Updates on In the Studio | Inspired by the model of our Art Societies, we are equipping emerging talent with the tools, ideas and experiences to form their own collaborative art group.

In the Studio visits Alex Hirtzel

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Maddie Exton and Suzon Lagarde reflect on In the Studio’s visit to Alex Hirtzel idyllic studio in Royston, Hertfordshire.

In early July, In the Studio (ITS) made their final studio visit before their exhibition, to Alex Hirtzel’s converted barn in Royston, Hertfordshire. Hirtzel's multimedia work plays with the intersection between art and science, linking references from scientific research with historical artworks in order to create artworks that tell a narrative that references today. From 2015 to 2016,  the artist was appointed the first-ever Artist in Residence for The Royal Parks, London working in partnership with Mall Galleries and the National Gallery.

Encased in wild, meandering gardens, ITS artist Suzon Lagarde described Hirtzel's studio as a “little heaven she has built for herself over time.” Lagarde recalls the artist's incredible generosity: "She had prepared the most delicious and colourful lunch, sprinkled with flowers picked from the garden.” Though it was her honesty and openness regarding "everything from her journey and practice without holding back any secrets," which Lagarde most appreciated.

Over lunch, Hirtzel shared some wisdom with her guests, expressing the joy she gets from teaching, “how it pushes her to go beyond any comfort zone, experimenting with new ideas and materials,” Lagarde says. She also stressed the importance of taking the “time to reflect on the direction you're heading: is this teaching not compromising your own practice? is your practice itself going where you'd like?”

In the Studio artist, Maddie Exton describes Hirtzel's studio as “the sort of place you wander into and wander out of a week later, judging it as hours.” Like Suzon, Maddie found herself in awe of Alex’s energy and passion: “It was infectious to be around someone who is excited about their studio and the importance of its function.” Exton reflects on the sometimes tricky balance of studio visits, in which ‘you can end up lingering too long on someone else's practice.” This wasn’t the case with Hirtzel, who “curated the whole day from the food to the talks, to the flower picking. It all felt so communal and introspective.”

Above all else, the studio visit made Exton feel at ease about pursuing her passion for art. “It's nice to see the art world doesn't cripple every artist within the first few years of their career,” Maddie concludes, “I got hope from Alex, and optimism, and an excitement for the future.”

The In the Studio programme will culminate in a group exhibition, taking place 12 to 17 August. 

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Alex Hirtzel's studio

In the Studio, Outside Mall Galleries

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As busy as our In the Studio programme is, the artists have a whole lot going on outside of what they do at Mall Galleries. It’s wonderful to see them flourishing and pursuing their own projects. We are so impressed by all of the wonderful exhibitions, projects and prizes they’re cooking up that we wanted to share them with you. Be sure to mark these events in your diaries!

Suzon Lagarde, A Painted Touch of Life, 29 May to 3 June

Alongside her friend Inma Garcia-Carrasco, Suzon Lagarde will be exhibiting over 20 figurative paintings which delve into their immediate world: relationships, universal feelings, inner minds and memories. Both Lagarde and Garcia-Carrasco “use the human figure as a device to explore life’s fascinating experiences.”

These works were created over the course of a year starting when the pair first met. A collaborative work between the two artists, informed by their burgeoning friendship, will be unveiled at the Private View (29 May). This piece is inspired by the legend of the red thread, a story in Japanese folklore which says that individuals who are tied to one another by invisible scarlet string are destined to meet and that this encounter will profoundly affect them.

Anna Kenneally with a recent work The Execution Party II, photographed by Peter Mallet

Anna Kenneally, Unvoiced Group Show, 14 June to 16 June

Anna Kenneally will be exhibiting in a group show at St Augustine Tower in Hackney alongside Pedro Miguel Baeta, Rachel Campbell, Fabienne Jenny Jacquet, Anna Kenneally, Rosielea, Jennifer Smith, Noriko Watanabe and Chloe Wing.

Organised by Tainted Glory art blog, Unvoiced is a multi-disciplinary exhibition featuring emerging UK-based and international artists. The show gives a platform to creative individuals including those who are still under-represented in the art world because of their gender, age, sexual orientation or background.

Painter's Dog Resting by Owain Hunt 

Owain Hunt, Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition, 4 to 14 July

Owain Hunt was recently awarded the Minerva Best Portrait Prize at the 114th Bath Society of Artists Annual Exhibition for his pensive self-portrait, "Reflection at 24". He will also be exhibiting a new work titled "The Painter's Dog Resting" at the RBA’s Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries in July – of course we couldn’t miss an opportunity to plug one of our own shows!


