Mall Galleries news

Sitting for Peter Clossick NEAC - Day 5

Liberty Rowley Peter Clossick

Catch up on Day 1Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4

Radio 3 was playing again, Franz Liszt as Composer of the Week. Pretty stirring stuff.

We looked at the portrait upside down, it helps to abstract the image and see how the rectangular canvas has been divided up.

Peter says the painting is becoming centrifugal. That Turner used the centrifugal shape a lot, it is considered by some to relate to Death. That we are spinning into Death.

Then we looked at some Giacometti portraits upside down, this way you can see just how much of the detail is focussed on the face, the bodies are very ill-defined, and sometimes the hands appear huge.

Peter then showed me an exercise in perspective to show that these giant hands were probably exactly as seen: Hold both hands out in front of you, as if they were flat against a wall. Close one eye and bring one hand towards you until it is level with your other elbow. The difference in size is amazing!

Hermione Hammond Drawing Award 2017

Gideon Summerfield

We’re thrilled to announce that Royal Drawing School student Gideon Summerfield, aged 22, has won the First Prize of £4,000 in this year’s Hermione Hammond Drawing Award for his pencil portrait of the British immunologist Dr William Frankland MBE, who continues working at 105 years old.

Gideon was selected as this year’s winner out of 674 entries from 74 colleges in Britain and Ireland. 

Dr William Frankland is 105 years young and it was a huge privilege to meet him given his experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war and an eminent immunologist. I feel humbled to have received the Hermione Hammond Drawing Award and I am grateful to Mall Galleries and the Federation of British Artists for their recognition. - Gideon Summerfield

Runner-up Rebeka-Louise Lee, 20, studying at Canterbury Christ Church University, has won Cass Art vouchers worth £250.

The Hermione Hammond Award was established in 2012 in memory of the artist Hermione Hammond. Run in conjunction with Mall Galleries, the Award encourages art students to develop their drawing skills. This year’s judging panel included artist Jason Bowyer as the head judge; Alistair Redgrift, Exhibitions Manager at the Federation of British Artists; Liberty Rowley, Audience Development Manager at Mall Galleries; and Jane Brown, Tom Cartlidge and Robert Prescott: niece, great-nephew and cousin of Hermione Hammond. 

View the album below on Facebook to see work Highly Commended by the judging panel alongside the prize-winning works

Posted by Mall Galleries on Monday, 8 May 2017

Image credit

Gideon Summerfield Dr William Frankland (detail)

Sitting for Peter Clossick NEAC - Day 1

Liberty Rowley Peter Clossick

Liberty Rowley, Marketing Manager at Mall Galleries, recently agreed to sit for Peter Clossick NEAC after bumping in to him at a book launch in the South London Gallery.

In this first post in an ongoing series, Liberty describes visiting Peter's studio for the first time and his method starting a new portrait. 

I arrived at his house after work on Monday as agreed. We started by having a chocolate biscuit in the kitchen and discussing The Octonauts with his 4 year old grandchild.

We then went into the Studio, an extension on the side of a Victorian house, past Peter’s motorbike covered from the rain. Inside, along one wall are random newspaper sheets taped up to protect it from paint splashes. Along the other are some of his works on the floor, wet and in progress, with taped up sketchbook drawings above. Next to his easel, where they can be viewed while he is working, colour wheels and colour experiments are pinned over the newspapered wall.

In front of the easel is a table top palette, with a porridge bowl sized portion each of Red, Yellow, Blue and White paint heaped on the surface.

Peter has already arranged a chair and a choice of cushions for me. Radio 3 is broadcasting a documentary about Scott Joplin. Peter decided not to use artificial light as it will stay lighter for longer over the coming weeks, while he is working on the painting, so better to start off in the dusk on the first day knowing it will be light enough to paint at that same time next week.

