Exhibition updates

Royal Society of Portrait Painters Prize Winners

Royal Society of Portrait Painters

The 124th Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Open Exhibition opened on Wednesday 15 April.

The 124th Annual Open Exhibition is Robin-Lee Hall's first as President of the RP. Writing in the exhibition catalogue Robin-Lee says 'my ambition for the Society as President, is to continue to build on our history and strong reputation for high quality commissioned portraiture and share our knowledge and experience through education.'

Robin-Lee also thanked the generosity of the RP's sponsors support and belief in the Society's remit. The Prizes that are donated are valuable to the recipients, many of whom establish higher profiles from being showcased in this way.

The 2015 exhibition sees an expansion of the RP's relationship with Seven Investment Management and their generous £15,000 Conversations Prize. It is thanks to the sponsorship from Seven Investment Management the RP are able to offer workshops during the exhibition in the excellent Learning Centre at Mall Galleries. 

The Seven Investment Management £15,000 'Conversations' Prize was awarded to John Wonnacott CBE Hon. RP. The 'Conversations Prize is awarded for the best work interpreting the theme of a conversation piece, including two or more figures.

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The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture

£10,000 plus the Society’s Gold Medal awarded for the most distinguished painting in the Society’s annual exhibition

Brian Morris

Upp åt Bäcken (Up the Creek)

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The de Laszlo Foundation Prize

£3,000 plus a Silver Medal for the most outstanding portrait by an artist aged 35 years or under

Lorna May Wadsworth

They Have Lunch Every Tuesday

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The Prince of Wales Award for Portrait Drawing

£2,000 and framed certificate for a portrait in any recognised drawing medium

Jason Bowyer RP PPNEAC PS

Sammy G

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Changing Faces Commissions Prize

£2,000 commission to produce a portrait of a person with a disfigurement for the Changing Faces collection

Hero Johnson


The Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award

£2,000 and framed certificate for the most classically inspired portrait in the exhibition.

Miriam Escofet


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The Arts Club Charitable Trust Award in association in with The Arts Club

£1,000 to the most deserving artist in the exhibition, as judged by a representative from the Charitable Trust.

Awarded jointly to Emma Hopkins and Claire Anscomb

Claire Anscomb



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Emma Hopkins

Geri Morgan

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Smallwood Architects Prize for contextual portraiture

£1,000 prize is for a portrait in which architectural or interior features play an important part.

Tom Hughes

Living Room with Lamps

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Call for Entries

The RP seeks submissions of new and traditional interpretations of portraiture. The Call for Entries is currently open, submit your artwork before Friday 29 January 2016.

For more information please click here.

Photography by Alick Cotterill

Inside Portraits - Works by Sarah Jane Moon

This exhibition showcases the most recent work of Sarah Jane Moon, recipient of the 2013 Bulldog Bursary. Sarah Jane is a committed painter who has a background in arts theory and history as well as having trained in figurative painting at The Heatherley School of Fine Art. She is originally from New Zealand and has worked, taught and lived internationally, spending significant periods of time in Japan, Malaysia and Australia.

Sarah Jane’s work is on an ambitious scale and captures her peers and contemporaries, many of whom are creatives and entrepreneurs themselves. She is drawn to personalities who are uniquely and authentically themselves and who pursue creative endeavours that reflect that.

From writers and performers to entrepreneurs and fashionistas, her sitters are often forging their own creative paths with flare, commitment and passion. Subjects in the portraits on display include writer and lecturer Dr Laura Bridgeman, designer and furniture maker Emma Leslie, performance artist and lecturer Dr Brian Lobel and entrepreneur and events manager Stav B among others.

Sarah Jane has a keen eye for detail and symbolism and as such her portraits often incorporate objects and paraphernalia specific to the sitter’s profession and identity. Her work also reflects an abiding interest in the individual’s presentation of the self, the artist’s perception of the subject and the gap that forever persists between. What is the relationship between the socially constructed persona and the self? Who are we in the presence of ourselves and others? Where is identity located and how is it performed?