No 7 by Anna Stevenson

Anna Kenneally and Anna Stevenson, Finalists in The Ashurst Emerging Art Prize

Both Anna Kenneally and Anna Stevenson are finalists in The Ashurst Emerging Art Prize which awards £9,000 worth of prizes and exhibitions to burgeoning artists. 

In Kenneally's selected work, fashion masquerades as meaningful political discourse. Using symbols of wealth to embellish her painting, she raises questions around our definitions of status. "Original imagery is collaged and cannibalized in order to reflect references of both art and fashion within western culture," explains Kenneally, "collaging together different styles of painting ranging from realism to expressive modes of working."

Combining the ordinary with the surreal, Stevenson's "No 7" explores the lines between imagination and realism. Inspired by the artist Paul Nash, Stevenson simultaneously depicts the representation of an area while also evoking the feeling and mood of a place or situation. "Using a simplistic composition plan and a limited range of colour the viewer is led through the painting by visual indicators of blue lines and orange forms that aim to act as signals to the focal point whilst also providing perspective and depth to the piece," Stevenson shares.

Nowy Theatre's Lolita poster, designed by Paulina Kwietniewska

Paulina Kwietniewska, I Long for Some Terrific Disaster, 1 June

Last year, Paulina was contacted by the managing director of Nowy Theatre in Lodz to design posters for the first ever staging of Vladamir Nabokov's Lolita in Poland. “As I love literature and as a fan of Nabokov's work, it was really easy for me to feel inspired by the subject. The chosen poster refers to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel masterpiece in which God passes on the spark of life onto human,” says Paulina. “In Lolita, Humbert Humbert dreamed of 'converting' a girl into a woman, passing the spark onto her, he was fascinated by how larvas turn into butterflies,” she explains.

The girl in Paulina’s artwork is inspired by Rose Finn Kelcey's 1975 photograph, “The Restless Image - a discrepancy between the felt position and the seen position". I love the playfulness of the pose,” Paulina shares. “It's not obvious if she's doing a handstand or standing on her feet at first. I think it's a good reference to Humbert's uncertainty if Lolita is still an innocent child or a nymphette.”

Lolita opens at Nowy Theatre on May 31. A solo exhibition of Paulina’s work will coincide with the show, exhibiting at Nowy Theatre from 1 June and will feature all four versions of the Lolita poster alongside some other illustrative works.

Renda / Mirrored by Will GC Brown

Group Show, In the Studio Exhibition, 12-17 August

Did you know the In the Studio artists are holding their own exhibition at Mall Galleries this summer?

This group show will feature work by all 22 artists from our In the Studio programme here at Mall Galleries. These artists, all aged between 18 and 26, have collaborated as a group in creating this exhibition. Viewers can expect everything from hyper-realistic portraiture by Will GC Brown to Rebeka-Louise Lee's study of memory and place to feminist representations of the female figure in paintings by Erin Lee and Ottelien Huckin. See you there!


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The Three Graces by Ottelien Huckin

In the Studio: Sketching the City

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Our In the Studio artists took to the streets of London with their sketchbooks, led by Adebanji Alade, Vice President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters

On 1 and 15 May, our In the Studio artists ventured across London, armed with their sketchbooks, taking inspiration from Adebanji Alade’s approach of drawing around the city.

A true Londoner, Alade often uses the city as his studio, observing and drawing faces and places – an activity he calls “sketchercise”. Alade finds sketching in urban spaces to be a “fun and relaxing” experience. Not only is it “a great opportunity to practice and improve one’s drawing skills,” Alade also enjoys the public interaction it provokes: “nothing beats a day when you can go out and explore your environment by sketching the things others would just pass by or take for granted, it’s like seeing beauty in everything and representing it in our own unique way.”

Anna Stevenson, Rebeka-Louise Lee and Adebanji Alade outside Sloane Square station

On 1 May, the group met at Sloane Square station planning to board the Circle Line and spend the morning drawing passengers while travelling across the whole line. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Circle Line was suspended that morning! Thanks to Alade's problem-solving skills, the group ended up on the District Line to Upminster instead. Several busy stops later, more seating became available and the group were truly at home sketching not just their fellow passengers but also each other.

