Sunday, October 22, 2017

Awards - Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition 2017

I went to see The Natural Eye 2017 on Friday. This is the annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists yesterday and I'll be writing my review of this splendid exhibition tomorrow.

You can view selected works in the exhibition:
  • on the Mall Galleries website - click the link above and scroll down. If you're interested in buying work via the website just complete form to the right of the artwork to enquire whether it is still available.
  • in the online catalogue on Issuu (which you can download if you have an Issuu account) - very useful for checking pricing if you intend submitting in the future exhibitions!
Society of Wildlife Artists 2017 - in the Threadneedle Space

Today I'm going to highlight those artists who received awards.   Links in the titles of the work are to that work on the Mall Galleries website or the website of the artist.

The exhibition was opened by David Lindo (aka The Urban Birder)- broadcaster, presenter on @BBCRadio4 Open Country, writer, author, talker and bird guider - who also presented the awards.

The Birdwatch Artist of the Year Award went to Jack Snipe by Nick Derry SWLA (Facebook / Twitter)

This prestigious award, held in association with the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) and Swarovski Optik, is given to the artist whose work at the SWLA’s annual exhibition The Natural Eye is considered to be the most outstanding.

You can see more of the work Nick is exhibiting this year on his website.
Passionate about wildlife art since childhood, Nick took his first sketchbook out into the field when he was 13 years old in order to record his first Bittern. Since then, he has learned to draw and paint a bit better (most of the time), won a good few awards, assisted in illustrating several publications, become a member of the SWLA and sketched more than one Jack Snipe.
Birdwatch Artist of the Year Award 2017
Jack Snipe by Nick Derry SWLA

Mixed Media
£800 SOLD

The Terravesta Prize is a new prize this year sponsored by Terravesta, pioneers of sustainable energy from Miscanthus, who are also sponsoring the exhibition as a whole.  The artwork was chosen by William Cracroft-Eley the Chairman of Terravesta, who greatly enjoyed the exhibition and stayed for most of the day!

Flooded Washes by Carry Akroyd SWLA (Twitter) won this new prize and was selected because it was strong on habitat as well as wildlife - and excellent art of course!
A painter and printmaker, Carry Akroyd is drawn to the nature of the unlabelled countryside trying to survive alongside agribusiness
Carry is both a painter and printmaker and specialises in serigraph printing - which is the term used for screen printing when it is fine art rather than commercial art. However she also produces monoprints, etchings, linocuts and lithographs.   You can also see her art in Found in the Fields - an article on the BBC Wildlife Magazine which focuses on how she finds wildlife on the margins of agribusiness. She is also the President of the John Clare Society - who was also concerned about the impact of commercial agriculture on the countryside. She seems a very fitting choice for this new prize.

The Terravesta Prize
Flooded Washes by Carry Akroyd

serrigraph (edition of 6)
£885 SOLD (unframed - one still available)
The RSPB Award went to Dafila Scott SWLA for her pastel drawing of a Bittern over the fen which highlighted this wading bird in flight.

Dafila Scott initially trained and worked asa zoologist, before she studied drawing and painting with Robin Child at the Lydgate Art Research Centre. In 2014 she won the Birdwatch - Swarovski prize at the 2014 SWLA exhibition. She also exhibits with Pinkfoot Gallery, Cley-next-the-sea, Norfolk and the Birdscapes Gallery, Holt - both in Norfolk.

RSPB Award
Bittern over the fen by Dafila Scott SWLA

£1,440 SOLD
The Birdscapes Gallery 'Conservation through Art' Award went to Michael Warren SWLA for his contributions to conservation. He has been a member of the SWLA for over 30 years and until recently was also its Treasurer.

The Birdscapes Gallery 'Conservation through Art' Award
Michael Warren SWLA
This painting is Lapwings and Golden Plovers
watercolour, £2,200
The PJC Drawing Award was presented to Chris Rose SWLA for Aberlady BayChris specialises in painting wildlife in the landscape - in its own habitat. He was elected to the SWLA in 1984. He's previously won Bird Illustrator of the Year and the European Bird Artist of the Year.

The PJC Drawing Award
Aberlady Bay by Chris Rose

Acrylic, 89 x 90cm
The Dry Red Press Printmakers Award went to a linocut of Swifts by Richard Allen SWLA. Richard is an artist and illustrator based in East Anglia amid the creeks and marshes of the Essex coast. He tweets as @richardallenart

The Dry Press Award
Swifts by Richard Allen SWLA

Linocut (edition of 50 - 4 available)
£125 framed (£95 unframed)
The Hawk and Owl Trust's Roger Clarke Award 2017 went to Darren Woodhead SWLA (Twitter Facebook) for his watercolour painting of a Long-eared Owl in Sea Buckthorn.
Darren Woodhead is a pure field painter based in East Lothian, Scotland. A Graduate of the Royal College of Art, he works direct in brush and watercolour outside: there is no studio.
The Hawk and Owl Trust's Roger Clarke Award 2017
Long-eared Owl in Sea Buckthorn by Darren Woodhead SWLA


Richard Allen's sketchbooks won The Langford Press Field Sketchbook Award and are displayed in a cabinet in the North Gallery.

The Langford Press Field Sketchbook Award
Sketchbooks by Richard Allen

The Langford Press Printmaking Award went to a woodcut - Sandwich terns by Lisa Hooper who is a printmaker. It's a reduction woodcut of Sandwich Terns seen at Minsmere. It is 47cm x 40 and is part of an edition of just 17

The Langford Press Printmaking Award
Sandwich terns by Lisa Hooper

Reduction woodcut (edition of 17)
£350 SOLD (£300 unframed)
The Langford Press 3-D Award was awarded to Harriet Mead PSWLA (Facebook/Twitter) for her body of work.  Harriet has now been President of the SWLA for eight years. You can see more of her work in this blog post The Natural Eye 2017

I'll be including a photograph of Harriet's work in my blog post tomorrow.

The RSPB Wildlife Explorers Awards

The aim with these awards is for children to create art based on what they've seen first hand.

RSPB Wildlife Explorers Award Winners

These are awards are for children and young people under 19. There are four awards in total which were awarded as follows:

RSPB Wildlife Explorers Wild Life Award:
  • Under 8 years - Niall Owens (the bee top left)
  • 8 to 12 years - Tess Hand (the fish bottom right)
  • 13 years and over - Andrew Edginton (the bird top right)

Richard Richardson Award - Harry Shrimpton
This is award is in memory of the legendary field ornithologist and bird illustrator Richard Richardson. I'm somewhat puzzled as to why it's been given for a painting of bears!

TOMORROW - my review of this open exhibition and some comments about the type of wildlife art that gets chosen from the submissions by non-members.


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