Katherine Tyrrell has written a couple of great blogposts about the exhibition on her Making a Mark blog. They can be found at: http://makingamark.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/review-50th-annual-exhibition-society.html and http://makingamark.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/if-you-want-lot-of-people-at-private-view.html
This exhibition has really had an impact on me. Many wildlife art portraits are very photo-realistic, as Katherine mentions on her blog. The work produced is still often stunning, but it is now that I realise at times something is missing. I will share thoughts about this further on.
It was such a refreshing exhibition and it was a treat to walk into a wildlife art exhibition and not be overwhelmed by a selection of big cat paintings. This made me think of when I exhibited with another well known wildlife art society a few years ago. My painting of a Hazel Dormouse was surrounded and somewhat overwhelmed, by paintings of rather exotic species in all different shapes and sizes.
I am digressing. I wanted to share with you a few images from the exhibition, that caught my attention and why they appealed to me. I took these images personally, so therefore the copyright of them remains with me, but copyright of the actual artwork depicted remains with the artist. Any thoughts and opinions I express are purely my own.
|These paintings by John Foker, top: Blue Streak, middle: Nettlemonger, bottom: Lammas Kingfisher - oils. Show me how effective small paintings can be in portraying a lot of information.|
The majority of artwork made me feel that I was looking through a window into the animal's life. It almost gave me a feeling of privilege, similar at times to when I have been observing wildlife, either birding or when completing surveys.
Spirit, movement, life
So much of the animal's spirit, movement and life was shown in these works of art.
The passion of the artist really showed in these pictures and the individuality of the different artist's media and methods.
I was left hoping that people viewing this exhibition that perhaps didn't have such a wide ranging knowledge of wildlife, would go away giving a higher value (morally and from a conservation perspective) to the animals they have seen portrayed, perhaps even those that are less well known. This in turn leads me onto the next words I jotted down - awareness raising.
So many of the pictures and sculptures had a very strong narrative to them. Telling me the story of the animal's life / existence.
For those of you that will be in and around London this coming weekend, there is still the chance to see the exhibition at the Mall Galleries until Sunday 10th November. The gallery is open 10am - 5pm on Saturday and the exhibition closes at 1pm on Sunday.