Member artists of the New English Art Club reveal all about some of the works featured in this year’s Annual Exhibition…

It has been said about the New English Art Club, fairly, that, "the contents of its exhibitions ... include invented figurative painting, expressionism, satirical subjective painting and abstracted work along with observed objective painting which is the core of the New English tradition" (The New English Art Club Exhibitors 1886-2001, Volume 1, p. XVII). Here, several member artists tell us about some of the works in the New English’s Annual Exhibition 2017, which illustrate its varied contents well…

Neil Pittaway European Library

“My multimedia picture, European Library, celebrates the collective ideas and ideals of Europe and the EU, showcasing its rich heritage and cultural treasures in an imagined library ... The work is particularly poignant as Britain exists the European Union, and remains a reminder of what is great about our collective shared European identities.”

Diana Armfield Teatime in the Garden

“I grew up with the turquoise coloured shed on the edge of the New Forest, which housed chickens. It was dismantled and arrived in my London home with inherited furniture in 1956, then re-erected by my husband and fellow New English member Bernard Dunstan who, over the years, has kept it going turquoise - both useful and a feature at the end of the garden.”






Melissa Scott-Miller 2017 View of My Area of London

“This is a view near where I live in Islington. I had walked past the block of flats that it was painted from nearly every day for a few years and imagined that it must be a great view of the surrounding area, known as the Hillmarton Conservation Area and then the City and the east of London beyond that, and I longed to go up there and draw or paint it. Then, I became friends with a fellow dog owner in the nearby park and she told me that she lived on the estate and kindly introduced me to the caretaker, who gave me permission to paint on the landing of the tenth floor. I spent the whole of last winter there: every morning I would walk round carrying this (to me, at least) huge canvas and my easel and paints in a trolley. On the way there and back a lot of people would see me and shout words of encouragement as they saw the painting progress!”

Bridget Moore Evening Blue

Evening Blue was made from a trip to France – the sun was going down, the moon was up and there was a beautiful golden edge to the hills, and my skinny little nephew, Wilf, was playing statues in the garden.”

Caroline Frood Teasels Leaning

“The teasels were given to me by a friend at the end of last summer. They sat in the studio slowly turning golden and brown until I was able to focus my attention on them. I love the way they dance with their shadows.”

Richard Sorrell Brexit Camp

Brexit Camp is concerned with Brexit and its consequences, particularly the violent discussions leading up to the Referendum. The figures, from the left, show ignorant compliance, fierce self-interest, pedantry, and narrow defiance. The standing man is an ambitious manipulator; the family walking along the shore are the inheritors of the consequences.”

Michael Fairclough Lyme Bay - Golden Cap VI

“My paintings (including Lyme Bay – Golden Cap VI) are meditations on the passing of light into darkness, at sea or on the shoreline. The sea is used as a reflecting or contrasting surface, the land, a shore or a cliff, as a solid theatrical prop against liquid elements of sky and sea. Sunset can be a fast changing sequence of variations, the twilight that follows can be full of rich flashes and veils of colour.”

John Dobbs Kawasaki Z900

“I ride KTMs and the motorbike shop I go to in Hemel Hempstead had this beautiful Kawasaki Z900 on display. Now when I was a teenager and growing up, this was one of the most iconic bikes of that era. It was incredibly fast, had a reputation for poor handling, but we all aspired to own one. With the dealer’s permission, I sat and drew the motorbike for a few hours. I was then able to go to print school at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London and use these drawings to make this drypoint print with chine-collé.”

Tessa Coleman A Room of One’s Own

“The idea for my painting A Room of One’s Own was sparked by a small black and white photograph I came across of a rather elegant self-contained woman in a large floppy hat. She struck me as a dead ringer for my idea of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, so I used her to populate a painting about Virginia Woolf’s books. I included a still life set up in the foreground that contained references to some of her books, a Charleston style screen that I made up, and spent a while moving around the various elements in the picture to produce a composition that included the suggestion of an open door in the background to allude to the importance of a private space to work in that Woolf discusses in her book A Room of One’s Own.”

Browse the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition online now