Thursday, April 04, 2019

RI Annual Exhibition 2019 - Awards and Candidates

The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (RI) 207th Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries opened today after its Private View yesterday - at which the awards were announced.

Group of Paintings by the top prizewinner - on the left
The RI works very hard at making sure there are a wide range of awards for meritorious artwork in their show - and there are so many awards I've had to split them into four groups.
  • cash awards
  • art materials awards
  • publication awards
  • recognition awards
Below you can see which works won which prizes.

At the end are photos of the work by Candidates for Membership of the RI.

Cash Awards

The Winsor & Newton Award - Tianya Zhou

Tibetan Ama by Tianya Zhou 
Watercolour 99 x 78cm £6,700
Tianya Zhou was the winner of the top award - the £3,000 Winsor & Newton Award.  He is is a traditional watercolourist specialising in painting Portraits & Figures. He mainly paints the people of Tibet.

Tianya Zhou was born in 1973 in Jingzhou, China, he was awarded Bachelor’s Degree from Hubei Institute of Fine Art, currently he lives and paints in Shenzhen and works as a curator and Professional artist of Luohu Cultural Center, also as Founder and organizer of Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition.
He's a member of
  • Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI), 
  • China Artists Association (CAA), 
  • American Watercolor Society (AWS), 
  • National Watercolor Society of USA (NWS), 
  • Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPWC), 
  • Honorary Member of Australian Watercolour Institute(AWI).

The Leathersellers' Prize - Junwei Dai

Tuscan Sunshine by Junwei Dai
Watercolour 70 x 50cm £5,000

Junwei Dai won the £1,000 prize awarded by The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers to an artist aged between 18 and 30 years old.

Junwei is a landscape architect. He comes from Danyang, Jiangsu, lives in Singapore and is a Signature membership of National Watercolor Society (USA).  According to his Facebook Page he's completely self-taught and only started painting watercolour three years ago.
I feel really honored to exhibit my painting in such a great event! Thanks for the jury and supporters of RI and the suggestion from Suzchiang Tan! After becoming signature member of NWS, this is absolutely another big encouragement for my exploring of watercolor since I learned it by myself 3 years ago. Next goal is to achieving membership of RI and signature membership of AWS including dolphin scholarship within 3 years!

The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award - Tim Gustard

The Little Pasta Tin by Tim Gustard
acrylic (48 x67 cm) £7,200

Tim Gustard won the award of £500 for what is considered the most outstanding use of light and colour in a watercolour. He describes himself on Twitter as 

Still life artist, happy in his little Wendy house, painting in acrylic supplying Beckstones gallery in Cumbria, Wykeham Gallery in Hampshire and Jack Fine Art
You can view a very interesting video about the artists and his art on YouTube which explains why he has sell out solo shows.

His work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Royal Scottish Society of Water Colour Painters and other prestigious venues. He is currently a Candidate for membership of the RI.

The James Fletcher-Watson RI Memorial Award - Geoffrey Wynne RI

Revolution in the Academy
Geoffrey Wynne won The James Fletcher Watson RI Memorial Award for £500 for the best use of watercolour in the exhibition. His past awards include winning The Singer Friedlander Sunday Times Watercolour Competition.

I personally thought his painting of soldiers wounded by mustard gas in the first World War (see photo at top of the post) was stunning and has great impact in the Gallery - but I'm not sure it's a painting I'd want in my home. Whereas his painting of the courtyard of Burlington House, the home of the RA is very reminiscent of many times I've walked into that view - although not necessarily that poster! It's a great subject for appreciation by artists.

The Neil Meacher RI Watercolour Award - Matthew Phinn

Runswick Bay by Matthew Phinn
watercolour 49x113cm £1,300
Matthew Phinn won the Neal Meacher Award (£250) for an outstanding watercolour.

Matthew Phinn studied Fine Art at the University of Leeds, after which he moved to Japan. He worked for seven years in the Hiroshima area as an artist and painting teacher.  He is a permanent member of the Japanese National Watercolour Society

The Richard Plinke RI Prize for Colour - Delia Cardnell RI

Evening Light by Delia Cardnell RI
Delia Cardnell won the first Richard Plinke RI Prize for Colour (£250).

In 2000 she was elected as the youngest ever member of the Institute and was then voted onto the Council in 2001.

Richard Plinke was very well known for his bright and colourful paintings. I well remember sketching him once while he demonstrated on a very busy Saturday in the middle of an RI Annual Exhibition. He sadly passed away in September 2018.

NEW The Baohong Artists' Watercolour Paper Prize (Members) - Harry Price RI

Medieval Fishpond, Baddesley Clinton by Harry Price RI

The Members Prize (£250) for excellence went to Harry Price RI. Elected in 2003 to the RI he has been a regular prizewinner ever since.
My paintings also explore reflections on water and capture its magical and dynamic reflective power. The paintings have an emphasis on light effects and surface translucency.

NEW The Baohong Artists' Watercolour Paper Prize (Non-Members) - Juliette Losq 

Corpus by Juliette Losq
Watercolour and Ink 48 x 63cm £4,000
The non-members prize (£250) for excellence went to Juliette Losq
I particularly liked the ink and watercolour combination which created some very interesting effects in terms of the way they two media were applied.
I also saw another of her works - and a very impressive one - recently in the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition

NEW The Chaoshan Watercolour Award - Pauline Fazakerley RI

The Old Booking Hall by Pauline Fazakerley RI

£250 awarded by Chinese artist, Professor Li Xiaocheng, for the best classically inspired watercolour. The Award was won by RI member Pauline Fazakerley
Pauline studied at Camberwell School of Art for five years gaining First Class Honours and the Silver Medal in her finals. She was Head of Art in a private school for 12 years before teaching adult education in various Art colleges.

