Exhibition updates

Discover more about the exhibitions held at Mall Galleries through interviews with artists, photo essays, prize winners lists and video and audio content. Mall Galleries publish content from all Federation of British Artists Art Society Exhibitions.

Exhibition Tour with Tony Hunt RI

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For several years I have taken informal tours round Mall Galleries to view and comment on the works on show for the Annual Exhibition of the RI. With the galleries closed this year, it was suggested that I might like to take a virtual tour of the exhibition to go online.

Now as I travel with my mouse through the exhibited images on my computer screen, my intention is to respond to those paintings that particularly catch my eye: and leave a few words in response.


A starting point is looking for paintings which change or expand our ideas of what a watercolour painting is. The conventions of shape, size, proportion, media, and the support can all be challenged, as can the presentation of the painting.

However, it is equally important to remember that most of these conventions have evolved for pragmatic reasons. Apart from the unique qualities of the watercolour itself (and all of these selected examples are very fine paintings in terms of form and content), the qualities of the presentation are there to protect the painting and to prolong its life.

Thus the frame, the mount and the glazing are there primarily to keep the image flat and dirt-free when it is displayed. Of equal importance to protection is permanence – we don’t want to see the image disappear owing to fugitive paint or inferior paper!

So, it is very interesting to see how certain artists in the exhibition are challenging some of these conventions.  

Julie Green Wild Wanderings Watersoluble mixed media, 84 x 102 cm, £2,350

Julie Green’s painting not only evokes a visual representation of a landscape but in its structure, it echoes the structure of the landscape itself in a most successful way that almost extends the watercolour into sculpture.

Alfred Carpenter Red Rusted Boat Mixed media collage & acrylic, 42 x 36 cm, £475

Similarly, Alfred Carpenter’s Red Rusted Boat frees his image from the restriction of the rectangular perimeter, though still allowing a satisfying interplay with the rectangle of the frame.

 

Faye Bridgwater 140 Monochrome Studies of Sussex Pencil, watercolour & ink, 68 x 87 cm, £495 
This painting of 140 Monochrome Studies of Sussex by Faye Bridgwater is an imaginative and understanding image, summarising the landscape of Sussex by being the accumulation of its constituent study parts. This painting was awarded The John Purcell Paper Prize.
 

George Butler Delhi Market Watercolour, 110 x 130 cm, £5,000 - winner of the £3,000 Winsor & Newton Award.

George Butler’s fine Delhi Market observational drawing is enhanced with an assemblage of additional studies and ephemera which retain elements of the total experience of being in that environment.

Watch the video of George speaking about this piece, that was awarded the Winsor & Newton Award for here.

Sheila Vaughan Snail Acrylic, 43 x 61 cm, £400

The apparent simplicity of Sheila Vaughan’s painting belies a sophisticated and imaginative interplay between the inherent qualities of watercolour paint and its application in defining the form of the subject.

Bina Shah Winter Storm on Bracken Fields III Mixed media (Tempera, glair, ink, bitumen, graphite & natural earth pigments), 44 x 35 cm, £975

Robin Hazlewood RI Last Light, The Thames at Barnes Watercolour & white gouache, 49 x 49 cm, £435

An evocative painting by Bina Shah redefines a landscape with confidence and critical analysis; as does this watercolour by Robin Hazlewood RI. In both these instances, the artists have achieved images which cross the boundaries between figuration and abstraction to create paintings that function simultaneously well in both conceptions.

Other paintings which have caught my eye are two portraits. The first, Age of Confidence, is by Daniel Byrne and is a strong image which utilises the watercolour medium very well to explore the personality and appearance of the sitter. The second is Zi Ling’s The Puzzle Garden. This very imaginative and dynamic portrait uses colour and patterns to give life to an image which tells as much about the creator as it does the sitter. These two paintings use quite different routes to reach similar objectives.

