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.

Tony Williams' Dockyard Scenes


The Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition is a wonderful survey of contemporary marine painting, which includes depictions of scenes from Britain's naval past. Here, exhibitor Tony Williams shares his passion for painting historic dockyard scenes from Britain's industrial past. 

"In the 1970’s I was a creative director, working on the Camper & Nicholson account" says marine artist, Tony Williams. "I had to dream up campaigns to promote the yachts built at the Gosport and Southampton yards - both the fibreglass and steel hulls. Ever since then I've been increasingly fascinated by shipbuilders, and the trade and commerce that was served by them, going all the way back to London’s merchant adventurers of the sixteenth century."

In The Damp Moon Dock, a big friendly Moon rises, reflecting the quiet of the docks at close of day

The Damp Moon Dock by Tony Williams, Oil, 57 x 72 cm - £1,950

"My interest isn't borne out of nostalgia, but rather admiration for the laboured endeavours of men who built the ships that once powered our economy.  As further research made me realise that this industry has now been almost entirely lost, these men became ghost-like figures in my imagination. It is this idea that I have been painting for several years, alongside subjects of dockside activity. Period vessels hold a greater charm for me than more recent bulk carriers and container ships, and their shape seems somehow more industrial. The yards that were fully employed in the first half of the 20th century provide all the ingredients I look for in a painting, in terms of composition, narrative, and atmosphere.  The presence of the sun, usually cloaked in the fog and smoke of an industrial environment, is the one constant positive connection between these ghosts and us. The rest has gone."

In The Ghost of the Deaf Riveter, ghost-like figures of the ship builders walk away from the harsh yard of steel and noise

The Ghost of the Deaf Riveter by Tony Williams, Oil, 56 x 72 cm - £1,950

"Shipyard workers were frequently injured, and suffered in other ways too. Deafness was a regular condition brought on by riveting and by all the resonant concussion of noise around the yard. The deaf riveter is a familiar figure in my work, leaning in to better hear a conversation."

"Most shipyard workers smoked, and could be seen enjoying their Capstan or Woodbines on the way into or out of work each day. In my painting, wisps of cigarette smoke add to the atmosphere of grey fog and industrial haze."

In The Onlookers, a small and helpless group of onlookers waits for something - high water, or maybe calamity. A sad-faced ship, stuck fast, stares back with no mind to do anything except rock to the whim of the waves.

The Onlookers by Tony Williams, Oil, 57 x 72 cm - £1,950

"Any marine situation can be a compelling image for a painting. In the days before satellite navigation technology, ships would often run agrond during bad weather. Such scenes enable painterly compositions which draw strong connecitons between the sea and the coastline, such as The Onlookers, which is a loose depiction of an incident that occured at the turn of the 20th century."

Unloading the September Shadows by Tony Williams, Oil, 60 x 72 cm - £1,950

These paintings and many more will be on display at Mall Galleries from 11 to 20 October as part of the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition. To purchase one of these artworks or find out about commissioning a marine artwork, contact info@mallgalleries.com or telephone 020 7930 6844. 

Find out more about the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition 2018


Image credit

Tony Williams The Ghost of the Deaf Rivetter

Artist in the Portrait


Photographer Aliona Adrianova talks us through 'Artist in the Portrait', her stunning collection of photographs of RP exhibitors which accompanies this year's Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition. 

Aliona's photographs are on show in the North Gallery until 25th May.

When Work Becomes Art


Aside from the courageous and fortunate few who succeed in making art their profession, most of us view art as a supplement to the quotidian, often classed within the realm of leisure. We visit galleries at the weekend, see plays, films and concerts in the evening after work, and catch up on our reading during the morning commute.

The dichotomy of work and play is long-established, as is the appointment of art to the latter group. This is often reflected in an artist’s subject choice; consider Cézanne’s Bathers, Matisse’s The Dance, Klimt’s The Kiss and Renoir’s many depictions of 19th century Parisian recreation. Yet in the NEAC Annual Exhibition 2018 at Mall Galleries (15 - 23rd June), many of the society’s member artists will showcase works which shine a spotlight on the workplace.

The Gardener by Jason Bowyer PS PPNEAC RP 

“I have always been interested in the spectacle of people working and being creative” says artist, Jason Bowyer PS PPNEAC RP. “I interpret a scene into drawings and then use the emotional gesture of paint and colour to convey my feelings.” The Gardener is a stunning example of this method, in which Bowyer presents the worker through the prism of their work.

