Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2016 - The Awards

The Wildlife Artist of the Year 2016 Exhibition opened today at the Mall Galleries. I was there last night for the preview and to see the awards being made. Below you can find out who became Artist of the year and also see the which artwork won in each category.

Artwork in the exhibition
It's an excellent exhibition with many outstanding works of art. For all lovers of wildlife art it's definitely an exhibition to visit. 

50% of the sales of all works of art also goes to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation's wildlife conservation projects across Africa and Asia. This is the ninth show and to date it has raised over £320,000 to help protect endangered wildlife.

I've got a video and would also like to highlight some of the other works in the show so I'll post again later this week.

The exhibition is open 10am to 5pm (and 4pm on the last day - which is Saturday 2nd July.

A view of the exhibition in the main gallery
If you can't get to the exhibition you can still view images of the artwork in the exhibition online.

Wildlife Artist of the Year

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2016  (£10,000)

Sponsored by Mr & Mrs Covey

Ribbon Eel by Umberto (Cher, France)
Wonderfully sensuous with the great weight of the bronze contrasting with the lightness of form – its beautifully smooth texture creates a very modern and original evocation of wildlife art.
Umberto is an award-winning sculptor. He started out as a model maker for commercial art. However once he started working using a foundry for his work, it became more figurative and about nature and wildlife. He now has a workshop where he has worked as a professional sculptor for the last 13 years.

Umberto with David Shepherd at the Awards Ceremony

Runner up 

£1,000 and an artist residency for a week at Nature in Art, Gloucestershire.
Sponsored by Simon Trapnell 

Runner Up: Fading Giant by Stefano Zagaglia (Milan, Italy)
It is the essence of everything that DSWF works to protect in painted form. No words are required as visually it says something grand is disintegrating in front of our eyes – the white space is all that we will be left with.
Stefano was also selected for the Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition in 2015.

Category winners:

The Category winners each receive £500 and a Certificate

Animal Behaviour 

- a real understanding of animal behaviour and a sense of character.

Category Winner: Game Face On by Warren Cary ( Hoedspruit , South Africa)
A beautiful, strong interpretation of an iconic and powerful species left in the wild today. It’s refreshing to see an individual style of precision, power and eloquence.
 The Threadneedle Space houses all the work which is monochrome and is where this work is situated.

Earth’s Beautiful Creatures 

– the judges were looking for not only beautifully executed original artworks but also imaginative interpretation, moving away from the purely photographic to compositions with great characterisation , showing imagination, originality and genuine creativity.
Sponsored by Gary Hodges

Category Winner: Maribou Portrait by Alan Woollett ( Maidstone , Kent)
(coloured pencil on Fabriano Artistico) 
Not one of nature’s beauties but this strong head depicts the warts and all and contrasts with the softness of the pelage (body feathers)
Not the prettiest bird in the room - but very striking and caught my eye from the other side of the room.

Alan at the Awards Ceremony - he had no idea he's won his category!

Hidden World 

- the judges wanted to see a celebration of remote and rarely observed or lesser known landscapes and species
presented in memory of Derek Francis 

Category Winner: Boomslang by Dido Crosby (London, SW8 )
The simplicity of the piece and its accuracy are both contemporary and elegant. It’s refreshing and would be a talking point in any context
This is a quite remarkable work. It's very difficult to believe it's made of bronze as it's so lifelike.

Into the Blue 

- Illustrating the wonderful world of water, be it ocean, seashore, wetland, river or stream.

Category Winner: Heart of the Sea by Nick Oneill (Brighton)
A sophisticated and refreshing image that reflects the tone of the whole exhibition

Urban Wildlife 

– entries in an urban style or depicting the city life of animals and plants. Judges were looking for both originality in the habitat as well as the contrast between wild and urban life.

Category Winner: Wire Fox, Unnatural Selection by Candice Bees (Newport, Wales)Life sized fox made from aluminium wire
Represents the urban wildlife that is so familiar to us all using materials that reflect the urban environment as much as the subject itself.
I really liked the way the materials used for this sculpture really grounded it in an urban environment.

Vanishing Fast 

– showing our vanishing world – it can be any species officially listed as endangered or threatened on the IUCN Red List – or any a landscape that is at risk.
Sponsored by Elephant Communications

Category Winner: Siberian Crane by Naeenah Naeemaei (Tehran, Iran)
Represents the human responsibility that we have to protect vulnerable species bring the essence of an old master with a modern message.
The girl is holding the Koran over the head of the crane. I've entirely forgotten what is the significance of this practice although I read the note at the time.

Wings, Feathered or Otherwise 

– the extraordinary variety of winged wildlife – birds and insects, in flight or at rest.   
Sponsored by Barlow Robbins

Category Winner: Sleep Tight by Tamara Pokorny ( Baden-Wurttemberg , Germany)
Scratchboard and ink
An overall favourite with the judges – you just can’t stop looking at it, it’s extraordinarily executed and framed and beautifully thought out.
There were some excellent scratchboard pieces in the show - and this one is very fine.

The David Shepherd Choice 

– the piece chosen by David Shepherd CBE as his favourite in the competition

Winner: The Sentinel by Laurence Saunois (Figeac, France)
I just loved it – it’s an image that has stuck with me since I first saw it …David Shepherd
It's a scene we've all seen - I was personally convinced that the artist had been to the park near where I live!

The Artist Magazine Award 

- selected by the editor of The Artist Magazine
(feature article for the successful artist in The Artist magazine)

Category Winner: Crossroads by Gunnar Tryggmo ( Skane , Sweden)
Fabulous example of watercolour at its best, capturing the real feel of a safari - when animals suddenly appear on the path. Great draughtsmanship, sensitive use of the medium with happy accident of the drips and more painterly marks along with terrific composition

People's Choice Award

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to decide which work of art they like the best and the one getting the most votes will announced at the end of the week-long exhibition.

Both the chosen artist and a winner drawn from visitors’ votes, win a prize.

Highly Commended:

  • Waiting by Jayne Perkins ( Hampshire) 
  • Migration, Pure Theatre by Simon Conolly ( Shropshire ) 
  • Chains of Conservation by Matthew Polluk ( Southall ) 
Chains of Conservation by Matthew Polluk

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