Updates from Mall Galleries - the national focal point for contemporary figurative art, and home to the Federation of British Artists. Includes written content and photo essays from our Exhibitions, Call for Entries, Art Consultancy.

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

100 The Travelling Post Office 24 x 22.jpg

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

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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)

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 mallgalleries.org.uk 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)

Top Ten Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 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 mallgalleries.org.uk and viewed almost 40,000 time throughout 2015.

Listed below from one to ten are the most popular works from the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) based on the number of unique page visits the work received.

Congratulations to Olga Cannon-Brookes for having the most popular work online in the RI Exhibition.

Olga Cannon-Brookes, A Summer Evening


51 x 67 cm

Jan Munro, Winter

Watercolour & ink

69 x 77 cm

Ann Hoddinott, Bracken and Barbed Wire

Acrylic & collage

74 x 92 cm

Annette Dall'Oglio, Luberon Valley

Watercolour & ink

73 x 93 cm

Tim Gustard, Hanging Granny Too


38 x 31 cm

Geoffrey Wynne RI, Winter in Venice, Last Vaporetto


73 cm x 74 cm

Penelope Lee SWA, Cornish Coast


50 x 90 cm

Deborah Walker RI, Detail


113 x 143 cm

John Yardley RI, Autumn in Greenwich Village


62 x 75 cm

Karen Charman, Southdowns Trail


40 cm x 50 cm

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.


Image credit

Geoffrey Wynne RI, Winter in Venice, Last Vaporetto (detail)

December at Mall Galleries


December at Mall Galleries means the Friends Christmas Party which is due to take place on Thursday 3 December from 6pm to 9pm. Join our Chairman, Michael Portillo for festive food, drink, live music, art and activities, all taking place during the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition.

Tickets are still available to purchase up until the afternoon of Thursday 3 December.

Buy your tickets online now

Continuing the Christmas theme you can also purchase online a limited edition range of Christmas Cards by featuring work by member artists of the Federation of British Artists societies including Pete Brown, Bill Dean and Jill Leman. 


Atelier: the Art of Representation

1 December to 4 December

Influenced by the Atelier Method of instruction LARA's philosophy is summarised as a belief in the relevance of discipline in art, which could best be described as the grammar of drawing.  This carefully structured approach offers a solid framework within which to develop vision and creativity.

Royal Institute of Oil Painters

2 to 13 December

Natalia Avdeeva ROI, Setting Sun, Chelsea Harbour

The Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition has a well earned reputation for attracting highly exciting young exhibitors, alongside the much admired, more established member artists. This year the trend will continue, with new artists and new discoveries waiting to be made.

The exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to see the many and varied ways in which artists use oil paint today, from a traditional approach to this highly technical media through to more innovative uses of material, style and content.

On Saturday 5 December the ROI will be holding their Paint Live 2015 event. Artists will have the morning and afternoon to create a painting within a half mile of the gallery before returning to the gallery to have their work judged by ROI President Ian Cryer, Roger Dellar ROI and Lachlan Goudie ROI. For more information click here

More from the Royal Institute of Oil Painters

SP Prescott: Recycling Space

7 to 13 December

Solo exhibition by SP Prescott.

Prescott pushes accepted concepts of painting. Using the traditional stretched canvas as a starting point, she creates images and forms projecting from, or receding into the frame. By blurring two and three dimensions in this way, she intends to challenge the viewers’ perceptions of space and reality.

Find out more: www.spprescott.com

The Painted Parish

15 to 20 December

Alice Hall AROI, Cathedral View

Presenting a rare exhibition of new and recent paintings exploring Britain’s churches, chapels and cathedrals by members of the Federation of British Artists.

The Painted Parish features paintings exploring British Churches, examining notions of place and time, life and loss, as well as faith and worship. An illustrated e-catalogue accompanies the exhibition, featuring a foreword by Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Reader in Architecture at the University of Kent and author of Churches: Explore the Symbols, Learn the Language and Discover the History (Harper Collins, 2008).

Work from the exhibition is available to Browse & Buy online now.

Out of Hours

15 to 20 December

Working at Mall Galleries is a wonderful day job, being immersed in art all day. When we go home, many of the staff then set about working on their own art projects. A thriving artist community has grown up both inside and out of our working hours.

Our staff encompasses painters, sculptors, photographers and film-makers as well as musicians, singers and writers.

This exhibition is a rare chance to see the work made by employees of Mall Galleries.

Work from the exhibition is available to Browse & Buy online now.


Designer Crafts at Christmas 2015

16 to 20 December

Don’t miss an opportunity to buy wonderful Christmas gifts made by Fellows, Members and Licentiates of the Society of Designer Craftsmen. 

Beautiful items in ceramic, wood, silver and gold jewellery, glass, other metals, mixed media and textiles will all be for sale. 

Find out more: www.societyofdesignercraftsmen.org.uk



Call for Entries

The deadline for artists to get their works in for the Royal Society of British Artists is fast approaching. Artists will need to submit their work online by Friday 11 December, 12 Noon. For more information about their Open Exhibition visit the Royal Society of British Artists Call for Entries page.

The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Call for Entries continue into 2016 closing for submissions on Friday 8 January and Friday 12 February respectively. 