Owain Hunt, Adebanji Alade and Rebeka-Louise Lee on the train

Sketching in public is nothing new to Suzon Lagarde, who always has her sketchbook at hand, but she enjoyed the experience of doing it collectively and learning from Alade. “I absolutely loved Adebanji’s first advice: Just Smile! He's so right, and in many ways, this goes beyond drawing merely to practice skills, and extends to sketching for the joy of connecting with life, with the world around us.” Lagarde muses, “As we scribble, most importantly we look more intensely to what's in front of us; and cannot be anywhere else but 'in the moment'.”

Suzon Lagarde sketching on the tube

Rebeka Louise-Lee had never drawn in such a public and confined space before. “Previously I think the closest experience I'd had was drawing sculptures in a busy gallery,” she says. As a result, she felt nervous in the beginning. “You’re stuck with those passengers for around 5 minutes, you can't just walk away if they catch you staring at their facial features.” In order to gain confidence, Lee explains, she started out drawing the backs of people’s heads, their shoes and tracking the movements of their feet, gradually working up the nerve to draw their faces. 

Two weeks later, and the In the Studio artists were invited for a second urban workshop with Adebanji. This time, meeting at St.Paul’s and spreading around Paternoster Square, to capture the architectural shapes and movement of the City. The square’s benches, columns, pavements and very inviting ‘deck chairs’ became their studio equipment. 

Owain Hunt enjoyed observing Alade transform “a public space into a dynamic studio space.” He was also intrigued by the immediate gratification and feedback that dealing with the public provided – a stark contrast to the solitary way in which many artists work from the confines of a studio.

In the Studio artists' sketches of Paternoster Square


Suggested Materials:

  • Black BIC Ballpoint pen and an N75 TOMBOW Marker.
  • Oil-based pencils. One extra soft and one medium.
  • Chunky Graphite and a 0.5 mechanical pencil.
  • Assorted coloured pencils.


1. Make sure you have a nice little sketchbook anything smaller than A4 will be fine.

2. Where you decide to sit in public transport matters a lot, don't be in people's faces or directly opposite them, they may feel intimidated.

3. Sketch with a smile on your face and if anyone asks why you sketch, explain in the most polite manner, the reason for your passion.

4. If you are a bit timid go for people that are sleeping or really glued to their phones and iPads.

5. Make sure you sketch lightly, always focusing more on the person you are sketching than the sketch itself. This would help you to resist sketching from what you think is there.

6. Be ready to seize every opportunity to sketch on public transport, so don't put your sketchbook in your bag, hold it in your hand or get one that fits in your pocket. You must be able to quickly access it when an interesting commuter is spotted.

7. While sketching on the trains, if I get any serious bad looks and I think intuitively that danger is ahead, I'll follow my heart and stop immediately. Also, if anyone tells you to stop, please cooperate and stop.

8. While sketching, don't go for perfection, go out to develop a habit, observe, analyse and respond. 

9. Always have at least two drawing materials for this challenge. One drawing tool for lines and one for tones. It helps you work faster.

10. The human figure is a bit complicated but always think in terms of shapes, lines, tones and structure.

Adebanji Alade discusses sketching architecture with the In the Studio Artists, Paternoster


Suggested Materials:

  • Graphite 2H for construction lines and 2B- 4B for tones and textures.
  • Chunky soft graphite stick for heavier tones and broad strokes.
  • Pen and ink (brown ink on a slightly beige or cream or off-white paper has a nice appeal)
  • Fine liners. 0.3-1.0 would make interesting lines.
  • Watercolour wash and lines with coloured pencil.
  • Three coloured pencils-black, brown and red on white sketchbook sheets.
  • Ball point pens/pen and ink.
  • Watercolour or gouache.
  • Pastels on coloured paper.
  • A simple pencil. Whatever you use, enjoy the process and make something ordinary look exciting!


1.  Make sure you focus on the overall structure of the building

2. You can't escape the dreaded perspective here, so make sure you have a keen brush- up on your perspective lines- which mainly converge to a vanishing point which is always on your eye level.

3. Buildings always look more interesting when there is a play of light on them.

4. It's not necessary that you put every little detail in, do your best to edit the unnecessary information.

5. Use powerful construction lines, which are very light lines to get the windows and doors in the right alignment if they come straight under each other.

6. Make sure you give the building a variety of textural effects to depict the different bricks, glass or wood used in the building.

