benjamin had the honour of being chosen as an official Olympic artist for Rio 2016.

He was selected by Team GB as one of eight official artists who represented the UK and had his work made into official Team GB posters.

To see Benjamin's work, follow https://bit.ly/3hDKMNJ.