The Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) works hard throughout the year to support and encourage young and emerging artists. Alongside the Rome Scholarship, the RBA Rising Stars exhibition, the RBA Star Students programme and offering the de Lazslo Foundation and LARA Prizes to young artists, this year the RBA have forged links with the BA Artist Blacksmithing course at Hereford College of Arts.

Always striving to encourage young sculptors, Vice President Mick Davies visited the College along with Honorary Treasurer, Francis Drasar, earlier this year. The technical aspects of metal working exemplify the RBA’s dedication to combining high artistic concepts with equally high standards of skill and draughtsmanship and the Society was so impressed by the work being produced by the students that they invited four to exhibit pieces in the Annual Exhibition. Acclaimed RBA sculptor Guy Portelli will visit the college to address the students and offer mentoring advice.

Giles Clarke (b. 1995) 

Flow I

Flow is a series of sculptures that use the five fundamental processes involved in the art of blacksmithing to take the audience on a journey of exploration into our questioning nature as humans. With their playful nature, they aim to evoke a child-like sense of curiosity in the audience. The themes involved in Flow are fundamental to my practice and allow me to constantly question what it is I am pursuing. It is this sense of rigorous questioning I would like people to experience, not only when viewing my work, but something I would like them to take with them. 

Flow II

Flow II adds the element of balance to its form, the cantilever offers a perfect vehicle to add the 'impossible' balancing act.

Jacob Edwards (b. 1997)

Let the Light In 

Let the Light In is made using traditional joining techniques which become the main visual features. By using a wedged fixing, it allows multiple materials to be used, in this case, perspex. The wedged joints as well as the base and lid aim to give the vessel a sense of containment while the perspex allows a point of escape or entry. The fact that the perspex is heavily frosted hides what might be inside.

Containment is constructed from mild steel, featuring two silicon bronze wedges at the front. The base is sealed completely, while the wedges and lid provide a sense of containment for the remaining surfaces.

The bronze hints that there might be something valuable inside the vessel, while still providing a secure fixing. The lid has four rivets which reference industrial construction, particularly in bridges, which is meant to add to the sense of security and containment.


Kit Garnett (b. 1998)

Raindrops I 

The raindrops series comes from research into movements of energy, specifically the sudden change or introduction of energy to a previously rigid or regular form. My aim is to represent impact and the beauty that can be found in the chaotic nature of sudden physical change. The sculpture is an abstraction of water droplets colliding with a greater body of water, encapsulating the action and movement that happens in a split second. The transition between forms is a period that is usually unnoticed due to the velocity that it occurs. However, I have found beautifully irregular forms can be produced at this point of impact.

Raindrops II

Stuart Ryan (b. 1997) 

The Flight of Rays

The Flight of Rays is an exploration of a Fever (group of rays) of Mobular rays. This sculpture is inspired by my admiration of the oceans and the creatures that inhabit them. Through the medium of forged metal, I investigate the flow and movement that is visible in the large groups of these rays. I have created a sculpture that focuses on the beauty of the animals rather than the horrific cruelties they face. The sculpture is created to influence people into becoming more pragmatic in the clean-up of our oceans.

The Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition is on

view at Mall Galleries from 4 to 14 July