Tuesday, March 14, 2017

London and its River by The Wapping Group

The Annual Exhibition of the Wapping Group of Artists is titled 'London and its River".

The Wapping Group is somewhat curious. Originally formed to record the River Thames and shipping in the Port of London (at Wapping). Its members have continued to meet since 1946 to paint the River Thames “en plein air” from Henley, along the banks of the Thames and out to its estuary in Essex and Kent .

Paintings by Paul Banning and Derek Daniells
It now has 25 "statutory members" - and only one of them is a woman (elected in 2016 and showing this year for the first time as a full member)!

I'm not quite sure what they mean by "statutory" as it normally means "required, permitted, or enacted by statute". I'm not quite sure what law deemed 25 members sufficient.... Maybe the word they mean is 'maximum'?

Paintings by Trevor Chamberlain and looking through the two more galleries of paintings
This is the 14th annual exhibition held at the Mall Galleries. The exhibition continues until 4pm on the 18th March in the North Galleries. You can see in this post some of the photos I took this afternoon of the exhibition.

This wall included pastel paintings by Rick Holmes
Winter light, Isleworth by Graham Davies SOLD
What I noticed was that:
  • the painting of some of the older members is not what it was in the past
  • they have three candidates up for membership - Chris Burdett, Graham Davies and John Walsom - each with three paintings in the exhibition. I was particularly impressed with the paintings of Chris Davies who seemed to capture the soft vaporous colours of the riverside.
  • there's rather a lot of views of London - of places away from the River.
Paintings by Bert Wright and Sidney Cardew
I'm a purist when it comes to the Wapping group. I've seen a number of their exhibitions - and I like to see paintings of the river and the land immediately adjacent to the river - as I have in the past when exhibitions only included a very occasional view away from the River Thames.   Views of other parts of London are what I expect to see in other exhibitions but NOT this one.

Paintings by Alan Runagall
I'd very much like to see the Group return to its roots and what it does which is distinctive and different from any other art society - which is
  • painting the River Thames
  • the boats seen along the river, 
  • the land and buildings on the banks of the river  and
  • some of the people and places associated with river activities.
That gives lots of scope for a great exhibition. There's really no need for paintings of soldiers marching or the streets of the City of London.

Maybe the Group needs a new rule which says something along the lines that the maximum submission by any member of anything away from the River and river activities should be limited to one per member?

Paintings by John Killens and Michael Richardson

Some earlier posts about the Wapping Group of Artists