THE work of a teenager artist has caught the eye of legendary photographer Martin Parr... who has chose the teen’s work to be shown at the National Portrait Gallery.

Belfairs Academy pupil, Alfie Winters, was selected from hundreds of entries for his photograph ‘Stoned & Plastered’ - initially simply posted on Instagram - which illustrates a man standing outside an ornament dealers near London’s Columbia Road.

Basildon Standard:

Stoned and Plastered - Alfie’s work which was chosen for display

The 15-year-old’s artistic talents are now being showcased in Mr Parr’s acclaimed exhibition ‘Only Human’, at the gallery just off Trafalgar Square.

Alfie, whose photographs will also be on show in June at the Leigh Art Trail, said: “I’m beyond speechless. I truly cannot believe that at 15 I have my image on display in such an iconic gallery in London.

“The fact that Martin Parr has even looked at my photos is amazing enough.”

Alfie, who has never studied photography and is completely self-taught, describes Parr as “an icon and a role model”, and was invited to the National Portrait Gallery to meet him.

He added: “What a character! He was so engaging and asked numerous questions about the photo, including where I took it, my thought process behind the image, the editing and so on. He wanted to know what I hoped to do with my photography in the future.

“I mostly photograph street scenes. I’ve always been obsessed with people-watching, which perhaps is an odd thing for a 15-year-old boy, but that’s me.

“The picture came about on a trip to Brick Lane. It just looked like an interesting scene that needed to be captured, so I quickly got out my phone and shot the photo while walking by.

“I posted it on Instagram and the National Portrait Gallery sent me an email saying I’d been shortlisted. That was a shock. Then two days later, while I was in class at school, they got in touch again to say my photo was being framed and put on display.”

Many of Alfie’s photographs share the humour and quirkiness of Parr’s, an achievement which has been much admired considering Alfie is still doing his GCSEs.

On top of this achievement, Alfie is about to become the youngest ever artist to exhibit on the Leigh Art Trail, which showcases the work of more than 60 artists in shops, cafes and businesses from June 8 until June 15.

After being selected this year from nearly 100 new applicants, the 15-year-old’s work will be displayed at June Store, 125 Broadway West, Leigh.

Mixed-media painter Emma Bell, from gallery 70 The Broadway, said: “Alfie first applied for the trail when he was 14.

“We had no idea how old he was, but it was obvious he had a natural eye and he was one of the few photography applicants not presenting images of the estuary. I’m thrilled his talent has been recognised by Martin Parr and soon visitors to the Leigh Art Trail will be able to see what all the fuss is about, too.”