Teenage snooker artist pots a winner

BIg break: Oliver Byne with some of his pieces of art which are up for sale .                              Picture: Dean Atkins.
BIg break: Oliver Byne with some of his pieces of art which are up for sale . Picture: Dean Atkins.
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a TALENTED teenager has gone snooker loopy for charity - with a series of abstract art creations based around the sport’s top players which are now being sold to raise money for good causes.

Oliver Byne produced the 32 pieces of art at last year’s World Championship, each with a theme that reflected the finalists they represented.

The 16-year-old then worked tirelessly over the following 12 months to get each canvas - and a further 32 prints generated from each one - autographed by the player featured on the picture.

Now he has 1,056 pieces of art - a mixture of the original canvases and associated prints - on the market as Art-O-Graphs, with 20 per cent of profits to be donated to Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity and Paul Hunter Foundation.

The High Storrs A-level student, who is studying history, geography, Latin and business studies but not art, picked Weston Park after his grandfather Herbert Richmond was treated there for bowel cancer before his death aged 67.

Oliver said he chose the Paul Hunter Foundation - set up in memory of the snooker star who died from cancer in 2006 - because of the subject of his artistic creations.

And a third charity is also set to benefit from his talent and flair with a percentage of the profits from a series of prints on display at the Crucible Corner bar in Tudor Square to be donated to Sheffield’s St Luke’s Hospice.

Oliver, from Shirecliffe, set about the task as part of his Duke of Edinburgh scheme, working to achieve the fundraising element of the award.

He said: “I am not very good at drawing traditional things like people and landscapes, so I decided I would base it on an abstract idea.

“So for example, the piece representing Ronnie O’Sullivan is like a firework - because of his nickname as Rocket Ronnie. While the one about Graeme Dott is dotty - simply because of his name!

“I did it because I wanted to set myself a challenge, and also to raise money for charity - both as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award, but also because Weston Park is very close to my heart after my granddad was treated there.”

n Visit www.world-snooker-sheffield.co.uk for more information about the project and how to buy.