Within a cornucopia of foliage and flowers, branches and dappled light, the small grey figure of the gardener can be discerned: a central point around which colour and life emanate. “The Gardener is a tribute to all those who love working with nature and creating their own personal heaven”, says Bowyer.

The Toy Maker by Tom Coates Hon PS PPNEAC PPRBA RP 

By using a limited colour palette, Tom Coates Hon PS PPNEAC PPRBA RP creates a similar sense of the worker contextualised in The Toy Maker. The seated figure of the craftsman is only just distinguishable from his surroundings, as the composition is rendered entirely in browns, creams, and cold blues.

Coates’ work explores how we as individuals are forged by our actions.  Just as the things we do each day, especially within the world of work, solidify our characters and behaviour, the toy maker emerges from backdrop of his workshop. In Printing Faust, Lorna Vahey NEAC also uses colour to merge worker and work, with touches of ultramarine, violet and amber diffused across printing presses, drying pages, and the clothes of printmakers, as if all the objects in Vahey’s composition derive from the same fabric.

Printing Faust by Lorna Vahey NEAC

This submergence of a subject in their workplace is taken to an extreme in Tailor’s Workshop - Study, where Mick Kirkbride paints the portrait of tailor Chris Ruoco, solely by depicting the tools of his trade. Objecthood and objectivity are paramount in Kirkbride’s work, whereas high subjectivity is employed in The Fortune Teller by Robert E Wells RBA NEAC.

“As a child I was drawn to the fortune teller’s caravan, situated on the seafront at Whitby”, says Wells. “My mother was scared of the teller and I was never allowed too close, but she always smiled warmly at me and would wave for me to approach. This painting denotes a jumble of memories from that time.” 

The Fortune Teller by Robert E Wells RBA NEAC

The image evoked by Wells of a child’s stolen glimpses of a clandestine happening is reflected in the nostalgic obliquity of the finished painting, where lamplight throws imperfect light upon a setting that lies just beyond the viewer’s comprehension. Although three figures can be discerned in the centre of the composition, and the smaller yellow figure might represent the artist as a child, the identity and character of the fortune teller is withheld.   

From celebrations of craft to explorations of human character, and visual synecdoche to evocations of childhood selectivity, the NEAC Annual Exhibition showcases wonderful examples of professions in painting, helping to deconstruct the age-old binary of work and play. “I have painted many an artist, from musicians to brick makers”, says Tom Coates Hon PS PPNEAC PPRBA RP; "they all have a place in the world of art.”

The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition will be open at Mall Galleries from 15th - 23rd June.

The exhibition can also be viewed online here.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the works from the exhibition, contact us at admin@mallgalleries.com or on 020 7930 6844.

Painting the Market


Because the New English Art Club often document the world around them through plein air painting, their work offers a striking insight into the artists’ lives and communities. This year, the NEAC Annual Exhibition is replete with scenes of local markets, and Liberty Rowley, Mall Galleries’ Press Manager, is here to shine a light on some of the best.

Markets were an established and popular subject with artists from the 1880s onwards, offering practitioners the chance to depict architecture, local costume, portraiture, and still life. In the late Sixteenth Century, artists from the Netherlands concentrated on a seller’s wares or the seller themselves, creating portraits of interesting ‘rustics’.

Pieter Aertsen and Bruegel are exciting examples of this genre. Joachim Beuckelaer’s ‘The Four Elements’, which can be viewed at the National Gallery, constitutes four large market scenes, each of which represents one of the elements of earth, air, fire and water.

By the 1880s, market scenes had become a social political statement. Artists documented the market as a picturesque glimpse of a rapidly declining rural economy, or as a site of urban hustle and bustle. Fascination and fear of the ‘Orient’ was expressed through the inclusion of Eastern costumes and colours in these scenes.

Although such works project an image of the artist embedded in a shared environment, many were painted from the isolation of urban studios, using sketches or props brought back from trips abroad.

The Basket Weavers Market, Udaipur by Tom Hoar (Oil 51 x 61 cm £1,250)

Visiting markets remains a popular holiday pastime, enabling tourists to immerse themselves in the culture of a new place. NEAC artist Tom Hoar presents a scene from Udaipur, the ‘City of Lakes’, in India. Tourism is a major part of this region’s economy, and the markets are a popular place to learn about local crafts and purchase souvenirs.

"This was painted on a very busy street in the afternoon, looking towards the basket weaver's market”, says the artist. “It was a battle to paint this, as the street children were swinging off my easel and sticking their fingers in my palette.”