I fixed my eyes on a green image clipped from a newspaper and pinned to the wall. Without my glasses on, and in the diminishing daylight, I could not quite tell what the image was. Over the course of the hour I sat motionless, the image shifted from looking like a woman sitting in an armchair to a deep dark jungle scene. I resolved not to look more closely until the painting is finished, as I will be looking at the image for several more hours, I thought it best it remain elusive and mysterious.

Peter worked with two brushes; both quite wide and long. Every few strokes he would wipe the paint from them with a fresh sheet of newspaper. The sound of crumpling newsprint soon mixed with that of Peter huffing to himself which as time passed grew louder and began to include the occasional sucking in of air over his teeth, in the style of a cowboy builder quoting on a difficult job, and sometimes he would mutter “no, no, no”. Eventually I timidly asked “Are you okay? You are making disgruntled noises” to which Peter answered, “Oh yes, I make lots of noises. I’m just wrestling with myself.” He explained that the difficulty of translating a 3 dimensional object (me) on to a 2 dimensional canvas, while I was moving, while he was moving ‘while the world was moving’, was what kept him painting.

I found I shouldn’t let my mind wander too much, as this made it difficult to maintain the pose, I remembered Quentin Crisp describing the intense concentration needed to be a good life model in his book The Naked Civil Servant and decided not only to re-read this book, but also to focus on the shifting green newspaper cutting on the wall and stay as still as possible.

Peter seemed relieved when the alarm sounded to let him know he had painted for the hour we had agreed on, but still seemed keen for me to come back the same time next week.

by Liberty Rowley, Mall Galleries Marketing Manager

Image credit

Peter Clossick NEAC, Liberty, Day 1 (detail|)

Ian Cryer PROI Painting of the Royal Mail Travelling Post Office Train made into a Royal Mail Stamp

Ian Cryer, The Travelling Post Office

When he heard the last Royal Mail Travelling Post Office Train was to run in 2004, Ian Cryer arranged to document for posterity the Royal Mail Staff sorting post at 90 miles an hour from Plymouth to Bristol.

His painting has now been turned into a stamp as part of the Royal Mail Heritage: Transport set as part of the Royal Mail 500 celebrations.

Now President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Ian Cryer talks on London Live about the process.

The original painting, along with many other of Ian’s works, can be seen at M1 Gallery in Greenwich until 5 March 2017

Image credit

Ian Cryer, Royal Mail

Winner of the Jackson's One to Watch Prize, FBA Futures 2017

Inês-Hermione Mulford, Surgical Still Life

Inês-Hermione Mulford Surgical Still-Life voted the Jackson's One to Watch by visitors to FBA Futures 2017

Inês-Hermione’s Surgical Still Life was painted as part of a series of works she produced after shadowing craniofacial surgeons at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. It was selected to appear as part of FBA Futures 2017, Mall Galleries’ annual survey of recent graduates working in representational art.

Inês-Hermione has just graduated with a BA from Edinburgh College of Art and will receive a voucher for £250 worth of art materials to spend at Jackson's Art Supplies to help her to carry on painting. Jackson’s Art Supplies have been sponsoring the FBA Futures One to Watch Award since 2015.

We spoke to her about being selected to participate in the FBA Futures exhibition, winning the visitors' vote, her work and her plans for the future:

"Being selected to exhibit as part of the FBA Futures exhibition was an incredible opportunity to further my career and the confidence booster I needed after graduating from my Painting degree at Edinburgh College of Art. Seeing my artwork alongside other art graduates in such a prestigious venue as Mall Galleries was a surreal experience, but one that has only increased my desire to make art. 

However, winning the Jackson’s ‘One to Watch’ Art Prize has, and I don’t want to sound cheesy, made me believe that becoming an artist is not such a faraway dream as I have thought. Especially as it’s an award voted for by the public. Support from family, peers and tutors is amazing, but to have that encouragement from people in no way connected to you is unrivalled. 

