The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) and Mall Galleries are pleased to announce the prizewinners at this year’s RI 208th Exhibition, the largest exhibition of contemporary water-based media paintings in the world. 

With lockdown postponing the show, the winning works were chosen from the gallery’s website rather than its walls.

We are now ready to re-open so you can come and see the works for yourself.

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However with videos, audio, images and statements by the winners to watch, hear, see, and read, we hope you can experience and enjoy their works wherever you are.

Discover all the prize winners via the links below

The prize winners featured in part three include:

The Baohong Artists' Watercolour Paper Prize for a Member

Lillias August RI

Tied Up in Knots

I’ve done many paintings of everyday things and what could be more ordinary than string? Usually when I paint rows of objects I hang them up by pieces of cotton so that they are right in front of me when I work. I often don’t paint the cotton and the pictures end up looking like I’m looking down on the objects on the floor. This time I left those bits of cotton in as they seemed to tie in with the subject so well. So what could be more ordinary than bits of string collected over the years - all have done their job and been discarded but were essential at some point. Different textures, different colours, different shapes, different sizes - what could be more interesting to paint and what will the whole thing mean to those that look at it?

The Baohong Artists' Watercolour Paper Prize for a Non-member

Juliette Losq


I depict marginal landscapes that spring up in the overlooked borderlands of cities and towns. These become sites of speculation on what might have gone before and what may be occurring out of sight.

I allude to the Picturesque and the Gothic of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, interweaving their motifs and devices with the marginal areas that I depict. I aim to evoke an uncertain world hovering at the edges of a symbolic ‘Clearing’, where wilderness and chaos oppose civilization and order, and in which beauty and neglect are interchangeable.

'Aisle' shows part of the semi-derelict boatyard on the Thames.  Compositionally, and through the depiction of light, the scene reminded me of certain Vermeer paintings.

The Cass Art Prize

Martha Zmpounou


Part of a series of artworks and face studies, 'Christian' is the portrait of an Italian friend from Syracuse, Sicily. Created through multiple layers and washes, the aim was to develop the painting by continuously responding to the medium’s inherent qualities; its fluid and seemingly transparent nature.

This process involved embracing and incorporating accidental bleeds into the outcome, as well as leaving areas of the painting ‘undone’, to some degree, while working in more detail in others.

The objective was to capture the apparent imperfections of the skin and its fragility, echoing the fragility and transient nature of emotions, as well as subtly convey the introspective element in Christian’s look, a mix between melancholy and contentment.

The Chaoshan Watercolour Award

Tianya Zhou RI


Discover all the prize winners via the links below

Browse the whole exhibition now