Daniel Byrne Age of Confidence Watercolour, 52 x 42 cm, £850

Zi Ling RI The Puzzle Garden Watercolour & collage, 74.5 x 60 cm, £2,300

Teresa Lawler The House on the Edge of the Lake 2 Watercolour & gouache, 70 x 70 cm, £1,050

Teresa Lawler’s accomplished painting uses colour beautifully and expertly to atmospherically convey early twilight as artificial lights are lit.

In terms of really good use of colour, I also select Cool Chilli by Anne Goldberg. Her well-designed and intriguing painting has an original interplay of colour as well as a real rapport between the represented two and three-dimensional elements of the work.

Anne Goldberg Cool Chilli Gouache, 70 x 57 cm, £1,500

On the subject of colour, my attention was taken by a more conventional and traditional application of watercolour in a painting by Junwei Dai. In Fairyland Series 1, Junwei has demonstrated strongly the luminosity, translucency and richness of colour that good handling of the watercolour medium can achieve.

Junwei Dai Fairyland Series 1 Watercolour, 72 x 52 cm, £5,000

Anne Ware Flash Flood in the Lakes Watercolour, 50 x 62 cm, £640

I very much enjoyed looking at Anne Ware’s watercolour Flash Floods in the Lakes. The evocations of hazard, danger, fleeing to safety, the movements of the flooding water and the time scale involved, all encountered and engaged within the parameters of the painting, is quite masterly in its execution.

Derek Robertson What We Lost in the Desert, Refugee Camp, Jordan Watercolour & acrylic, 84 x 103 cm, £4,950

This painting is also arresting in its presence. Derek Robertson’s What We Lost in the Desert, Refugee Camp, Jordan is a powerful image; in topicality, in execution and, ultimately, in its poetry.

Day Bowman Storage Facility 2 Gouache & graphite, 30 x 33 cm, £675 - winner of The Winner & Newton Product Prize

So this brief excursion through the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition concludes with a widening perception of what a watercolour painting is. The final painting here is Storage Facility 2 by Day Bowman. This is another image which is topical in conception, but economic and dynamic in execution, and evocative of so much of our contemporary world. My mouse rests.

Tony Hunt RI 

Tony Hunt RI Afternoon on the Downs Acrylic, 87 x 67 cm, £1,400

Browse the whole exhibition now

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Image credit

Alfred Carpenter, Red Rusted Boat (detail)

Paul Banning RI RSMA: Sketchbooks

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Paul Banning RI RSMA is a traditional watercolourist specialising in painting plein air, painting in all weathers. He was due to speak about his use of sketchbooks in the gallery during the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition. Now that none of us are allowed out, whatever the weather, Paul has shared some images from his sketchbooks with us here.

"I have been an avid sketcher from childhood and have accumulated many sketchbooks over the years, and I would like to share just a few images with you with some explanation of what appealed to me about the subject and with an image of the finished painting.

I tend to use an A4 ring binder sketchbook which allows for a double page to be used."



Bruges

The two images are of much the same subject, Bruges, using the whole page; the first one was abandoned as it poured with rain and the paint began to run - anyway I liked it; ah well! Maybe another time ... and so after the rain I moved to another spot and did the second one, which I then used to develop into a painting.


The Tank Battle of Cambrai November 1915

I am fortunate enough to have two sons who are First World War historians, and I had the opportunity to join them on a trip to Cambrai and the surrounding area, and thought I might be able to get some interesting information for a painting. How lucky I was that we were taken to an old barn where the relics of the tank Battle of Cambrai were being displayed, a damaged full-size tank, ammunition, trucks and debris from the battlefield.

My sketchbook was soon out and my energy level soared as I quickly contour drew the images in front of me. I remember at the time the surge of energy and excitement as I captured the information for my painting.

In a painting that is historical, the facts have to be right so I did a number of small sketches discussing them with my sons before I got to an image that was, to me, both artistic and yet reasonably factual.  