This painting is one of a series I produced in reflection on my time spent shadowing craniofacial surgeons at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. While the status of skill in art, especially representational art, is continuously challenged in the contemporary art world, skills are the foundation of surgery. Although they are very separate professions today, historically artists and surgeons could be one and the same. This honed skill of manual dexterity is just as important in surgery as it is in my own painting. As stated by Tim Ingold ‘every hand-drawn line is a trace of a gesture’ just as every gesture made by the surgeon with the scalpel leaves a mark, a scar, the surgeon leaves a trace of what once was. It is the notion of drawing as a process of thinking, not the projection of a thought (Phipps 2006). The precision and care surgeons take when undergoing surgery is reflected in my paintings.

I have started planning more work along similar lines; on the cross overs between art and science, with hopefully another placement in a hospital. My work is very dependent on research and anthropological study as I feel a full emersion in a chosen theme is key to its representation. Even so, I am currently enjoying a little down-time after 20 years in education, and over the past few months have been working mainly on commissioned works. Now, however, I am looking at continuing my education as previously intended, and am applying for an art Masters at the Edinburgh College of Art. An institution that has supported me, and guided me to develop my own notions about art and where I can take it. 

For me, the arts and the sciences are interlinked more than people realise or give it credit for. Edinburgh College of Art did not hinder my desire to study the sciences alongside my art degree but instead instilled in me the importance to question and challenge these stigmas; to understand and reveal the overlaps between what is idealistically deemed ‘artistic’ and ‘academic’ and to ultimately prove art’s place within the sciences.

Because after all as James Martin (2012) said ‘Creativity is really a critical element of how human beings advance in all our disciplines. Where medicine and science need help from art is in looking over the horizon, in looking at something in a completely different way. Thinking as an artist means connecting the dots that aren’t next to each other’.

See the FBA Futures 2017 Exhibition online now

Image credit

Inês-Hermione Mulford, Surgical Still Life (detail)

Anna Preston's Works of 2016

Anna Preston

Having started as Bookshop Assistant in February, I have now experienced working at the gallery for all nine Federation of British Artists exhibitions for a full annual circuit. It has been really enjoyable to get to know the different feels and focuses of each society, so I thought I would compile some highlights.


Pastel Society 23 February to 5 March

My favourite work from this show was 'Deep Valley Pines' by Cheryl Culver, President of the Society at the time. Not only is the work mellow and comforting, but Cheryl is based in the same area of the South East as where I grew up. In a strange twist of fate her niece used to childmind me, and my parents have had a wonderful pastel seascape by Cheryl in our living room for years. For this reason, and the nostalgia of Autumnal remote countryside walks created by the scene, the piece stood out for me.


Royal Society of British Artists 17 March to 2 April

As an art historian, and a fan of the melancholy of Nordic Noir, Barbara Richardson’s 'Still Life with Hammershoi' excited me by how referential and intertextual the painting is. Although painted in a different style to Hammershoi’s hyperrealism, the artist captures the light, mood and enigma of his work and reflects it outwards, into a more contemporary setting.


Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 6 to 16 April

To paint anything with so much precision in watercolour as Varsha Bhatia has in 'Door, Cordoba' really baffles me (in a good way. I can’t paint). Cordoba is on my list of places to visit, and this small picture of a door just summarises for me the unique beauty of Cordoba’s moorish architecture. How can something as simple as a door make you want to travel?!  


Royal Society of Portrait Painters 5 to 20 May

I have a couple of favourites from this one. The first one goes without saying...'Agniezska at Mall Galleries Cafe' by Bob Last. As a Courtauld alumna, any reference to ‘Bar at the Folies Bergere’ (in the Courtauld Gallery’s permanent collection) is appreciated. Agniezska left the Mall cafe recently, and I miss her and wish her all the best. Bob Last has endearingly immortalised her, as a good portrait should. My other favourite was a small work called 'Stephen with Bill' by Lyn Gray. It shows a splodgy black and white cat sat on a man’s lap on an armchair. This is exactly how my own splodgy black and white cat sits on my dad, the portrait accurately capturing the relationship dynamic between man and feline pal.


