A PHOTOGRAPHY student has snapped up a prestigious place in the Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition with a piece of work that was rejected by his tutors.

Paul Cliff, who has just completed his second year studying Photography BA (Hons) at the University of Bolton, is showing his work at this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

The summer exhibition, which has run every year since 1769, is the world’s largest open submission, featuring emerging artists alongside the well known names.

Paul’s colour photograph, Pensarn – Llandanwg, forms part of his larger project The Escape Train, which he began for the first-year Photography BA (Hons) Applied Creativity module.

Inspired by regular rail journeys and a chance overhearing of the station announcer listing the stops of a journey culminating at the most south-westerly tip of Wales, he studied trains running throughout Wales for interesting stories, facts and romantic place names.

He sad: “I found a place called Sugar Loaf, which was the third least used station in the country. It was on the Heart of Wales line — it too has lots of interesting history. I decided that would be my Escape Train test!”

Paul, 51, began travelling on the right-hand side of the carriage and photographing, with a long exposure, anything that caught his eye. But his work was rejected in favour of what tutors felt was a stronger piece on hot tubs and trampolines in working-class backyards.

He said: “I liked much of what I got on that first trip to Llanelli and I loved the experimentation and adventure of The Escape Train, so I carried on with it.”

Second year, students must enter at least two competitions so Paul entered two of his Escape Train images for the RA Summer Exhibition — competing against 12,000 entries — and found out last month that Pensarn – Llandanwg had been successful.

He said: “I am elated to have been chosen. I’m off to London again on Saturday with my partner and little girl. I’m so excited for them to see it.”

He also entered work into a National Portrait Gallery competition, and was selected for the Portrait Salon exhibited in London and Tokyo with a portrait of actor Archie Kelly, and he was presented with the “The Carole Swarbrick Award” for his outstanding contribution to the We are Bolton project at the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery.

A print of Pensarn – Llandanwg is also featured in the University of Bolton’s Creative Show, June 25 .

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition runs 21 August 21 2016 in the Main Galleries.