Tokyo Fish Market 2 by Austin Cole RBA (Etching & aquatint (edition of 30) 34 x 36 cm £260 (£175 unframed))

Here we see Tsukiji Fish Market in central Tokyo, the biggest wholesale fish market in the world. Fish are delivered from 3am by boat and plane for the commercial auctions which begin at 5am. “The market was one of the sights recommended in my Tokyo guide, so l went there one morning after the main trading had finished”, says artist Austin Cole.

“As I walked through the market, traders were still rushing around completing their deals. I wasn’t able to find a quiet corner and draw, it was just too busy, but l took photographs which l used as the basis of my prints.  The market appealed to me because it was a working place full of real characters, and as for smells, there was an overpowering smell of fish!”

 Fishmonger by Saied Dai RP NEAC (Oil 81 x 97 cm £11,450)

A more formal composition in this year’s NEAC Annual Exhibition is Fishmonger by Saied Dai, who has broken down the highly stacked stall into a series of colours and forms, creating a moment of peace and in a typically chaotic shopping environment. "Working directly from life is merely a mode of operation - sometimes appropriate and often impossible”, says Dai. “Artists have to be flexible and adaptable to the requirements of the situation.”

“The problem is often not to do with how much information is gathered, but how selectively it is translated”, Dai continues. “Detail in itself does not necessarily give more information. The 'Fishmonger' is a case in point - it was totally out of the question to sit in front of the ever-changing situation and just paint.  Therefore, a number of snapshots were taken and then studied for the possibility of creating an interesting image, in terms of design and composition.”

“The painting is a construct of multiple interests and viewpoints, incorporated into a design that hopefully encapsulates the scene in a meaningful and intriguing way. The subject has become a vehicle to explore compositional ideas - to make a transient situation into something memorable and timeless."

Early Morning, The Market, Hoi An, Vietnam by Peter Brown Hon RBA NEAC PS ROI RP (Oil 20 x 61 cm £3,850)

Pete ‘the street’ Brown is a celebrated plein air painter, whose work Early Morning, The Market, Hoi An depicts one of Vietnam’s most impressive markets, famous for possessing tailors who can create silk suits for a customer in under 24 hours.

Busy Street, Paharganj, Delhi by Patrick Cullen NEAC (Oil 81 x 102 cm £4,250)

Patrick Cullen’s street scene evidences Delhi’s reputation for busy streets, chaotic traffic, and colourful markets. Despite an increase in indoor shopping malls, the traditional bazaar remains popular with residents and visitors alike.

The Corn Exchange by Paul Handley NEAC (Oil 66 x 66 cm £2,200)

Paul Handley NEAC depicts the Corn Exchange, a building found in many UK towns, where merchants once traded corn. Corn Exchanges were commercial hubs, and their status is reflected in the grandness of their architecture. From the Twentieth Century, this trade became more centralised, and many of these buildings were repurposed.

“This Corn Exchange is in my hometown of Newark-on-Trent”, says Handley. “The architect was Henry Duesbury and it was built in 1848. I’ve wanted to paint it for as long as I can remember; I love the building very much and a tiny northern market town like Newark is very lucky to have a building so grand and flamboyantly Baroque. Not that it deserves it; it’s now derelict and has been left to dilapidate.”

“I paint my daily life: the people and the places that I love, and the places where I grew up, to which I feel a very strong attachment. There is great beauty in the commonplace, the ordinary and the overlooked, and I’m as moved by the tired and faded markings of a zebra crossing as I am a grand renaissance edifice against a brilliant summer sky. Everything is passing away and I wish it wouldn’t; painting helps me to feel that I can hold on to all that beauty for just a little while longer.”

The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition has some wonderful examples of market scenes, all of which are available to view at Mall Galleries from 15 - 23 June.

The exhibition can also be viewed online here.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the works from the exhibition, contact us at admin@mallgalleries.com or on 020 7930 6844.

Image credit

Peter Brown Hon RBA NEAC PS ROI RP, Early Morning, The Market Hoi An, Vietnam (detail)

Capturing the Beast from the East



The snowfall this spring may have brought planes and trains to a grinding halt, but member artists of the New English Art Club were less easily deterred. Many took inspiration from the flurries, as testified by this year's New English Annual Exhibition, where works documenting life during ‘the Beast from the East’ feature strongly. Mall Galleries' Press Manager, Liberty Rowley, explores these artistic responses and contextualises them within the wider tradition of snow painting:

Winter landscapes didn’t become a popular subject for painters until the Fifteenth Century. Prior to this, western art had its sights firmly set on religious scenes, which rarely included snow. Northern European painters were the first key proponents of snow painting, being the most exposed to snowfall, especially during the ‘Little Ice Age’ of the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries.