Many of her subjects are from non-heteronormative backgrounds and it is hoped that her portraits will form part of a wider narrative of celebrating the vast pool of talent, creativity and drive that flourishes in these milieux.


Inside Portraits - Works by Emma Hopkins

Emma Hopkins Inside Portraits

“As we climb, the wooden stairs creak their protest. We wind our way slowly up to the attic studio. Once there we drink coffee, chat, observe and record. He paints me and I paint him. Each week Geri Morgan and I repeat this ritual and it is these encounters, which form the heart of my exhibition.


Our reciprocal arrangement has enabled me to explore the opposing yet married states of mind within the painter and the painted, the subject and the object, the observer and the observed. In this exhibition I have included some of my works produced in the attic with Geri as well as the work it has inspired.”

Find out more about the Inside Portraits Exhibition

Read a full interview with Emma Hopkins at Jacksons Arts Blog

Emma Hopkins

Photographer - Robin Farquhar-Thomson

An Essential Guide to Tina Jenkins’ ‘Hystoria’

To celebrate Tina Jenkins’ Hystoria opening at Mall Galleries, we have created an ‘Essential Guide’ to the artist and her work

These works have come out of an initial interest in the subject of hysteria. I am not trying to illustrate or express the hysterical in my paintings but whilst contemplating the subject, ideas and compulsions become starting points for making works.


The Plastic 

It is underlay for buildings, so sometimes it has dents and marks. I wanted it to look really pristine and I would ring the suppliers and say, ‘It’s damaged!’ and they would reply, ‘Well, it’s for buildings’.

But I am getting less and less annoyed about it, it is what it is. It retains a lot of the marks of the working process and it’s the trauma of the work that comes through.

The Process

Sometimes the figures go in first. They are painted just on clear plastic and then, I turn it round and cover the background so that the colour shows through.

With a knife, I cut bits and tear them down; some parts come off really easily, others make a whole area rip off. I will go on to fill in the gaps and back to cutting, ripping and backfilling again and again.

The Bad Bits

A bad bit for me is something that I can’t reconcile in my mind. I take them out and then fill them in again and bad bits will get back in. Playing around with everything that I feel is wrong is very subjective. Other people might not see it as wrong, but for me it’s just not right.

I will continually work through an area until it becomes something that I can bear. You peel away and sometimes a whole figure is gone.

Recycling and Discarding

I have a real problem with throwing away the ripped bits of paint. I use tape to take them off so nothing goes to waste. I have boxes and boxes of archived ripped paint. I used to work with oil based gloss which I found very problematic in terms of landfill, but even though the paint is now waterbased, I still don’t want to just stick it in the bin.

I have to do it like that. For parts of ‘Hystoria’, I have taken pages from old auction catalogues and the discarded paint that I have removed from my paintings and bound them together. These catalogues list the estimated value of the objects they depict. The objects once sold, render the catalogue as a defunct guide of proposed value past. A historic record of image and value gained and lost.

Painting and Hysteria

Because of the way I create my paintings, I am always analysing what I am doing and why I am doing it. Looking at different artists and thinking about the whole history of painting in terms of different types of abstraction, makes you wonder whether you can re-do those processes. Exploring and constantly replaying these notions, means that the paintings themselves were becoming more hysterical. I was thinking that if they were hysterical, then what does this sort of painting look like. And if that is hysterical, what does it have to offer painting as opposed to more traditional approaches.

Painting is a way of thinking. You see certain works and it feels that the person that made them is a painter and it could quite often be a sculptural work, or an installation, or anything. It is a way of putting things together. Painting is not something you define by the act of painting. It is about a certain way of thinking things through.



