Thursday, May 17, 2018

Call for Entries - Society of Wildlife Artists' Annual Exhibition 2018

Entries from non-members are welcome for the 55th annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists is open.  

You have until 12 noon on Friday 27 July 2018 to get your digital entry ready and upload it and complete your submission online.

This post highlights the new advisory guidelines on the sort of work the SWLA wants to see submitted.
The Selection Committee of the SWLA seeks to encourage all forms of three and two dimensional artwork (see 'Acceptable media' below) that is based on representing the world’s wildlife. The Committee is particularly keen to encourage all artists with fresh visions to submit work to the Annual Exhibition that shows imagination, artistic ability, originality and genuine creativity.
SWLA Exhibition - Main Gallery last year

Call for Entries: 55th annual exhibition of SWLA

The SWLA call for entries is administered by the Federation of British Artists at the Mall Galleries and you can find more information below and on their website

For full terms and conditions, click here.

Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)

There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:
  • NEW The Terravesta Prize: £2,000 for the best work exhibited
  • Birdwatch Artist of the Year Award (£1,000 plus Swarovski equipment)
  • The Roger Clarke Award: £500
  • The Langford Press Printmaking Award: £200 cash and the winner's choice of ten titles from Langford Press publications 
  • The Langford Press 3D Award: £200 cash and the winner's choice of ten titles from Langford Press publications 
  • RSPB Award
  • Dry Red Press Award
  • PJC Drawing Award
  • Birdscapes Gallery 'Conservation through Art' Award
  • Eligible artists
  • Any artist over 18 may submit.
North Galleries last year

Eligible artwork

The artwork must be of wildlife 
In summary, the SWLA Selection Committee is looking for:
  • two and three dimensional artwork inspired by the natural world
  • work that displays a deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, based on ‘in the field’ observation
  • work that reflects a personal, original, and creative response
  • work that displays a high level of technical skill
  • work that showcases interesting approaches and emerging new talent
Wildlife includes any non-domestic animal such as birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, crustaceans and insects.Works depicting domestic animals or purely botanical subjects are not permissible.
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.

(large painting of) Studies of dead Pheasant cock and Long-tailed Duck Drake
by Ben Woodhams


We receive many submissions that are obviously direct copies from photographs. Whilst some of our artists use photographs for reference, the majority of member 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. 
If you have not already done so, visiting the annual show will give you a much clearer idea of the criteria the Selection Committee is seeking.

Artwork in the Threadneedle Space during the SWLA Exhibition in 2017

Number and size of artwork

  • Maximum of six works submitted. Maximum of six works selected 
  • Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.


  • All work must be for sale. 
  • The price of works must include commission of 45%+VAT 
  • However if foundry fees are applicable, the commission is 33.3%+VAT) .
  • Minimum price: £200 (except for prints: framed £120, unframed £95).
Small sculptures in the 2017 Exhibition

Ineligible work

Work will not be accepted IF it meets one or more of the following criteria
  • NOT for sale
  • NOT completely dry
  • NOT completed within the last three years
  • larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension
  • previously exhibited in London
  • a botanical subject 
  • portrayal of pets and/or domestic animals, 
  • decorative wares (such as vessels or tiles), 
  • work in metal frames, poorly framed or badly presented. 
  • Photographic reproductions or mechanical prints, giclĂ©e prints of original artwork etc., (i.e. COPIES which are often promoted as ‘limited edition prints’) are not acceptable.

Eligible media

In addition to the usual art media of painting, sculpture and original prints (if prints, please detail edition and how many are available) the SWLA is keen to embrace new and innovative medium.

SWLA will accept computer-generated images as ‘original prints’ but ONLY if the digital print only exists as an original print and was created by the artist to be realised specifically as a print.

Sketches of Kittiwakes in a snow storm at Ekkeroy, Finnmark, Norway. April 2017 
by Malcolm Ausden
Digital iPad image £200 (sold)

How to submit an entry

This is the detailed call for entries
To enter an exhibition you need to login or register as a new artist.

Advice on photographing

It is very difficult to assess work from poor photographs. When submitting work for pre-selection, please ensure that the photographs are accurate and show the work at its best. It is worth noting that sometimes work is let down by very poor photography including reflections on the glass, out of focus images or images that are angled from being propped against a wall when photographed. The lack of care reflects badly on the artist 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 more views of the submission.

Advice on framing

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.

Cost of entry

Submission fee: £15 per work (£10 per work for artists aged 35 or under).


  • Friday 27 July, 12 noon: Deadline for digital entries: Upload images of work (in JPEG format / under 5MB) at
  • Friday 3 August, from 12 noon: Check to see if your work has been pre-selected
  • Saturday 1 September, 10am - 5pm: Deliver your work to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD
  • Tuesday 4 September, from 12 noon: Check on , to see if your work has been accepted to the exhibition. Please note that selectors' decisions are final and no feedback is offered - other than general comments
  • Thursday 6 September, 10am - 5pm: If not selected for exhibition, collect your work from Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD
  • Thursday 25 October, 10am: Exhibition opens 
  • Sunday 4 November, 1pm: Exhibition closes
  • Thursday 8 November, 10am - 5pm: Collect unsold work: 

If you do NOT live in the UK

Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU or elsewhere are welcome to submit work.  You need to consult this page and read the instructions as to registration for VAT carefully.


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Reference: The Natural Eye 2017

Previous Exhibitions
2016 - Review - Society of Wildlife Artists 53rd Annual Exhibition
2015 - Review: Society of Wildlife Artist's 52nd Annual Exhibition (2015)
2014 - Video: 2014 Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists
2013 - Review: 50th Annual Exhibition - Society of Wildlife Artists
2013 - If you want a lot of people at the Private View......
2013 - Society of Wildlife Artists - a new book and a bursary
2012 - Review: 49th Annual Exhibition - Society of Wildlife Artists
2011 - Review: Society of Wildlife Artists - Annual Exhibition
2009 - Society of Wildlife Artists - Annual Exhibition 2009
2008 - 45th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists
2007 - Society of Wildlife Artists at the new Mall Galleries

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