New English Art Club 16 to 25 June

'Crosby Beach, Liverpool' by Hoisun Yung was included in the exhibition as part of the Haworth Prize, awarded to young landscape artists based in the North of England. The use of negative space and the detail of the characters used to depict the sea make the image really striking. It is an original and moving response to the landscape genre.


Hesketh Hubbard Life Drawing Society 25 July to 6 August

Alex Menzies’ large painting ‘Puppetry’ was certainly outstanding in my opinion. It was surprising to see in a life drawing-themed show, alongside all of these beautiful nudes in muted colours, because of its large scale, dark and disturbing palette and bizarre interaction with the canonical genre. Despite its turbulence as an image, for me it has inspired an internal debate over what life drawing can be defined as.

Royal Society of Marine Artists 28 September to 8 October

Something about Naomi Tydeman’s use of monochrome and texture in 'Outflow' perfectly communicates the bleak beauty of a receding tide. The central part of the image is a single vertical silver streak, focusing the image around a pearly moon or a weak winter sun reflecting across the water, making the image tranquil, pensive and introspective.  

Society of Wildlife Artists 26 October to 6 November 2016

Nik Pollard
From this exhibition I have chosen the Wallasea Island Project as my highlight. Throughout the show, unframed works by six artists who were on residency on the island reserve were hung in the North Gallery. The body of work was both stunning in its raw immediacy, and important as it is an urgent artistic response to flooding, raising awareness of the dangers of climate change and the effect it is having on coastal habitats in Britain.

Royal Institute of Oil Painters 30 November to 11 December 2016

Recently I have jumped on the cacti bandwagon, hence ‘California Still Life’ by Rosalie Watkins appealed to me instantly. I think this is because her loose technique with oils has allowed her to create a peaceful and still image, but one that is vibrant and bright - a portrait of summer. It is simple but compelling, and I am very glad that the artist was selected to win the Phyllis Roberts Award.

While there were so many highlights throughout the year in terms of FBA exhibitions, there were so many other exhibitions which also felt special. It is hard to pick a favourite, but I feel I ought to mention Merge Visible, which was a small show of digital collage in contemporary fine art photography by six artists from 6 to 10 September 2016. I knew nothing about this media, or how complex its process, or how thought-provoking and gorgeous the outcome could be before the show. The way the six pieces were curated worked so well in the Threadneedle Space, and the whimsical works of Ellie Davies and Suzanne Moxhay in particular will always stick in my mind.

I look forward to the exciting jam-packed programme of exhibitions and events Mall Galleries will have in the New Year!

Image credit

Bob Last, Agniezska at Mall Galleries Cafe (detail)

Andy Wood PRI 1947 - 2016


Andy Wood made a considerable contribution to the RI and to the FBA both through the quality of his paintings and latterly in his role as President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and as a trustee of the FBA. 

Everyone at the Federation of British Artists and Mall Galleries would like to express their deepest sympathy to Andy Wood's family. 

By Rosa Sepple

Andy Wood PRI RBA was elected President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 2014, the 15th President elect. Born in Porlock, Somerset in 1947 he spent his formative years in Surrey. In the 1960’s he attended Croydon College of Art and Newport College of Art, Monmouthshire and attained a degree in Fine Art and Film. However Andy had many varied jobs before becoming a professional artist. He was an assistant school caretaker, stage electrician at The London Palladium, he ran an Arts Centre and worked on adventure playgrounds in Hammersmith. In 1976 he attended Maria Grey College of Further Education, Twickenham and studied for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Andy Wood PRI, My Lady of the Lake on Ullswater - Exhibited at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Annual Exhibition 2016

In 1977 he moved to Charmouth, Dorset and joined the Dorset Fire & Rescue Service. He then started painting, opening a gallery in nearby Lyme Regis, remaining a fire fighter until moving with his family to Rye, East Sussex in 2002.

Andy Wood PRI, Last Chance - Exhibited at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Annual Exhibition 2016

Andy became a member of the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) in 1980 and a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) a year later. In 2009 he was elected Honorary Secretary to the RI. In 2014 he was elected President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and made an Honorary Member of The Royal Watercolour Society (RWS). He leaves a wife Kate and two children, Arthur and Freya.