Cutty Sark

I am a member of the Wapping Group of Artists who specialise in painting the River Thames and its estuaries during the summer months, plein air. Fortunately, the Group was invited to visit the site at Greenwich when the Cutty Sark was being refurbished, and permission was given to gather information for a painting. I was able to go down to the keel of the ship where the planking was being renovated, and sat and did this small sketch with some colour notes.

More than anything the atmosphere stayed with me as I used my sketch to develop the finished painting.


Deserted Italy

I have painted in many parts of the world and a sketchbook is so good for capturing immediate information. I spent a couple of weeks with some painting friends in southern Italy in an area called Basilicata in the centre of the Boot of Italy. On one day trip out we drove to a small deserted village on a hilltop, and came across this village which was completely deserted - not a soul in sight. We walked through it going in and out of buildings, all as if the occupants had left in a hurry.

My sketch depicts this hurried departure, rubbish everywhere, and yet some order. Leaving behind certain objects, maybe one last party? So out comes the sketchbook and I captured a number of interesting subjects. This one converted into a full imperial watercolour. The shaft of light through the shutters and that last drink of wine before departing captures the subject.


Jim Carrying Potatoes

I am now in Trinidad, my birthplace and have friends who own a beautiful little cottage overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from the North Coast range of hills, where the sea breeze brings cool air in from the Atlantic as well as much rain. The ground is very fertile and bananas, coconut trees and mango trees grow wild.

This sketch was produced sitting on the side of a very narrow and steep track where a local had a small dwelling! His name was Jim, and he would go out to dig up root crops, potatoes yam and such growing wild. What an opportunity! The sketch is more detailed than usual but I had the time. The sun was shining, it was a warm and a beautiful day - why hurry? Jim saw what I was doing so I persuaded him to show me how he carried the potatoes. In no time he had the sack on his head and I was able to do a quick scribble and put him in the picture. Life can be so good sometimes.


Petra

After 9/11, when tourism to the Middle East was slow, I went to Jordan; to Jerash Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and on to Egypt. Having done the day of the tourist in Petra, I spent the next 4 days sketching and gathering information for paintings. My sketchbook went everywhere with me and I was able to produce a number of very good works from these 4 days of sketching.

 

Passers-by often looked at me and thought and said I was quite mad sitting in the hot sunshine, sketching but I gathered some very good images to work up in the comfort of my studio over the winter months. Here is one of the Treasury in Petra, an amazing structure carved out of the rock by hand and still surviving today. I produced an oil painting and a number of watercolour from the sketches. 


Old Cobblers Shop, Holland

Over a number of years, I made a variety of boat trips sailing around the Ijsselmeer and out into the North Sea with some painting friends. We stopped on one occasion at one of the ports where I discovered this old Cobblers workshop. What attracted me was the mysterious things that seemed to be showing up in the dismal light and a sketch seemed the best way to capture it, unlike a flashed photograph which would have altered the effect of the interior.

Once I had the information down it was very easy to develop it into a painting. Some would say it was rather dull but on the contrary, I feel it is important that we try to paint in different and subdued lights, not just bright sunlight.


Westminster Abbey

I have always been fascinated at this facia of Westminster Abbey and planned to do a little sketch of it.

When I started to sketch I was immediately interrupted by passers- by who wanted to see what I was doing. So I crossed the road and noticed a small triangle area between Victoria Street and Tothill Street where I could sit with my sketchbook in the door way of a shop now a Bank. I was out of sight of the passers bye so an ideal spot to produce my sketch which became a small watercolour. I made notes about colours and was able to study the detail the complicated East window without any interruptions. With this data I produced two in daylight images and one at night. 

 


The galleries might be closed but you can view the entire Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition online. Most works are for sale, with prices starting at £350.

View the RI's 208th Exhibition online now

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Image credit

Paul Banning RI RSMA, Sketchbook detail, Bruges

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition Prizes & Awards Part Four

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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 the exhibition online this year, the winning works were chosen from the gallery’s website rather than its walls.

