Introducing the prize winners of the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2019.
This year's New English Art Club Annual Exhibition is swelling with talent from established members to new emerging artists. Last night, a series of covetable prizes were awarded to five painters at the Private View. The variety and range of works included in this list of winners is reflective of the adventurous and bold nature of the society, something which will no doubt continue to flourish under the leadership of Peter Brown PNEAC and Sarah Spencer VPNEAC.
Castle by Joseph Ryan: Oil, 85 x 60 cm - £2,000
Joseph Ryan, winner of The Doreen McIntosh Prize (£5,000) and the NEAC Critics’ Prize (£250)
Both The Doreen McIntosh Prize and the NEAC Critics' Prize have been awarded to Joseph Ryan. ‘Castle’ depicts the artist’s wife, painted with oil on linen. Joseph has been exhibiting with the New English since 2015. A contemporary figurative artist, working in the modernist tradition, his work revolves around the themes of family, perception and the pursuit of an image.
The Doreen McIntosh Prize was set up by Sir Ronald McIntosh, an avid collector of the New English Art Club, in memory of his late wife. Both have since passed away. In their absence, Joseph was selected as the winner by their nieces.
Hackney by Julia Jackson NEAC: Mixed Media, 88 x 91 cm - £1,200
Julie Jackson NEAC, winner of The Bowyer Drawing Prize (£1,000)
As Peter Brown writes in the President's Foreword of this year's New English Art Club exhibition catalogue, the society is "underpinned by drawing", a point well illustrated by The Bowyer Drawing Prize. The prize was created in honour of William Bowyer RA RP PPNEAC, who passed away in 2015, by his sons Jason and Francis. Following the tragic passing of Jason earlier this year, the award now commemorates both Jason and his father.
“Drawing is crucial and always helps to restore my perception of space,” says winner Julie Jackson, who works from sketches which she creates through direct observation, developing them until they are “deeply felt”.
Julie started painting with Jason Bowyer after she was awarded the first New English Scholarship. Since then, she has found that “being part of a group of artists is very important to me.”
Whitstable Sky and Seascape by Sarah Spencer VPNEAC: Oil, 86 x 99 cm - SOLD
Sarah Spencer VPNEAC, winner of The Peter Ashley Framing Prize (£500 of picture framing), presented by The Artistic Framing Company
The Peter Ashley Framing Prize was awarded to the society's Vice President, Sarah Spencer, for her painting of Whitstable. It’s no surprise that Spencer hails from Kent herself, given the zeal with which she captures a beacon of light peering through the foreboding clouds – evidence, perhaps, of a silver lining in the distance.
JMW Turner was famously drawn to Kent for the unique quality of light there and the atmosphere it gave his paintings – as is evident in this brooding yet luminescent painting by Spencer.
3/15/2018 by Sean Cunningham: Oil, 36 x 41 cm - SOLD
Sean Cunningham, winner of the Jackson’s Art Supplies Prize (£300)
Sean Cunningham has been awarded Jackson’s Art Supplies Prize for his work, '3/15/2018', made using acrylic on board. This painting was created in a day using the available daylight. The title, unsurprisingly, refers to the date it was painted. Cunningham previously exhibited at Mall Galleries with the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) in 2018.
Mother & Child – South Downs by Robert E Wells: Oil, 33 x 33 cm - £1,200
Robert E Wells NEAC RBA, winner of The Dry Red Press Award (work published as a greeting card)
Robert E Wells NEAC RBA is one of the society's more recent members, joining in 2017. "It means a huge amount to me on a personal level," said Robert, "I see it as a fine tradition and heritage of which I am proud to say I am a part of."
On July 9, Robert will in the gallery to deliver a talk on “The Power of the Sketchbook”, examining its use as part of the creative process. Robert will provide a number of his own working books to demonstrate the process from initial drawings through to large studio paintings, and their use as a constant source of reference material. There will also be an opportunity for an informal portfolio review if artists wish to bring along their own sketchbooks for discussion.
The New English Art Club is on view at Mall Galleries from 14 June to 22 June.