The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2016 is now open for submissions too. Their Call for Entries opened on 30 November and will continue until Friday 4 March 2016. 

Thinking about submitting to the Open Exhibitions held at Mall Galleries? Check out the Prize Winners from the 2015 exhibitions mentioned above for inspiration.

Image credit

Bob Rudd RI, St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire (detail)

My Third Month at Mall Galleries

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During the past month I have taken a functional skills exam, learnt how to salsa and done a lot of research tasks.

My time at Step Forward during November has been focused on revising and taking a functional skills exam. This included learning functions on excel, selecting appropriate information from text and using the internet to research specific topics.

During my social media class within the past month, we looked at the principals of Social Media in business. We looked at how there were both benefits and consequences of using social media for a business and how it can also be linked in with a company’s marketing plan.

My personal development sessions for November focused on responsibility, how it’s important to take responsibility for your actions and learn from them. A big factor of taking responsibility is to avoid making excuses for your actions and instead taking feedback and learning from it.

At Mall Galleries I have had a  variety of tasks, from posting on our social media pages to filming a talk in the learning centre, all presenting me with new challenges along the way. During the SWLA Natural Eye exhibition recorded a talk by Carry Akroyd. Although I have filmed many times whilst at school, this talk did challenge me by forcing me to create an improvised tripod.

Alongside filming I got to do a little bit of photography too. The Natural Eye Exhibition gave me the chance to get behind the lens and take photos of the awards ceremony as well as the gallery which were used to promote the exhibition on social media.

Away from the gallery itself, the deadline for the Pastel Society’s Call For Entries passed and the selection process was underway. At the time there had been a few problems, some of the selectors were having problems using the website and for the first time I took a business phone call, which was very frightening, I had to find solutions to all the problems I was presented with but soon everything was sorted out.

One task that I had that appeared a lot, however in different forms, was research tasks. During November I researched into which artists are on  twitter in the ROI and  The Columbia Threadneedle Prize. I also researched whether the churches featured in The Painted Parish exhibition had social media accounts.

Finally, outside of both college and the workplace I have also learnt some valuable lessons. I have learnt to make the most of my time and also to schedule things I want to do, when I want to do them and how long it will take me to do it. My time at home has become more productive and everything I want to get done gets done.

November has definitely been filled with variety, challenging me in new and different forms. Now that it’s December I hope that I can finish 2015 on a high note and go into the new year with my head held high.

Here’s to a good Christmas!

Sasha Enticknap


Image credit

Adebanji Alade ROI, Rain and Reflections Cannon Street II, Detail

November at Mall Galleries

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With four exhibitions, one Call for Entries deadline, one Open Exhibition opening for submissions, and the Final Selection for the Columbia Threadneedle Prize announced it's looking to be a busy November at Mall Galleries.

Call for Entries

Royal Society of Portrait Painters

Open for Submissions: 2 November

Submissions are invited to the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2016 at Mall Galleries. The RP seeks submissions of new and traditional artistic models and perspectives in portraiture. 
More from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

Pastel Society

Deadline for submissions: 6 November 

The Pastel Society seeks the best in contemporary dry media, combining traditional skills with creative originality. It is a registered charity, founded in 1898, widely recognised for its success in promoting and encouraging the use of pastel within the contemporary art world.

If you would like to see the work that impressed the selectors last year you can see the 2015 Prize Winners here and Look Again at the 2015 Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Look Again.

If you are submitting, or have already submitted work, please remember to check registrationmallgalleries.org.uk after Noon on Friday 13 November to see if you have been pre-selected. 

The Columbia Threadneedle Prize

Final Selection Announced: Thursday 26 November

If you have been pre-selected for The Columbia Threadneedle Prize you will need to deliver your work to Mall Galleries on Saturday 21 November, between 10am to 5pm. 

Final Selection for the exhibition, will be announced at Noon on Thursday 26 November on The Columbia Threadneedle Prize website



The Natural Eye 2015

Until November 8

Dafilia Scott SWLA, Swifts over the Fen

The Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition moves in to its second week after a fantastic first week. The exhibition shows a range of contemporary work from both members and non-members which celebrates the wild whether it is close to home or further afield. 

If you can't make it to Mall Galleries to see the exhibition over 75% of the works are available to Browse and Buy here

Admission to the exhibition is £3 (£2.50 concessions) or free to Friends of Mall Galleries

The ING Discerning Eye

12 to 22 November

Emma Copley, The June field at sunset (detail)

The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. 

For more information on the ING Discerning Eye please visit their website.

Admission Free. 

New Travel Inspired Paintings by Patrick Gibbs

24 to 28 November

Patrick Gibbs’ work is often inspired by his travels, and this exhibition will include paintings from trips to Brazil, Burma, Cuba, Morocco, Mozambique and Sri Lanka.

See Patrick's website for more information. 
Admission Free

Atelier: the Art of Representation

30 November to 4 December

November comes to a close with an exhibition influenced by the Atelier Method of instruction. LARA's philosophy is summarised as a belief in the relevance of discipline in art, which could best be described as the grammar of drawing.  This carefully structured approach offers a solid framework within which to develop vision and creativity.

Visit their website for more information on LARA and the exhibition.



Image credit

Emma Copley, The June field at sunset (detail)