Monday, June 28, 2021

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021

I have no idea how the Wildife Artist of the Year competition and exhibition passed me by.

Maybe it's because the David Shepherd Foundation have this year teamed up with the BBC Wildlife Magazine so what used to be two different art competitions is now one.

Anyway - the bottom line is you have just over one day left to view the artwork online

The virtual exhibition closes on 29th June 2021.

  • You have to complete a form to get access to the exhibition
  • they then send you a link

Alternatively you can view via the gallery for the Wilflife Artist of the Year 2021 on the David Shepherd website.

“Orcas, Blackfish Sound”  by Darren Rees
Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021:
“Orcas, Blackfish Sound”  by Darren Rees

You can also view the Prizewinners - images and story - on 

some of the selected artworks in the online catalogue 


Overall winner sponsored by Neil & June Covey – £10,000*  

  • Orcas, Blackfish Sound(acrylic painting) by Darren Rees

(The £10,000, consists of a £5,000 cash prize and £5,000 conservation voucher to be donated in the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021’s name to a DSWF species of their choice.) 

“the gentleness of the orcas swimming by such a spectacular backdrop reminds us of the beauty of our planet and how vitally important both land and ocean are to our very survival”.  Melanie Shepherd

Overall Runner-up sponsored by Neil & June Covey – £2,000

  • “Fly-By” (pastel of a polar bear) by Stella Mays
“a superb composition overall but every square inch is a joy to behold. Look closely at the criss-crossing pastel marks, absorb the colours and energy and you realise you are in the presence of a consummate artist”.  Hazel Soan

Human Impact category sponsored in memory of Ingrid Beazley – £5,000 prize package

“When the Whale Sang” by Alicia Hayden 

“When the Whale Sang” by Alicia Hayden

The aim was to demonstrate the impact of anthropogenic noise pollution on whales and how it is harming their populations.

“Effective wildlife artivism tows a line between beauty and horror, where thought is provoked and messages start to resonate in the mind of the beholder. In this instance we were hooked in by a beautifully executed drawing of a whale but our hearts soon turned cold as it disintegrated into a cacophony of increasingly erratic sound waves. A perfect metaphor for disturbances in communication caused by increased human activity on our oceans.”
previous Wildlife Artist of the Year winner Martin Aveling

Six category winners various sponsors– £500 each

  • Human Impact Category - see above
  • Animal Behaviour category winner - Szilvia Mate “Father & Son” (graphite and coloured pencil drawing of Bonobos chimp)

“there is such an immense feeling of love exuding from this magnificent drawing of our close relatives”. Gary Hodges - who sponsored this prize)

  • Into The Blue category winner - “Blue Squadron” (multi-layered acrylic and resin piece of manta rays) by Nick Oneill 
“hugely effective image and such a spontaneous and technically perfect artwork. Once again Oneill proves his expertise in his use of mixed medium and originality”. Mandy Shepherd
  • Urban Wildlife category winner - “Who Invited Him?” oil painting on panel. by Shannon Reynolds

“This exceedingly pleasing exudes charm, light and wit and turns a mundane streetlamp and its ordinary visitors into celebrities. Conservationists might not put pigeons at the top of their list but this successful rendition reminds us that every creature is valuable and that humans and wildlife can live alongside each other successfully.” Hazel Soan

  • Wings category winner - “Migration” (painting in metallic paint, pen, ink and 18ct lemon gold leaf ) by Matthew Polluk
“Matthew has captured the wonderful sight of a skein of geese in such a unique and unusual way and the image draws the viewer inwards to this incredible view of our planet that we must protect”.  Melanie Shepherd

The Elizabeth Hosking Prize for Watercolour sponsored by Elizabeth Hosking – £500

“Trapped” by Jungi Jang 

"Not only is this painting a striking work of art but it carries an important message about our stewardship of the planet to its audience and thereby also captures the essence of DSWF’s purpose on Earth”.

BBC Wildlife Magazine Editor’s Choice winner

Pascal Chesneau “Banquise” (a sculpture made from shaped, welded metal)

Born in Britain, Pascal was winner of the Wildlife Artist of the Year 3D category with this sculpture another appearance of metal which is lighter and more transparent.

The Artist Magazine Personal Choice Award sponsored by The Artist Magazine – exposure in the magazine

  • Hilary Kington “Curlew in the Estuary – But for How Long?” (inscribed woodcut print)

“I love to see this tall, elegant and iconic bird striding across the mud flats in the salt marshes. It’s incredibly sad that they are in such serious decline so Hilary’s obvious passion for capturing the curlew in its wild habitat, as encapsulated by this image in particular, truly resonated with me. I love the simplicity of her design, the beautiful muted colours so typical of the natural environment in which this bird lives, and the inscribed messages highlighting its plight.” Editor of The Artist

People’s Choice Award

Voting continues and finishes tomorrow!


Collaboration with the BBC

This was the announcement back in January 2021 - which I missed.

This year, we will be collaborating with BBC Wildlife Magazine as our official headline media partner for our internationally renowned art competition and exhibition, Wildlife Artist of the Year! BBC Wildlife Magazine has been a leading authority in wildlife journalism for over 50 years, producing thought-provoking and insightful features on wildlife. Like our talented Wildlife Artist of the Year entrants, they are committed to celebrating the breath-taking beauty of the natural world.

DSWF was established thanks to the incredible talent and passion of our Founder, world-renowned artist and conservationist David Shepherd CBE. David believed that he owed a lifelong debt to the wildlife that inspired him and graced his canvases. Today, 36 years after DSWF was founded, we are proud to continue his artistic legacy by working with the creative community to raise vital funds and awareness for endangered wildlife.

Wildlife Artist of the Year is our flagship ‘Art of Survival’ event, and we could not be prouder to be collaborating with such an esteemed media partner. We look forward to welcoming new artists and supporters to this year’s Wildlife Artist of the Year finalists exhibition, launching online on Tuesday 25 May 2021.

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