7. Think of how you can abbreviate, edit or make simple, everything that may seem complicated. Simplicity always tends to excite as we see too much detail in real life.

8. The use of shadows can really make a dull building look phenomenal, make sure your shadows are not all too heavy but have a transient and light touch to still reveal what is hidden.


Find out more about In the Studio here.


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In the Studio Artists Feature on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year


Suzon Lagarde and Yevhen Nahirnyy feature on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2019, painting the British actor Geraldine James OBE. Suzon tells us about the experience. 

'I had a brilliant time participating in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year; it was an incredible experience! A friend encouraged me to apply, so I happily gave it a go, but it was a real surprise when they invited me to be part of the show. I would never have expected to get that, so my friend's encouragement meant a lot. One of my tutors at the time, James Bland NEAC, was particularly supportive.'

'I was nervous on the morning of the filming, but everything was so well-organized and everyone so friendly that I couldn't help but feel enthusiastic from the first moment. The conditions for painting the portrait are very different from the usual classroom set up, which made the challenge even more exciting. I had no choice but to take a playful and intuitive approach. The day was very moving for me, because it brought to the forefront how much I love painting and how much joy it brings me, even under stressful circumstances.'

'For my episode of the programme, I was painting alongside two talented artists who are my age, and also now my friends; Kelly Frank (who just exhibited with the Society of Women Artists), and Yevhen Nahirnyy who's part of Mall Galleries In The Studio project with me. Also painting were Geoff Harisson (recently showing in ING Discerning Eye) and Dorian Radu (who exhibits with the ROI); we're hoping to meet up to sketch together soon.'

'My sitter was the wonderful Geraldine James. I was struck by her beauty and incredible stillness. The way she sat for us had something profoundly generous, and even though she and I didn't know each other, a special connection forged between us while I was painting. I felt so happy when Geraldine chose my portrait to take home with her.'

'I also met an even younger artist; the talented Nua, who is six-years-old. Nua made me feel very emotional when she offered me a beautiful drawing she had done of me while I was painting. Her mother and I keep in touch, and I was very happy to be able to make a drawing for her in return.'

'This experience was as amazing as it was unexpected. It brought me a lot of joy, and I met many wonderful people. I would definitely encourage anyone who feels like they would enjoy such experience to give it a go. There's nothing too loose, and many beautiful things to get out of it! Applications for Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year are open until 22 February.'

Find out more about Suzon and her practice

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Photo by Suzon Lagarde

In the Studio visits Ben Johnson


Artists from our In the Studio project visited the studio of Ben Johnson and his assistant Georgia Kitty Harris, to discuss the value of intergenerational creative relationships. See their visit for yourself.


Find out more about In the Studio and how to support the project

In the Studio visits Tim Benson PROI NEAC


Artists from our In the Studio project visited Tim Benson, member of the New English Art Club and President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. Here's how they found the experience.

'Visiting Tim Benson’s studio on Tuesday was a thoroughly enjoyable experience' says In the Studio artist, Erin Lee. 'His words about the importance of education and opening up the art world to people from different demographics, including young people, women, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, resonated strongly with me.'

'It was inspiring to see the President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters striving towards an inclusive art world by changing perceptions of galleries and art societies. Tim spoke of the artist’s role as an ambassador to speak about broader issues and highlighted the importance of showcasing different stories. Tim’s aims for his presidency are inspirational and valuable for the contemporary art world.'

'Tim has been incredibly generous, welcoming us into his studio for two inspiring hours' says Suzon Lagarde. 'He mentioned the importance for him of having a separate space to paint: a studio to work in with no distractions. Most of us taking part in In the Studio still work from our bedrooms, so we discussed the logistics of that and how a lack of decarmation between different areas of our lives was a difficulty in itself.

It was valuable to share the solutions we'd each found to overcome this, like pinning work to the walls and placing work face down to avoid feeling overwhelmed, and setting timers as motivation to start painting. Meeting peers who are in a similar situation and stage of their development is so useful!'

'Tim encouraged us to enter competitions, but also reminded us that rejection is inevitable and not to take it personally, but to channel that frustration into the artwork. He showed us brilliant self portraits produced using this technique!

As President of the ROI, Tim explained how important it was for the society to be accessible to all artists, so that when they select work for their annual exhibitions, those choices reflect the quality of the works and nothing else. One example of this diversification is in welcoming unframed submissions, enabling artists who can't afford framing to enter their work.'