Art Materials Awards

The Winsor & Newton Product Prize - Felipe Chavez

Building a Stalker by Felipe Chavez
Indian Ink 68 x 94 cm £1050

Felipe Chavez won £1,000 worth of Winsor & Newton art materials with his extremely odd but interesting use of Indian Ink.

Felipe was born in Colombia but now lives in London. His preferred medium is Indian Ink used with water.

The Cass Art Prize - Zi Ling

Bridge by Zi Ling
Watercolour and ink £1,900
Zi Ling won the prize of £200 of art supplies from Cass Art, awarded to a work demonstrating the most innovative use of colour. She lives between Beijing and London and is currently a candidate for membership of the RI

Zi Ling observes real-life people and also finds emotional moments from photographic images as inspiration. With watercolour, she trusts her intuition before making any marks. She thinks each portrait is a result of whatever truth one feels at the very beginning. Colour is important to her because for her it represents different personalities and realities.

The John Purcell Paper Prize - John Wiltshire

Us and You with a Ring of Salt by John Wiltshire
Watercolour 62 x 87 £2,300
John Wiltshire won The John Purcell Paper Prize and won paper to the value of £100 awarded to a work chosen by John Purcell.

He lives in Folkstone and his paintings are often filled with items he has found.

The Escoda Barcelona Award AND The Megan Fitzoliver Brush Award - Lillias August RI

Empty Nests by Lillias August RI
Watercolour 53 x 113 £2,900 (sold)
Lillias August won
  • a set of Escoda's finest brushes for an outstanding watercolour painting (The Escoda Barcelona Award)
  • AND A trophy, named The Pipe Fish, awarded for a work that most inspires a connection with the natural world (The Megan Fitzoliver award)
Lillias wrote a blog post Nesting last summer about this painting
For those who may be interested, from the left, I am reliably told that no.3 is a long tailed tit’s and no. 6 is a blackbird’s. No.5 came out of a tit box. Nos.1 and 4 are a mystery – all that’s left is the twiggy scaffolding that was probably lined with softer things. No.2 is also a mystery – it is just a tiny remnant of something mainly made from feathers intertwined with a few little twigs – any ideas?

The Frank Herring Easel Award - Yellow Ran Huang

The City You and I live in 2A by Yellon Ran Huang
Ink and watercolor  75 x142cm  £7,000
Yellon Ran Huang was presented with an easel or an outstanding work in the exhibition by Frank Herring & Sons

Born in China, Yellon Ran now lives and works in the UK. She recently participated in the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year - readers may recall her working on a a beach in Kent on a very sunny day last summer.

The Schmincke Award - Paul Murray

Paul Murray won a Schmincke watercolour set to an outstanding exhibitor

I'm afraid I didn't find this painting - despite three tours of the exhibition!

Publication Awards

The Dry Red Press Award - Julia Trickey

The Last Rose by Julia Trickey GM SBA (Fellow) ASBA
Watercolour 46 x 46cm £480
Julia Trickey won The Dry Red Press Award - but was unable to make the awards ceremony - but arrived later after her teaching commitments in Bath where she lives

Julia works as a professional botanical artist and lives and tutors near Bath. She has four RHS Gold Medals and five Silver Gilt Medals for her botanical artwork. She is a Fellow of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society, the Society of Botanical Artists and a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists. She won the Bates Award for Excellence at the ASBA 19th Annual International Exhibition. Her artwork has also been commissioned for Royal Mail stamps. ​

The winning work will be published as a greeting card in the Dry Red Press 'Prize Winners' range, with royalties from the sale of the cards going to the artist.

Awards by Art Galleries et al

The ArtsBox Solo Prize - Deborah Walker RI

Group of work by Deborah Walker RI
This prize, won by Deborah Walker RI RSMA, is a solo exhibition in The ArtsBox, Vincenza, Italy

Deborah has a first class honours degree in Fine Art from De Montfort University. She was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (RI) in 2011; elected to the RI Council in 2014. In 2016 she founded 'fRIends of the RI' and in 2017 was elected the Friends Secretary.  She wasl also awarded the Tuner Medal in 2015 and elected a full member of the RSMA in 2018.

The Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award - David Gleson

The Vanishing Museum, Kelvingrove by David Gleeson
Watercolour 86 x 66cm £2,550
David Gleeson was awarded a certificate of commendation for an outstanding work chosen by the art critic and broadcaster Anthony J Lester

The Debra Manifold Memorial Award - Gary Denny

Celt by Gary Denny
Acrylic 50 x 70cm £1,200
Gary Denny won the Debra Manifold Memorial Award, presented by the Linda Blackstone Gallery, for the most innovative work in the exhibition

Candidates Wall

The Candidates Wall
As usual, the RI have a Candidates Wall in the Annual Exhibition which makes it easy for their members to review the work and decide whether to cast a vote for an artist to be elected to membership.

Although everything is down to the votes of existing members I would normally judge the number of works hung as indicative of their prospects for membership - and whether their work looks sufficiently different from the work of other members.

ARCHIVE: RI Annual Exhibition 2007-2018

The purpose of this video isn't to give you an in-depth view of all the paintings so much as to give you:
  • an idea of the overall size of the exhibition
  • a notion of how big the paintings are that get selected via the open entry
  • a view of the paintings that were selected this year
This exhibition has always been very popular with the provincial art societies whose members arrive in droves - on coaches!

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