This year, the Hesketh Hubbard Art Society (HH) launched a bursary for young artists. Here, we speak to HH member Alan Power and HH President Simon Whittle about the decision to launch the initiative. We also hear from the recipients of the bursary, Bartholomew Beal, Jonathan Farningham and Lucy Savage about their experience so far.
The Hesketh Hubbard Art Society has been running weekly life drawing classes for nearly 100 years. Founded in 1930 by the Royal Society of British Artists as a drawing club sponsored by Eric Hesketh Hubbard RBA, it eventually grew into its own separate art society and was renamed in his honor in 1957. Today, it has about 150 members and prides itself on being London’s largest life drawing group.
This year, the Society welcomed three emerging artists under a new bursary scheme for those aged 18 to 30, funded by Alan Power’s eponymous architecture practice. Power, a Hesketh Hubbard member, believes, “Life drawing is, in my view, essential for any developing artist, and it has been neglected in art schools over recent years.” While Simon Whittle, President of the Society, added, “The Society feels that the bursary scheme has been a great success, the artists are an asset to the Society and we would love it to continue.”
We spoke to Bartholomew Beal, Lucy Savage and Jonathan Farningham about how attending regular life drawing classes as a result of the bursary has influenced their process and how life drawing, in general, informs their work.
Bartholomew Beal is a figurative artist and studied Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art. He has found the time brackets of the Society’s drawing sessions to be useful in changing the way he works. “I have been making art in 15-30 minutes, instead of spending months working into paintings, and I hope I can develop a unique style by the end of this year.” He feels that these life drawing sessions have encouraged an element of spontaneity in his work.
Life drawing by Bartholomew Beal
The fixed time frame also excites Jonathan Farningham, who has exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and is a participant of our In the Studio programme. ”You have a limited amount of time to capture the person in front of you and you must respond quickly to make the most of that moment. There is no time for extended contemplation, life drawing demands immediacy.”
Life drawing by Jonathan Farningham
For Lucy Savage, it is being part of “such a passionate and talented community of artists and sharing feedback with them every week.” Since becoming a bursary recipient, Lucy has also been working with a ballerina, Miriam Pierzak, in her studio, deciphering the anatomy of dance through drawing. Lucy will be hosting a ballet life drawing event with Miriam during the Hesketh Hubbard Society Exhibition in August.
Life drawing by Lucy Savage
Earlier this year, the three artists created a shared Instagram account (@heskethhubbardbursary) as a way to exhibit their work together online. Now, they are bringing this digital experience offline, hosting a special exhibition of their life drawings presented alongside the works they later inform when they return to their studios. See below for more details.
Drawn to Life, 31 August to 14 September
Jonathan Farningham, Lucy Savage and Bartholomew Beal are pleased to present an exhibition of figurative drawings at The Good Yard, located within the beautiful surroundings of Leadenhall Market.
Join them to observe a study of the human condition seen through three unique styles of draughtsmanship. They have each interpreted the body according to their individual visions, compromising different media and approaches to art making. Paintings and prints from their personal collections will also be on display.
Private View: 31st August 6pm.