Tina Jenkins

Mall Galleries

30 March to 11 April 2015

10am to 5pm

Closes 1pm on final day

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Prize Winners

The 203rd exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours was opened on 24 March by journalist and water colourist Jon Snow. The 203rd exhibition is also the first with new President Andy Wood at the helm.

Andy has been a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours since 1981. After serving on Council for a number of years he was elected Honorary Secretary in 2009 and elected President of the RI in 2014.

Andy has designed and built the RI's website and has more recently encouraged the Institute to embrace social media such as Facebook and Twitter. He sees his role as being to keep the society in the present while always looking to the future.

The opening exhibition also included the Prize Giving. This year there were several new awards that have been generously donated by sponsors from home and abroad. These included a prize from the Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial, China and a new award to encourage young artists given by the venerable London guild - The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers'.

The big winner at the Prize Giving was Deborah Walker RI who won three awards for her work 'Detail'. Deborah was awarded the Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award, The Escoda Barcelona Award and The Turner Medal, a medal in honour of Turner which is awarded to a member of the RI and RWS.


Detail - Deborah Walker RI

Turner Medal

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Prizes & Awards


The Leathersellers' Award

Tim Patrick

Barren Room

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The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award

J Richard Plincke RI

Come Helen, Come Bring Me My Soul Again

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The Winsor & Newton / RI Award

Delia Cardnell RI

All works

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The John Purcell Paper Prize

Filipe Miguel das Dores

Mario Night

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Schmincke Award

Varsha Bhatia

Entrance, Natural History Museum

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The Frank Herring Easel Award

Christopher Forsey RI

Puss in Souk

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Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Prize

Xi Guo


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Wicked Watercolours Award

Jan Munro


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Dry Red Press Award

Lisa Graa Jensen RI

Hide & Seek

Call for Entries

The RI seeks the best contemporary watercolour and watermedia painting. The Call for Entries is currently open, submit your artwork before Friday 8 January.

For more information please click here.

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Image credit

Deborah Walker RI, Detail, detail

Royal Society of British Artists Prize Winners

Royal Society of British Artist Awards

The Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition was opened by James Horton PRBA on 10 March 2015. 

In his President's Foreward in the exhibition catalogue James wrote:

"The programme for supporting and encouraging the young arts flourishes and gain momentum every year. In addition to the ongoing relationship with NADFAS and The Dover Federation for the arts we have this year, mounted an outside exhibition at Lloyd's Register, entitled "Rising Stars" which features the work of both RBA Scholars and the shortlisted candidates for the Rome Scholarship. For this particular thanks must go to Mick Davies who was instrumental in getting this show off the ground. "

At the Private View James also thanked all the Royal Society of British Artists sponsors and prize givers especially the de László family for their loyalty to the society and their recent creation of a new prize 'The de Laszlo Award for Classical Draughtsmanship' won by Tatyana Kulida Shelley for her work 'Weightless'.


Prizes and Awards

The Arts Club Charitable Trust Award

Lizet Dingemans 


Daisy Cox 

Self Portrait 

The Davison Award for Oil Painting

Olwyn Bowey Hon RBA RA

Fallen Apple Tree

The Dry Red Press Award

Jacqueline Taber Hon RBA

Christopher’s Tomatoes

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The Edward Wesson Award for Watercolour Painting

Mollie Andrews

Glass Eyes

Frinton Frames Award

John Martin RBA

Breakfast Table

Hahnemühle Fine Art UK Award

Melvyn Petterson RBA NEAC

Clouds and Shadow

The Michael Harding Award

Charles Hardaker RBA NEAC


The Michael Harding Award

Martin Leman RBA


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The Gordon Hulson Memorial Prize

Robert Floyd

Self Portrait Facing Artist’s Block

The Geoffrey Vivis Memorial Award

Tim Galton RBA

The Green Bridge of Wales, Pembrokeshire

The Winsor & Newton Painting Award

William Selby RBA ROI NEAC

Rose & Hipps

Image credit

Martin John, Breakfast Table (detail)