Sunday, April 10, 2016

204th Annual Exhibition of Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours #1 - Prizewinners

I visited the 204th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (RI) on Friday last week.

This is the first of two posts as I'm going to pop in again tomorrow after a meeting elsewhere.

RI President Andy Wood giving a talk/tour of the exhibition

Two major watercolour exhibitions in London

The big bonus for those visiting London in the next week is that they can visit two exhibitions by national societies of watercolour artists

If you only have time to visit one I know which I'd choose!

RI Prizewinners

I wasn't there for the prizegiving so I don't quite understand why the Turner Medal was not awarded at this exhibition - as it has been in recent years. I'll try and find out what has happened.

The prizewinners at the Annual Exhibition in 2016 are listed below with images.

Prizes were awarded by John Whittingdale OBE PC., Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and Andy Wood, President of the R.I.

The most valuable prize is The Leathersellers Award of £1,000 awarded to an artist aged 30 or under. (One for all young artists to aspire to!)

The Leathersellers Award
Top left: First Prize (£1,000) Rikishi to Zi Ling
Right: Second Prize (£750) Working Alone by Filipe Miguel das Dores

Zi Ling, the artist winning first prize was born in 1985 in HuangShan in Mainland China. She's currently based in Beijing and London. Her education to date has included studies at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Chelsea College of Arts and Central Academy of Fine Arts China. You can see a better version of her prizewinning painting on her website.

Second prize has generated some press coverage for the artist Filipe Miguel das Dores 
"Working Alone" shows the facade of the Portuguese Bookshop at night, illuminated by street lamps and a light shining from one of the floors of the building window, denouncing someone working solitarily the night.
He also won The John Purcell Paper Prize in this exhibition last year.

The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award (£500)
Cambridge Riders by Chien Chung-Wei
Sadly, my photograph of this work does not do it justice. I had difficulty finding a way of photographing this painting due to its position. There are profound  difficulties with reflections which arise when a glazed painting is put in a corner

However I had no difficulty recognising the scene - having ridden that street on my bike many time c. 40 years ago! It's an excellent watercolour using a limited palette. I was also very impressed with the Chien Chung-Wei's website and do commend you to click the link to it which is embedded in his name.

Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial prize (£250)
Ladram red by Frances Hatch

Otter Sandstone, Mercia Mudstone, gouache on Khadi paper. 133x95cm unframed
I was certain I'd got a photo of this work but apparently not!  This painting involves the artist working with the earth of the place where she paints and other normal constituents of watercolour paint. She's also added in some gouache for the blue colour.

The Winsor & Newton / RI award (£250)
for the group of paintings which is judged to be the most outstanding
contribution to the exhibition
David Parfitt RI
You can see this group of works on the end wall with a number of other prizewinners, one of whom is....

The Cass Art Prize (£200)
(top) Trebarwith, North Cornwall by Bob Rudd RI
The prize is £200 of art supplies from Cass Art. It's awarded on annual basis to the painting demonstrating the most original use of colour - and the work at the top of this group of works by Bob Rudd is certainly extremely colourful. Bob Rudd seems to be capable to get an intensity of colour which eludes other painters.

There's a huge version of this painting on the home page of his website.

Mall Galleries Greeting Card Prize
Corners of the Evening (
£6,200) by Deborah Walker RI

The painting at the top of this group of two paintings by Deborah Walker is making me think where she got the perspective from and I can only think this must be the view from the top of the London Eye!

Obviously a view like this will be very popular with visitors to the Gallery who will be able to buy the Greetings Card!

Debra Manifold Memorial Prize
(Top left) Lavender Sky (£895)
(Top right) Moon Showers (£895)
by Naomi Tydeman RI
Naomi Tydeman continues to do wonderful and secret things with additives to watercolour which makes the paint do strange and wonderful things.

This is the sort of watercolour painting which I enjoy viewing very much. An artist who is in total control of her medium and also produces aesthetically pleasing paintings as well.

I wish there were more like her - and I guess I'm not alone.

The Escoda Barcelona Award
Evening Light, Paddy's Gole SG by Ann Kilvington

The prize is a set of Escoda Brushes. There's lots of interesting scumbling and mark-making in this painting.

Schmincke Award
Noon in the Olive Grove by Richard Thorne
This is a very striking and intense painting in terms of colour.

Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award
Aunty Grace WW2 Nurse by Julian Bray
This is one of those lovely paintings which is entirely representational and at the same time has distorted perspective in a very clever way. It also plays with the impact of lighting and its impact on both colour and tone.

Dry Red Press Award
Naughty Puss! by Janet Skea RI
The winning work is published as a greeting card. This artwork is actually a collage of paper painted in watercolour and some textiles which texture and interest.

Additional Prizes

  • The Neal Meacher Sketch book prize was won by Roger Dellar RI ROI PS
  • The John Purcell Paper Prize was won by Brian Robinson (I didn't spot this one and need to go back and find it!)

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