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 four include:


The Dry Red Press Award

Desmond Clark

Kid in a Sweetshop

Desmond Clark used to work for London local authorities, but spent most of his time in meetings doodling on a sketchpad. So he threw in the towel and moved to Devon to devote his time to art.

He has exhibited regularly with the South West Academy in Exeter and last year won an award for “exhibiting excellence” from the Society of Botanical Artists at Mall Galleries. He loves depicting transparency in water or glass. ‘Kid in a Sweetshop’ was painted at his wife’s suggestion while recovering from cancer in 2019.


The Escoda Barcelona Award

Brendan Smith

Sunset, Ventnor

This painting depicts the autumn sun setting over the coast of the Isle of Wight seen from the cliffs above Ventnor. The receding land melts into the warm light of the sun while the town below is already falling into dark shadow. A light mist over the calm sea reflects a pearly light.


The Frank Herring Easel Award

Alex Chilvers

London Fields Lido

A painting of the London Fields Lido. I'm very interested in capturing people's relationship with public leisure facilities. This is one of a number of gouache paintings I have created depicting people swimming in public pools around London. I draw on location using coloured pens and pastels before constructing the composition using gouache in the studio. I love to capture the movement of water and the energy of people swimming within a man-made space.  


The Neil Meacher RI Watercolour Award

Geoff Butterworth

A Day Like Any Other

This watercolour subject was photographed years ago and I have done a couple of versions of it with figures and cats on. This time I chose to work it as it was and also to work on a paper of the time. I used to do commissions for Whatman Paper for use as a production bonus that went to India, China, Germany and America and in payment, I chose paper (watercolour, not money).

The 200lb Not Whatman paper seemed to paint itself, you just looked at it and showed it the brush. The results here are pretty much the same, I have very few left but they are a treat every now and again. "A Day Like Any Other" sums up the mundane life of the times in the Lancashire border towns in the Pennines. Beautiful light, gritty reality.



Discover all the prize winners via the links below


Browse the whole exhibition now



 

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition Prizes & Awards Part Three

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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 the exhibition online this year, the winning works were chosen from the gallery’s website rather than its walls.

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

Aisle

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

Christian

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

Prayers



Discover all the prize winners via the links below


Browse the whole exhibition now



 

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition: Prizes & Awards Part Two

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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 the exhibition online this year, the winning works were chosen from the gallery’s website rather than its walls.

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 two include:


The Schmincke Prize

Emma Hollaway

Found Paintings 2.1

‘Found Paintings 2.1’ is a work from an ongoing series. Returning to watercolours after several years, I opened my palettes to find collections of forgotten paintings in the lids. As a way of reconnecting with the medium, I turned to painting these paintings.

Painting with watercolour on dry paper was once described to me as a staining process, and I enjoyed the literal parallel with the stains on the set itself. This well-used school watercolour set is the fourth in the series. The paintings in its lid remember unknown works of art that this little set helped create.  


The President's Choice Award

Lucy Pulvers

Self Portrait 1


The Richard Plincke RI Prize for Colour

Paul Murray

Winter Memorials

Winter Memorials is a painting of a view of the surrounding landscape of the cemetery where my father is buried in Gourock just West of Glasgow. Although I say a painting, I see it more as a composition using gouache, collage and drawing.

The initial composition is developed from sketches of the shapes and textures of the gravestones and memorials. It is created through layers of brushwork, collage of patterned and pre-painted paper and mark making as they move between the abstract and the representational.

The objects and their negative space are only the starting point: I allow the textures and marks to dictate what happens next.


The Debra Manifold RI Memorial Award

Presented by the Linda Blackstone Gallery

Lisa Graa Jensen RI

Deep Midwinter

‘Deep Midwinter’ is one of a winter series. The three paintings are syndicated out for use as cards. The initial idea came during a freezing cold snowy walk one day in February on the North Downs in deepest Surrey with my dog, when three deer raced across the fields in front of us... really beautiful. Snowy Peace, then Snowy Land and finally Deep Midwinter came from that snowy walk.


