The Society of Wildlife Artists seeks submissions of works that depict wildlife subjects and evoke the spirit of the natural world.
The Selection Committee seeks to encourage all forms of three and two-dimensional artwork that is based on representing the world’s wildlife. The Committee is particularly keen to encourage artists with fresh visions to submit work that shows imagination, artistic ability, originality and genuine creativity, and which reveals a personal experience or true understanding of the subject.
There are prizes and awards on offer, worth over £5,000 (see 'Prizes & Awards' below)
"The focus of the Society’s year is the annual exhibition, The Natural Eye, featuring all art media. This is an open exhibition, held every autumn at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London. It is a showcase for the very best of art inspired by the natural world and is considered the foremost event in the British wildlife art calendar." - Harriet Mead, President
Submissions are now closed
Installation image of the Society's 59th Annual Exhibition, The Natural Eye 2022. Photo by Mark Sepple
How to Submit
A single-stage virtual judging of all submitted works will take place, after which selected works should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for inclusion in the exhibition:
- Upload images of work at mallgalleries22.oess1.uk by 12 noon on Friday 8 September 2023 [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]
Please ensure that photographs are accurate and show work at its best. It is worth noting that sometimes work is let down by poor photography including reflections on glass, out of focus images or images that are angled from being propped against a wall when photographed. Such lack of care reflects badly on entrants 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 multiple views of submissions.
- Check mallgalleries22.oess1.uk from 12 noon on Friday 22 September to see if your work has been selected
- If selected, deliver your work on Saturday 21 October, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD
Submissions open: Monday 3 July 2023, 12 noon
Submissions close: Friday 8 September, 12 noon
Notification of selection: Friday 22 September, 12 noon
Receiving Day (if selected): Saturday 21 October, 10am to 5pm
Private View (invite only): Wednesday 1 November, 2pm to 8pm, official opening at 3pm
Exhibition opens: Thursday 2 November, 10am to 5pm daily
Exhibition closes: Saturday 11 November, 5pm
Collection of unsold work: Thursday 16 November, 10am to 5pm
- Any artist over 18 may submit.
- Work should be based on representing the world’s wildlife. Wildlife includes any non-domestic animal such as birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, crustaceans and insects. Work will not be accepted if it is of botanical subjects, pets and domestic animals, or decorative wares (such as vessels or tiles).
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.
- Acceptable media: Work may be in any medium including drawing, 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.
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.
- 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.
- Works that are poorly presented or differ significantly from the photograph entered will not be exhibited.
The submission fee is £20 per work for standard entries and £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under.
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.
Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery.
We are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping materials for any works being returned.
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
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
The BIRDscapes Gallery 'Conservation through Art' Award: £1,000 divided equally between the winning artist and a conservation organisation or project of their choice
RSPB Award: £500
NEW The Swarovski Optik New Artist Award: £250 for the best non-member work in the show
NEW Trymwood Studios Art Prize: Trymwood Studios is delighted to announce the launch of the Trymwood Studios Art Prize.
This is a new competition open to all exhibitors at The Natural Eye and will be judged by the founding members of the Trymwood Studios project. The winner will receive the exciting opportunity of a solo exhibition at Trymwood Studios in 2024. This unique competition intends to identify and celebrate artists that engage with the natural world, producing work informed by a significant drawing element, during or after sustained periods of fieldwork.
Trymwood Studios is a special art gallery and studio space in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Established in 2019 by Nik Pollard, Lucy Pedlar and Hannah Athayde, the project works to inspire a love of art and nature through carefully curated exhibitions of artwork and an exciting education programme. The winner of the Trymwood Studios Art Prize will be invited to exhibit their work in a solo show, receiving the team's full curatorial and marketing support.
NEW The Michael Harding Oil Painting Prize: £500 of art materials
NEW The Michael Harding Watercolour Painting Prize: £500 of art materials
NEW Art Safari Works on Paper Award: £250. Art Safari offers a new prize to artists working on paper in any media, showing an artist’s engagement with wildlife and the environment. Encouraging artists to have their feet on the ground and experience the natural wonders of the world since 1999, Art Safari offers painting holidays and workshops worldwide.
NEW Mall Galleries / FBA Award: Ten free submissions to exhibitions by the Federation of British Artists at Mall Galleries (worth up to £200) for a non-member exhibitor
Dry Red Press Award: The winning work reproduced as a greetings card
SWLA Visitors' Choice Award: The winning work will be published on the Society's website and in the SWLA newsletter