The Society of Wildlife Artists seeks submissions of works that depict wildlife subjects and evoke the spirit of the natural world.
Their annual exhibition offers several prizes and awards, open to all participating artists (see ‘Prizes & Awards' below).
Guidance from the Selection Committee
The Selection Committee of the SWLA seeks to encourage all forms of three and two-dimensional artwork (see 'Acceptable media' below) that is based on representing the world’s wildlife. The Committee is particularly keen to encourage all artists with fresh visions to submit work to the Annual Exhibition that shows imagination, artistic ability, originality and genuine creativity.
The Committee is seeking work that evokes the spirit of the natural world and which reveals a personal experience or true understanding of the subject. If you have not already done so, visiting the annual show will give you a clearer idea of the criteria the Selection Committee is seeking.
Subject matter and approach
Works depicting domestic animals or purely botanical subjects are not permissible. Wildlife includes any non-domestic animal such as birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, crustaceans and insects.
Works depicting wildlife divorced from its environment or without place, setting or context are rejected in many cases. Biological or scientific illustrations are in most cases not permissible.
The Society receives many submissions that are obviously direct copies from photographs. Whilst some of the member artists use photographs for reference, the majority of artists create their work in response to their own experience of wildlife and spend many hours observing and sketching in the field. This knowledge of the subject is evident in the resulting work. Artists thinking of submitting should consider choosing a subject to which they can have access.
Presentation of works
It is very difficult to assess work from poor photographs. When submitting work for selection, please ensure that the photographs are accurate and show the work at its best. It is worth noting that sometimes work is let down by very poor photography including reflections on the glass, out of focus images or images that are angled from being propped against a wall when photographed. The lack of care reflects badly on the artist and does not help the task of selecting work. Sculptors in particular should use plain backgrounds and make the most of the option to add more views of the submission.
Artists are encouraged to choose simple plain frames and mounts that will suit the exhibition and not detract from the work itself or interfere with adjacent works when exhibited in the galleries.
In summary, the SWLA Selection Committee is looking for:
- two and three-dimensional artwork inspired by the natural world
- work that displays a deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, based on ‘in the field’ observation
- work that reflects a personal, original, and creative response
- work that displays a high level of technical skill
- work that showcases interesting approaches and emerging new talent
- Any artist over 18 may submit.
- Work should be based on representing the world’s wildlife.
- Acceptable media: Work may be in any medium including painting, sculpture and original prints (if prints, please detail edition and how many are available). The SWLA is keen to embrace new and innovative mediums and will accept computer-generated images as ‘original prints’. However, a digital print is only considered an original print if it was created by the artist to be realised specifically as a print. Reproductions of paintings or photographs will not be accepted. Photographic reproductions or mechanical prints, giclée prints, etc., that are often promoted as ‘limited edition prints’ are not acceptable.
- Submission fee: £18 per work (or £12 per work for artists aged 35 or under), which includes Free Admission to the exhibition (normally £5).
All work must be for sale. The price of works must include commission of 45%+VAT (please note that where foundry fees apply, foundry costs will be deducted before commission is calculated).
Minimum price: £200 - except for prints: framed £120, unframed £95 (buyers will not be charged for postage and packaging of unframed prints, so please ensure the price of unframed prints allows for this).
- Maximum of six works submitted, maximum of six works selected.
- Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.
- Work must have been completed within the last three years.
- Work exhibited previously at Mall Galleries is not admissible.
- Work will not be accepted if it is of botanical subjects, pets and domestic animals, or decorative wares (such as vessels or tiles).
- Works that are poorly presented or differ significantly from the photograph entered will not be exhibited.
Delivery & Collection
- No hooks are required and there should be no projections whatsoever from the back of the works. This is to prevent damage to other works.
- Packaging from delivered works cannot be retained and must be taken away at the point of delivery.
- We are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping materials for any works being returned.
- Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery.
- Any work uncollected on the specified collection dates will be stored at a separate location and the artist will be charged a storage fee.
- The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the Society.
- Please note that the selectors' decisions are final and we are unable to offer feedback.
- Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU or elsewhere are welcome to submit work. If your work is sold at the exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs. Artists without a UK residence (known as 'NETPs' - non-established taxable persons) can find further details on 'NETP' status and how to register for VAT at www.hmrc.gov.uk (HM Revenue & Customs Reference: Notice 700/1, Mar 2014) under the heading 'Should I be registered for VAT?' Please note: the registration process can take up to 4 weeks. Please address any questions you may have to the VAT Helpline on tel. no. 0300 200 3700 or Outside UK: +44 2920 501 261.
- Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post Art as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post Art - Tel: 07833 450788 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terms & Conditions
- For full terms and conditions, click here.
If you are unable to deliver your work in person, several professional art couriers around the country visit the gallery for deliveries and collections, including:
Art Moves of Chelsea (London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Bristol) - email@example.com / 020 7352 7492
Picture Post Art (Scotland, the North of England and Birmingham) - firstname.lastname@example.org / 07833 450788
South Hams Express (Penzance, Totnes, Exeter and Southampton) - email@example.com / 07502 041139
For a fuller list of Art Couriers, click here.
Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)
There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:
The Birdwatch and Swarovski Optik Artist of the Year Award: A prize of an ATS 80 HD spotting scope with 25-50x zoom eyepiece (with a value of £2,430), plus subscription to BirdGuides/Birdwatch
RSPB Award: £500
Larson-Juhl Award: To celebrate drawing or dry media, draughtsmanship and capturing ideas as an art form. £500 worth of Larson-Juhl materials to the winner and a feature in their '4Walls' magazine
The BIRDscapes Gallery 'Conservation through Art' Award: £700 split between the artist and a conservation charity of their choice
Dry Red Press Award: The winning work reproduced as a greetings card