The John Purcell Paper Prize

Faye Bridgwater

140 Monochrome Studies of Sussex



Discover all the prize winners via the links below


Browse the whole exhibition now



 

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition: Prizes & Awards Part One

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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 the exhibition online this year, the winning works were chosen from the gallery’s website rather than its walls.

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 one include:


The Winsor & Newton Award (£3,000)

George Butler

Delhi Market

This work developed because I have always wanted to work bigger than a sketchbook. In situ, in the market outside the mosque in the heart of Delhi, I drew on separate sheets of paper, trying not to worry about whether they fitted together.

I drew over two days and then collected ephemera from the surrounding market stalls to help piece the work together. It is more a composite of characters, black kites and the scene - a memory, for me more accurate than a photograph. 


The Winsor & Newton Product Prize

Day Bowman

Storage Facility 2

These are the post-industrial edgelands that fringe our cities and towns.

I have set out to investigate how and why we travel the landscape: through cities and suburbs; retail parks and parking lots; edgelands and endless motorways.

The paintings represent snapshots of journeys across such landscapes by train or car, bicycle and bus or ferry across a river; journeys that criss-cross the land and our daily lives which we absorb, acknowledge or ignore. 


The Leathersellers' Prize

Suzon Lagarde

Suzy

'Suzy' was my first painting of 2020. Gouache is a medium I love going back to. I find it to be a fantastic bridge between drawing and painting. It's based on a photograph from my childhood, a precious source of inspiration for me. I painted it in a period where I found myself quite down and anxious, but I remember the joy I got from creating this tiny self-portrait as if I was reconnecting with the playfulness and calm present on this day, over twenty years ago. 


The James Fletcher-Watson RI Award

David Howell PPRSMA

The Ghats at Udaipur

This painting comes from an original pen and watercolour sketch made on the steps of the ghats in Udaipur early one morning, when the women came down to do their washing. I loved the contrast of the bright colours of the saris against the cool of the water and I worked quietly in the background to avoid disturbing what was clearly a social event. I loved the hazy morning light before the heat of the day burnt it away and the contrast of the domed pillars against the deep shade of the background trees..


The Megan Fitzoliver Brush Award

Deborah Walker RI RSMA

Be Still

It's easy to be moved by an aerial panorama of the sparkling Thames at sunset or to feel the exhilaration of crashing waves on a beach, but there is a different kind of magic to be found in secluded backwaters.

The inspiration for 'Be Still' is from such a place near to my home in Staffordshire. I like to walk at the end of my working day, to breathe and clear my head. It's a quiet time.

A favourite walk is at the far side of my village around tree-lined lakes where I've become interested in the water's edge.

My favourite conditions are depicted in 'Be Still' when there is almost no movement on the surface.

While noticing the spacing of the reeds and their seductive reflections, I'm also aware of the surface tension and below, where reeds have fallen and sunk to create a basket that cradles the whole. 'Be Still' is about looking, being present in the moment, noticing the small stuff and it makes me almost hold my breath.


The Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award

Claire Sparkes RI

The Seed That Loki Planted

‘The Seed That Loki Planted’ combines elements of Norse Mythology and Indian culture to realise a personal mythology. The model’s hair was a particular inspiration for this piece. Like roots take nourishment for the growing plant above, so the hair interweaves with symbolic objects, which infuse the flowering figure.

Strands of hair dip into the wells of knowledge within the books, alluding to the roots of the Norse World Tree Yggdrasil and the three wells into which they descend.

The richly embroidered Indian throw underpins the painting. It’s intricate patchwork references layered history, and its intense colour brings lifeblood to the story. My watercolour palette expanded in the process of capturing these vibrant colours.


Discover all the prize winners via the links below


Browse the whole exhibition now



 

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours: President's Foreword

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Rosa Sepple, President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. 