Image credit

Andy Wood PRI, Last Chance (detail)

In Conversation with Henry Byrne, Weekend and Evening Gallery Manager

1.Henry Bryne at Royal Soc Portrait Painters Annual Exhibtion


How long have you been working at Mall Galleries, and what does your role entail?

I have been at the gallery for three months. I am the Weekend and Evening Gallery Manager, which means I work during evening events and weekends. My role is to deal with any issues that exhibitors or guests have during the show, help run the front desk, and close up after events.


Henry Bryne, James Norton

What do you enjoy most about working at Mall Galleries?

Firstly the people are lovely and believe in the society shows and artists. This makes going to work a pleasure. I really enjoy seeing the art. the variety is so impressive. 

There can be 600 paintings shown in two weeks which is staggering. I really enjoy coming to work a bit earlier so I can wander around and see what I find interesting in the shows.

You are a practicing artist yourself, tell us a bit about your work and influences.

I work from a studio in east London. I am generally paint portraits though do have still life shows as well. I think my ability is to capture the personality of my subjects. I'm influenced by George Shaw, van Dyke, and Rudolf Stingel. I admire and strive for work that evokes a memory/mood. 


Where can we see your work?

I have two websites to keep the portraits and still life's separate. My portrait website is and non-portrait is 

There is a newsletter section on both sites and informing of forthcoming shows. I have two works in Discerning Eye at Mall Galleries this November

Do you have a favourite Artist (FBA member and/or other artist)?

Yes, Brendan Kelly RP. He gave a lecture when I was at school and really inspired me to get into art. I asked to meet for a chat about portraits and he met me for a pint, which was very nice of him.

A Right Royal Buzz

Our Learning Centre is a vibrant hub of activity encouraging initiatives bringing together different disciplines. For ‘A Right Royal Buzz’, we partnered with The Royal Parks and The National Gallery and transformed the space into an interactive environment, inviting audiences to experience how bees see.

If you missed the 'A Right Royal Buzz' exhibition, you can watch this film to find out more about the project that inspired it:

Image credit

A Right Royal Buzz, Community Art Day at Victoria Tower Gardens

Top Ten Society of Wildlife Artists works 2015

The launch of our new website in December 2014 allows a perfect digital platform to showcase the Annual Exhibitions of the Federation of British Artists Societies.

Over 1,800 works from the FBA Annual Exhibitions have been uploaded to and viewed almost 40,000 time throughout 2015.

Listed below from one to ten are the most popular works from the Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition based on the number of unique page visits the work received. Congratulations to Alistair Proud for having the most popular work in the SWLA Annual Exhibition 2015.

Alistair Proud SWLA, Gannets and Surf, Ramsey Sound


60 x 90 cm

Carry Akroyd SWLA, Stonies' Plot

Serigraph (ed. of 6)

80 x 60 cm

Max Angus SWLA, Good to see you

Linocut (ed. of 45, 3 available)

49 x 52 cm

Richard Allen SWLA, Coastal Birds

Linocut (ed. of 50)

74 x 90 cm

Carry Akroyd SWLA, Secured Ground

Serigraph (ed. of 6)

60 x 80 cm

David Hunt, Pursuit


162 x 101 cm

Max Angus SWLA, Hey-Ho

Linocut (ed. of 45)

58 x 58 cm

Max Angus SWLA, Looking out for you

Linocut (ed. of 45)

59 x 62 cm

Kim Atkinson SWLA, Sandwich Terns, Porth Neigwl


50 x 66 cm

Adam Binder SWLA, Swallows

Bronze (ed. of 12)

Call for Entries

The Society of Wildlife Artists seeks submissions of work that depict wildlife subjects and evoke the spirit of the natural world. The call for entries open on Tuesday 3 May 2016.

For more information please click here.


Image credit

Alistair Proud, Gannets and Surf, Ramsey Sound (detail)