We were fortunate enough to have Paulina's delightful daughter Erin with us for the visit!

'Once again, I felt very lucky to attend this visit through the In The Studio project. When we're talking about all the different elements that come together to give an artist confidence in their practice, what Mall Galleries are creating here is undoubtedly precious. As a young artist, to be recognised and to have the opportunity to meet inspiring professionals like Tim is so valuable.'

Photography by Paulina Kwietniewksa.

Find out more about In the Studio and how to support the project

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Sketch by Suzon Lagarde. Photography by Paulina Kwietniewska

Behind the Scenes at the ROI Hang


This week our In the Studio artists ventured behind the scenes at the hang of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2018. Find out what the young artists, and the ROI President and Vice President made of the visit.

'It was a great privilege to witness the behind the scenes of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2018 and then to attend the private view the following day', says Suzon Lagarde. 'I was particularly impressed by the amount of work done is such a short period of time. This helped me to better understand the need for size and framing regulations during the submission process. There's already enough diversity and potential difficulties surrounding everything that is to hang on the day. it simply wouldn't be practical to allow things like non-standard frames.'

'I was surprised to hear that most of the curation happens on the day. If I understand correctly, Tim Benson PROI NEAC had some guidelines (one space for the thematic work, one for the young artists, mixing member and non-member) but the rest of the decisions were made on the day. I would have thought a first draft would happen before, playing digitally with thumbnails of the artworks, or even with printed versions. This only reinforces how impressed I was that all that work could be done in such a short amount of time.' 

'My personal experience is of organising as much as possible beforehand, partly because we had to hang the work ourselves (which took a fair amount of time!). Previously I've created virtual models of a gallery and imported small jpegs of everyone's work so we were able to play with different layouts. On the day, we tweaked a few things because sometimes it feels better with such spontaneity, but it was very useful to have a base to start from. I was thinking, as the gallery space is the same from years to years, it could be a service offered in the future, to let societies use a virtual model of the space to play before hand with curation?'

'I really enjoyed the way everything was hung', continued Suzon; 'that pieces from one artist were often spaced out, but not too much, so you could still recognise similarities and come back to it. The theme around community was a brilliant idea, and I'm looking forward to seeing if the idea continues in future. Overall I'm really grateful for Tim and Adebanji's words, and felt really inspired by the visit.'

'I really enjoyed the atmosphere behind the scenes and how informal it was' says In the Studio artist Maddie Exton, 'just observing alone was really informative and interesting.' 'I'm in the process of setting up an interim show at Uni, so it was useful to see how professionals sort things out. I think we all felt really privileged to witness the hang and I'd love to attend more of that kind of event where we just learn through observation, which is invaluable. It was interesting to hear Tim talk about the divide between the traditional and contemporary art worlds, and to learn how much of the packing materials would be swept up and thrown away. The cardboard laid out on the floor and the big rolls of bubble wrap and film all seemed almost sculptural to me.'

'I wondered what kind of reaction there would be if the show was opened to the public at the stage we saw it - if the "hang" was actually just propping paintings up against the wall or lying them on the floor. I was also interested by the distinction between artist and technician - Mall Galleries Marketing Manager Liberty Rowley mentioned how some of the technicians had exhibited with her in the London Arts Board, and I think there's always a tension when artists are technicians/invigilators. It's interesting that an artist's day job can be hanging work and running errands for other artists.'

'Behind the scenes at the ROI exhibition reminded me of my degree show, but without the arguments over space' says participant Jyotsna Shelley. 'The mid-hang allowed us to see how people worked collectively in order to curate such a large exhibition. I would have preferred to see all the works unframed, as I believe that the frame is a distraction from the medium and texture of the paintings. It was incredibly enlightening and insightful to hear the Vice President and President of the ROI talk about how they first started as artists and what their real drive is. The discussion made me take an alternative approach to my practice. I’ve always had a habit of overthinking, without actually producing work. This then becomes a cycle. Tim Benson PROI NEAC and Adebanji Alade VPROI inspired me to make mistakes, discover opportunities, and take them by the horn. I was struck the sheer passion and motivation they had to draw and make work, and that it's never too late to do so.' 

'It would be greatly useful to have more discussions about the inclusivity and accessibility of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. Overall, I greatly appreciated the visit and the opportunity to get a glimpse into the set-up of an exhibition.'