I welcome you to the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) 208th exhibition in a slightly different way than planned. It is now 189 years since its foundation, and this will be the first where the exhibition is “opened” in this manner. I do wish that you all stay safe and heed the advice given by health officials and government.

The RI was originally called the New Society of Painters in Water Colours and it held its first exhibition in 1831 under the patronage of Queen Adelaide with the aim of promoting artists who were not affiliated to any ‘Society’. Invitations were circulated amongst artists and this first open exhibition was held in Old Bond Street with 118 painters submitting works.

This year we have had contributions from North America, Europe and Asia. 459 artists submitted 1096 works online which included not only a record number of young ‘Emerging Artists’ but also a record number of artists wishing to become members. Please take time to look around the virtual exhibition. This is the largest exhibition of its kind in Europe and includes 444 paintings, 196 of which are from non-members.

Claire Sparkes RI Still Life on a Ledge

Congratulations and a big welcome must go to our two new members, Claire Sparkes and Zi Ling. Both of them have a unique approach to painting that will add a new and exciting dimension to our shows. 

Zi Ling RI Dream of Platybelodon

Our immense gratitude must also go to Winsor & Newton and The Leathersellers’ Company for their continued support and to all those who give so generously every year by supplying us with prizes. We are fortunate to have an additional prize this year - ‘The President’s Choice Award’ of £750. 

Above all, our thanks must go to all the artists who have contributed their amazing paintings, to the Chief Executive Officer, Clare O’Brien, and everyone at the Mall Galleries for their help and support. I would personally like to thank my amazing Council for their support and contribution over the past year making this one of the most respected art institutes in the world today.



Discover the exhibition now

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours & Young Artists

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Each year at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours exhibition at Mall Galleries, a £1,000 art prize is awarded by The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers to an artist aged between 18 and 30 years old. 

Below, Jean Noble RI explains the importance of the prize and what it means for the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. 


The Leathersellers Prize aims to encourage young artists between the ages of 18 and 30 to think of submitting work to our open exhibition. Winning can make an enormous difference. Not just receiving the money, but galleries take a look at artists being thought worthy of such awards. 

George Butler Demolition 

Kate Morgan won the prize four years ago. Since, she has become a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and had a very successful solo show at Panter & Hall. Her work, which lends itself to pattern making, was taken up by H&M Childrenswear in 2019. A summer range of clothes was made from her jungle designs for boys and girls. 


In 2019, the prize was won by Junwei Dai, who says:

"The Leathersellers’ Prize is absolutely a big encouragement for me to keep exploring the possibilities of watercolour! I really appreciate this prize, especially for young artists. I feel young artists can’t get recognised fairly in many countries where social networking speaks rather than the artworks. That is the motivation for me to join international exhibitions like the RI, Royal Watercolour Society, American Watercolour Society and National Watercolour Society."


I 'stalk' the internet constantly looking for new talent to encourage. I visit studio and gallery spaces where young artists are showing their work. It is so important that we give a platform for these young people to show their work. And, as importantly, we must get young people interested in art societies for the future of every Society.

In the 2020 exhibition, we have 44 pieces being hung from young, emerging artists.

Over the last 6 years, The Leathersellers' Prize has been won by a variety of artists. Winning in itself can mean, amongst other things:

  • Experimenting with new materials
  • Getting their work shown in a new venue
  • More framing opportunities 

Suzon Lagarde Siblings

Winning a prize and being able to tell galleries of an award can increase their standing within the art world. Encouragement in the arts is so important in this digital world.

It is so important that if art societies are to exist, that we encourage the young and emerging artists who do not always choose watercolour as their medium of choice! 


For your chance to exhibit alongside members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, please visit our Call for Entries or subscribe to our newsletter below.