Marsh Farm in Winter, Essex by Peter Kelly Sen RBA NEAC (Oil 71 x 97 cm £4,000)

Snow Fields and Rising Moon, Dorset by Richard Pikesley PNEAC (Oil 69 x 84 cm £2,600)

Winter Track across the South Downs by Rosie Copeland (Oil 24 x 30 cm £475)

December Snow, Herefordshire by Anthony Morris RP NEAC (Oil 76 x 91 cm £2,800)

Snow Day by Jan Gaska (Oil 35 x 43 cm £600)

Bruegel’s ‘The Hunters in the Snow’ (1565) is regarded by many as the first true winter landscape painting, exposing the realities of village life for those scratching a living on the frozen land. But it wasn’t until the late Nineteenth Century that plein air painting became a primary focus, and the genre of snow painting was established.

Snowy conditions were ideally suited to the Impressionists, who hoped to capture momentary impressions of light and weather, and referred to the effets de neige (the effects of snow). With their focus on direct observation and plein air painting, the New English Art Club could be considered direct descendants of this impressionistic impulse.

Winter Sun by Lynda Payne (Oil 32 x 32 cm £450)

Silver Birch in Snow by Clare Bowen (Oil 34 x 39 cm £450)

Concentrating on contributions to this year’s New English Art Club Annual Exhibition, Fred Cuming’s The Ridge under the Snow, with its dark menacing sky, partially submerged branches and hollows recalls the danger implicit in extreme weather, and mankind's relative insubstantiality when pitted against powerful forces of nature. 

The Ridge under Snow by Fred Cuming RBA ROI (Oil 61 x 61 cm £10,780)

Fingringhoe - Winter by Michael Whittlesea NEAC (Watercolour & charcoal 48 x 56 cm £850)

Making the viewer feel small in a more nostalgic way, Andrew Macara’s scenes of ice skating and snowball fights, and Melissa Scott-Miller’s Snow in Islington recall childhood, evoking a time when snow was not merely the latest obstacle to my daily commute.

Christmas, Tower of London Ice Rink by Andrew Macara NEAC (Oil 51 x 71 cm £1,850)

Snowballers, Allestree Park, Derby by Andrew Macara NEAC (Oil 97 x 142 cm £7,500)

Snow in Islington, March 2018 by Melissa Scott-Miller RP NEAC RBA (Oil 102 x 81 cm £3,800)

Winter by Genevieve Draper (Oil 62 x 52 cm £2,100)

Snowfall is not restricted to the picturesque countryside. Paul Handley has a series of works documenting a multi-storey car park under snow, and Glyn Saunders’ South Circular, December features street lamps mingled with the bare black branches of winter trees. Lynda Minter’s buildings and cranes look almost festive in the artist’s Waterloo Winter Evening.

The Multi-Storey Car Park - Snow I by Paul Handley NEAC (Oil 41 x 28 cm £500)

The Multi-Storey Car Park - Snow II by Paul Handley NEAC (Oil 28 x 41 cm £500)

South Circular, December by Glyn Saunders (Oil 20 x 22 cm £350)

Waterloo Winter Evening Buildings and Cranes by Lynda Minter (Acrylic 67 x 68 cm £650)

Being a temperate climate, Britain rarely gets seriously cold, and snow often becomes slush with alacrity; Judith Gardner, Sarah Spencer and Sarah Manolescue capture this sludgey aftermath perfectly.

Winter, Elmley Marshes by Sarah Spencer NEAC (Oil 30 x 43 cm £1,200)

Landscape - Melting Snow by Judith Gardner RBA NEAC (Oil 36 x 33 cm £490)

Receding Snow, the Trundle by Sarah Manolescue (Oil 35 x 35 cm £425)

The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition showcases stunning examples of winter scenes, some of which I've explored here, and all of which are available to view in the gallery from 15th to 23rd June. The exhibition can also be viewed online. If you are interested in purchasing any of the works from the exhibition, contact us at admin@mallgalleries.com or on 020 7930 6844.

