I made it my goal this year to enter some art competitions and awards. That’s why, back in May, you would have found me on the early train to London going to pick up my rejections from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. As the RA had 12,000 entries and only roughly 1000 make the grade, I was not overly disappointed. In the process of entering I had the opportunity to introduce myself to the Director of the BBC Culture Show and talk to him about what I had submitted and why I had chosen to apply this year. The programme that aired on 11th June was an insight into the Summer Exhibition from the viewpoint of those formally involved and those who apply. The story of the retired lady who had been chosen for a 2nd time was wonderful. She was so thrilled and the viewers shared in her genuine excitement.
Moving swiftly on from tales of rejection, as one should, I have had a painting shortlisted for the Sussex Artists’ Award. If chosen, my painting of ‘Big Jugs’ (every pun intended) will hang in the wonderful Pallant House gallery in Chichester which is highly regarded and home to paintings by Richard Hamilton, Sir William Coldstream, Frank Auerbach, Graham Sutherland and many other famous names. I’ve wimped out a little by retitling it for submission, so the formally titled ‘Standing Back to Back’ will stand better odds of being hung.
Today I have finished my submission for the National Open Art Competition which I visited for the first time last year. The winning works on display at the Minerva Gallery (before moving up to London), were an exciting selection of contemporary art from sculptures to textiles to paintings. Mixed exhibitions often receive mixed reviews but this one was beautifully hung by my art tutor Piers Ottey and I found the variety in the work and clever ideas behind many of the pieces to be stimulating. The judges this year could be a tough crowd to please comprising, amongst others, the notorious art critic Brian Sewell and one of my favourite artists, Barbara Rae. Look out for the Watercolour and Works on Paper Fair at the Science Museum in Feb next year which displays some of the work from the NOAC selection.