'It was a great experience to have members of the In the Studio project present at the hanging of our Annual Exhibition' says ROI President Tim Benson PROI NEAC. It was an opportunity for them to see how a major exhibition is hung, and also to hear the thoughts of ROI members. Further to this, it was really important for us to engage with them, as encouraging young artists like these is vital to the future of our organisation.'

Vice President Adebanji agreed: 'It was a great opportunity for us. I wish they asked more questions! It was a delight to answer the questions they asked. It really showed their enthusiasm and willingness to find out things, and get a few clarifications about the professional art world. A handful of them instantly followed me on Instagram and were raving about the inspiration they received. They were very grateful, and I think we found it important to reach out to this group too. It was a privilege for us, and I wish I'd had an opportunity like that in the early stages of my career.'

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In the Studio visits Philip James ROI

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In the Studio's first event was a visit to the studio of Philip James ROI. Participant Jonathan Farningham shares this thoughts from the day, and Philip responds.

'It was a great to meet such an experienced and committed artist who has been working for years, and to get a glimpse of his life as an artist' says In the Studio participant Jonathan Farningham. 'I picked up a few tips; for example, he typically goes to sitters’ homes for portrait commissions, sometimes he works initially in pastel, so that he can later make a painting from this, otherwise he has developed a good memory and imagination for colour, which allows him to paint from drawings. I have had a studio for about a year, but it can be quite solitary, so being in another artist's studio is a reassuring experience.'

'Having spent fifty years at the easel, I agree it can sometimes be an isolated activity' says Philip James ROI, 'so it was great having a visit from a group of younger artists, and I hope they enjoyed the day. I think it's a really good idea of the Federation of British Artists to reach out to its member artists and encourage a conversation with people at the outset of their practice. We had an afternoon of interesting discussions, ranging from portraits and commissions to the ins and outs of dealing with the art world - more such art and education events please!'

Find out more about In the Studio


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Photography by Tedi Lena, Checka Levi Morenos and Jonathan Farningham

Day One of In the Studio


Hear from three of the artists how they found the first day of ‘In the Studio’, where all the participants came together to find out more about the project and get to know each other.

‘I had a really great day meeting the other young artists at our Introduction Day’ says Ramona Sharples. ‘I was struck by the diversity of backgrounds and current occupations in the room. I realised I had previously thought all artists followed the same route and that I was on the wrong one, but as it turns out there is no wrong route, which is comforting. By talking to people in the breaks and over a seriously delish lunch, I noticed that a lot of us had found university not as fulfilling as we’d hoped.’

‘Still, after hearing everyone’s stories of how they got to where they are now, some with degrees and others without, some educated in art and others not, what we all had in common was a perseverance and determination to continue being able to create. The need for creative willpower was also a key topic in the talk we were given from a member of the Society of Wildlife ArtistsChris Wallbank.’

‘They had recently been documenting the vast number of urban black kites living in cities in India. An unexpected feature of their project had been the incredible story of two brothers who had set up a home for the kites on their roof and as a result become leading specialists in treating wing injuries.’

‘The educational potential of art was stressed, which could be maximised if only art was taught in a more meaningful way at school, and not undervalued by society as a leisurely pursuit. It was also highlighted how few artists manage to actually live off of their practise. The more common story is of the artist who works full or part time and manages to put time aside to work in the studio or out in the field.’

‘It was a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking first day of the project. I was left ruminating that the most important traits of an artist are resilience, determination, and to be hard working. The other thing was the gap that needs to be filled by young minds in the decision-making driving education and the art industry, to prevent it veering in the wrong direction or stagnating. A gap the Mall Galleries is filling through this project.’

Fellow participant Suzon Lagarde says, ‘It was such a great day - so nice to get to meet everyone and have a glimpse of how exciting this project will be. It was all very inspiring, for two reasons mostly:’

‘I always find it great to see such diversity among peers, regarding everyone's practice and individual ways of considering and presenting ourselves. One could think that forming a group would polish individuality and encourage conformity, but I'm confident that such projects have the opposite effect, allowing everyone to be unique and supported.’

‘I also loved how much passion and friendliness I felt from everyone, and that's something so precious, as phrases like 'federation', 'mall galleries', and 'royal society' can be a bit daunting.  Thanks for making it all accessible!’

Mike Skeet says, ‘it's been a while since I was around so many creative minds! it was great meeting everyone.’

Events for ‘In the Studio’ will take place from November 2018 to July 2019, culminating in a Group Exhibition over the summer.

Find out more about In the Studio