Landscape - After the Rain by Charles Rake NEAC (Charcoal & pencil 97 x 76 cm £1,750)

Garden - March Snowfall by Judith Gardner RBA NEAC (Oil 36 x 36 cm £750)

Image credit

Peter Kelly Sen RBA NEAC Marsh Farm in Winter Essex (detail)

Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year


“Food unites us all: we must eat to survive. Though some see food as fuel, others celebrate food as one of the great joys of life. Food is about family, friendship, community and love”, says the Founder of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, Caroline Kenyon. Kenyon launched the Awards in 2011 to celebrate food photographers and filmmakers of every age and skill-level from around the world. This year’s exhibition shares glimpses of the food cultures of countries like Bangladesh, Germany, Chile, India, Australia and Taiwan, and features work produced by photographers as young as ten years old.

Finishing Touches by William Lindsay-Perez, Winner of the Category for 15-17 year olds

Images are judged by a panel of forty, including three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann, acclaimed pastry chef Emily Luchetti, the James Beard Foundation, and the internationally-renowned food photographer, David Loftus. This star-studded panel selects winners for each of the twenty-one categories, as well as an overall winner who receives the title of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, and a cash prize of £5,000. This year's overall winner is Noor Ahmed Gelal for Praying with Food, which shows a section of the Hindu community preparing to break their day-long fast in one of the local temples at Swamibag in Bangladesh.

“It's very important to us that the Awards are open to all - professional and amateur, old and young - anywhere in the world”, says Kenyon. “Dedicating a category to images taken on mobile phones means that absolutely anyone can enter - you don’t need to have an expensive camera!” In keeping with this spirit of inclusivity and global mindedness, part of the exhibition’s proceeds goes to Action Against Hunger, a charity working to end child hunger, especially in Syria.

A Fisherman's Life by Probal Rashid, Winner of the World Food Programme Food for Life Category

While categories such as Food Bloggers and Marks & Spencer Food Portraiture showcase mouth-watering images to inspire food lovers, Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year also promotes a humanitarian focus through its Politics of Food and World Food Programme Food for Life categories. “Here, images expose and challenge contemporary realities of food production, and highlight situations where food makes the difference between life and death”, explains Kenyon. Food for Celebration, which is sponsored by Champagne Taittinger, explores the connection between eating and expressions of faith, presenting a selection of the myriad religious festivals which place food at their heart.

Praying with Food by Noor Ahmed Gelal, Overall Winner of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, and Winner of the Food for Celebration Category

“It’s brilliant to see how this amazing project touches peoples’ lives in ways I couldn’t have imagined”, says Kenyon. “A year ago, I was invited to dine with the owners of a B&B where I was staying for work, and they told me an incredible story. My hostess had been very ill for several years; when she heard about the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, she decided it could be the motivation for her recovery. Although bedridden, she was able to take photographs on her phone and build up her skill day by day. As her images improved, so did she, and by the time I met her she was so much healthier that plans were afoot to enter the Awards that year. From being housebound, she was going to travel from Cumbria to London just to see the exhibition!”

Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year is passionate about supporting and encouraging the artists behind the images. “To be shortlisted or a finalist can mean so much to our photographers, and has given many the confidence to develop their passion into a profession”, says Kenyon. “A finalist from 2012 said something to me which has meant a great deal; he said, ‘thank you for making food photography important’.”

Calum in his Pie Room by John Carey (UK), Winner of The Philip Harben Award for Food in Action

The Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Exhibition is open at Mall Galleries from 25-29th April 2018. The gallery is open 10am-5pm, and admission is free.

New English Art Club Annual Exhibition Prizes and Award Winners 2017

Gildea-Paul-Night Watch.jpg

The New English Art Club awards several prizes and awards every year. This year's recipients were announced at the Private View by President Richard Pikesley.

This year's exhibition runs at Mall Galeries until 25 June. Works from the exhibition are available to Browse & Buy online.

Award Winners 2017 


The Doreen McIntosh Prize

Paul Gildea NEAC Night Watch

Contemporary Arts Trust Award

Alex Maczkowski Toil

The Peter Ashley Framing Prize

David Cobley NEAC, Marvellous Mr Hockney

The Woodhay Picture Gallery Prize

Arthur Neal NEAC, KT II

Jackson's Art Prize

Michael Collins Study for Birling Gap

The NEAC Critics' Prize

Peter Brown NEAC Absolutely Chucking It Down George Street, Bath

The Dry Red Press Award

Ann Shrager NEAC Diwali Elephant

View more work from the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition

Image credit

Paul Gildea Night Watch

New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2017 – In the Artists’ Words

Pittaway-Neil-European Library.jpg

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

Image credit

Neil Pittaway European Library

Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition Prizes and Award Winners 2017


The Royal Society of Portrait Painters awards several major prizes at its Annual Exhibition every year. This year’s recipients were announced at the Private View by President Robin-Lee Hall and represent the best of contemporary portraiture.