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Discover the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition

 

Image credit

Nathaniel Hornsby Untitled (detail)

Around the World with the RI – Interactive Map

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A box of watercolours and a few brushes are infinitely transportable. A pocket-sized sketchbook and something wet to dampen your brushes is all one needs to paint wherever inspiration strikes.

Emma Hollaway Found Paintings 2.1  Watercolour & pencil 24 x 33 cm £550

For the artists in the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition, inspiration has struck at points all over the face of the Earth. From bustling metropolises to remote country cottages, from the Shetland Islands to the Canary Islands, we can travel with the painters of the RI from the comfort of our own homes.

Click on the pins in the map below to see paintings from every corner of the globe.

The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition is exclusively online.

Browse & Buy the Exhibition Now

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Image credit

Chris Myers RBA RI, Winter Market Trafalgar Square

Down on the Farm

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With almost 70% of the UK’s land used for agriculture, it is no wonder that so many of the artists exhibiting in the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition have created images of farmland or livestock.

Now that we have all seen empty supermarket shelves with our own eyes, the vital importance Farmers have in keeping us all fed and well is obvious. What better time to celebrate their hard work?

Colin Allbrook RSMA RI Sunlight in the Shed Watercolour & bodycolour, 65 x 85 cm, £2,000

Colin Allbrook RSMA RI is showing a collection of watercolours that focus on the everyday life of the farms around him in Devon and Cornwall, including images of cattle in their cow sheds and sheep in the fields.

Colin Allbrook RSMA RI The Old Bull Watercolour & bodycolour, 65 x 85 cm, £2,000

Colin Allbrook RSMA RI Welcome Sunshine Watercolour & bodycolour, 46 x 62 cm, £1,200

Colin Allbrook RSMA RI Winter on Dartmoor Watercolour & bodycolour, 35 x 43 cm, £495

Sheep safely grazing are also the inspiration for paintings by David Parfitt RI and Lisa Graa Jensen RI.

Lisa Graa Jensen RI A Country Walk Acrylic inks, 45 x 45 cm, £850

David A Parfitt RI Slate Fence and Sheep Watercolour, 59 x 64 cm, £1,100

There is an increased awareness of the positive role that farmers can play in wildlife conservation and many of these images celebrate the huge biodiversity that can be found in field margins.

Edward Stamp RI March Headland Watercolour, 54 x 45 cm, £750

Neatly ploughed fields and their teaming hedgerows are Edward Stamp RI’s focus for many of his works in the show.

Edward Stamp RI March Morning Watercolour, 61 x 47 cm, £775

Ann Blockley RI treats us to a closer view of life in the hedgerow.

Ann Blockley RI Caught in the Brambly Hedge Mixed media, 85.5 x 66.5 cm, £1,650

Tony Hunt RI has reduced the ploughed fields down to beautiful geometric symmetry.

Tony Hunt RI The Barley Mow Acrylic, 88 x 67 cm, £1,400

Rukiye Garip Memories Watercolour, 95 x 75 cm, £3,000

For Karen Read Coley the memories of the farm are also a recurring theme in her work: "These paintings are nearly always based on the memory of the farm next door to where I grew up - Distant farm buildings set on top of rising farmland with a meandering track up the hill to reach them."

Karen Read Coley The Distant Farm Water-based media, 44 x 44 cm, £490

And because 'man shall not live by bead alone', let's also celebrate the Fishermen bringing us home fish when the boat comes in.

Jane Hodgson says of the inspiration behind her painting: "Four of these men cram themselves into a tichy dingy for their life on the high sea."

Jane Hodgson Choppy Sea - Putting Out Nets Ink & watercolour, 67 x 68 cm, £465

The galleries might be closed but you can view the entire Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition online. Most works are for sale, with prices starting at £350.

View the RI's 208th Exhibition online now

Mall Galleries is a not-for-profit Charity and any purchase you make goes to support the artist themselves as well as helping us to continue to offer artists a platform on which to exhibit and sell their work.

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Image credit

Lisa Graa Jensen RI A Country Walk