This year’s Annual Exhibition runs at Mall Galleries until 19 May 2017 and includes over 200 portraits by more than 100 artists.

Award Winners 2017


The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture 

Shawn McGovern, James

The Ondaatje Prize is the Society’s major annual award to the painter of the most distinguished portrait of the year. The Prize takes the form of a £10,000 cheque in addition to the Society’s Gold Medal. 

The de Laszlo Foundation Award

Jamie Routley, Alex Liederman at 17

The de Laszlo Foundation Award – The de Laszlo Medal for Excellence, together with a cheque for £3,000 – is awarded to the artist aged thirty five or under, judged to have submitted the best portrait.

The Changing Faces Prize

Daphne Todd OBE PPRP, Professor Susan Smith, Mistress of Girton

The Changing Faces Prize is awarded to the artist whose portrait most powerfully conveys the energy of their subject, the directness of their gaze and an attitude that exudes openness and confidence. The Prize is a £2,000 commission to paint a portrait of a person who has a facial disfigurement for the Changing Faces Collection, which aims to ensure that people with unusual faces are well and fairly represented in modern-day portraiture.

The Prince of Wales's Award for Portrait Drawing

Bernadett Timko, Lucas 

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has lent his name to the Society’s prestigious award for portrait drawing for the last eighteen years. The Award – a framed certificate and cheque for £2,000 – highlights the importance of drawing within contemporary portraiture.

Burke's Peerage Foundation Award for Classically Inspired Portraiture

Andrew Festing RP, Portrait of Count Alexis Limburg-Stirum at Walzin 

The Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award for Classically Inspired Portraiture was instituted to celebrate the art of portraiture included in Burke’s Peerage since its foundation by John Burke in 1826. It is presented annually with a framed certificate and a cheque for £2,000.

The Smallwood Architects Prize for Contextual Portraiture

David Cobley RP NEAC, Made to Measure 

The Smallwood Architects Prize is an award for a portrait in which architectural or interior features play an important part in enhancing the human subject by creating energy and a sense of place, and giving insight into the subject’s life. 

Contemporary Arts Trust Alice Batkin Award

Vania Comoretti, Dual 

The Contemporary Arts Trust offers £1,000 to the most deserving artist in the exhibition. The Trust’s objective is to assist deserving artists who show promise … to encourage them to remain in the arts and continue on their creative journey.

The RP Non-Member's Prize

Daniel Shadbolt NEAC, Nicholas 

The RP Non-Member’s Prize is a gift of £2,500, donated by The Patron’s Fund, which supports charitable organisations across the UK and Commonwealth for which Her Majesty The Queen acts as a Patron. 

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2017 is open at Mall Galleries 4 to 19 May. 

Browse and Buy works from the exhibition now

Image credit

David Cobley RP NEAC, Made to Measure (detail)

Winner of the Derwent Visitors’ Choice Award 2017


Visitors to The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2017 we asked to vote for their favourite work in the show to decide the winner of the first Derwent Visitors’ Choice Award. Derwent have been sponsoring The Pastel Society since 2016.

The work with the most votes was: Jugs and Roses by Patricia Whiting.


This stunning work is done in Coloured Pencil.

Patsy Whiting was born in Bolton and studied in Loughborough and Manchester. After a period of working as an artist, whilst bringing up a family, she began a career in teaching art. This eventually led, through specialist training, to an Educational Audiology post in Bolton Sensory Service, working with deaf children aged 3-18.

Patsy continued to produce art throughout her career in deaf education, working in a variety of media, including print, sculpture and painting. During the course of her teaching she developed skills in visual presentation and digital animation which became her key expressive medium. However, a visit to the Picasso museum in Paris a few years ago inspired her to begin drawing again in earnest and to leave teaching. She now has a studio in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

Artist's statement

"My still lives and figures are drawn on a roughly textured pastel ground. The image is built up gradually in layers from detailed photographs, focussing on a small area at a time. It is the play of light which fascinates and challenges me. I love the process of taking away the black to make a form appear out of the shadow. "

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Image credit

Patricia Whiting, Jugs and Roses