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New English Art Club Annual Open Exhibition 2015

Last week I was very fortunate to do some work experience at the Mall Galleries in London in the exhibitions department. The New English Art Club are currently having their annual exhibition at the Mall.

The New English Art Club is full of a diverse group of visual artists whose work is admired and highly collectible. When I went to the exhibition I was amazed at the huge variety of work on display.

There were paintings, drawings and original prints which are currently for sale. I always enjoy visiting exhibitions first hand and there were some artists work I took a lot of inspiration from. They are all very different but that is what is so great about the society, they showcase a wide range of mediums. Artists whose work appealed to me was Richard Bawden, Melvyn Petterson and Simon Lewis.

This is titled 'The Albion' and it a pen and ink drawing by Richard Bawden, I was drawn to this piece because of the subject matter and the style of drawing. This piece was different to his other work on display which were colourful watercolours. I think he has captured the essence of the print room environment. When I first viewed it I was drawn to the feeling of movement that was created by the etching press in the drawing. For me, in my practice of printmaking this is the part I enjoy the most the turning of the press, the repetitive but meditative process is what made me really enjoy printmaking.

Other works by Richard that I liked were 'Indoor Jungle' a watercolour which captures plants and a cat sleeping on a chair.

For me, what I really like about his work is how he captures a narrative. This piece in particular struck me because of my influence from nature and colour. I found this piece comforting to look at as it gave me a sense of familiarity. I'm not surprised that both these pieces of works I'm talking about have been sold. They are pieces of work that people can connect to because of the subject matter and how well they have been executed. People find a sense of familiarity with animals and nature. I think nature has been captured as this chaotic aspect but because it is indoors it does not seem to threatening to the viewer. The cat adds a sense of domestic living and amongst this chaos is enjoying sleeping. Also because the work has been done in watercolour, it appears more delicate and calming to the viewer.

Melvyn Petterson's work 'Pyrenees Sun' is an etching and drypoint that captures the dramatic light and dark of the subject matter.

I was struck by the beautiful use of mark making that was created to build up this print. The dramatic light and dark creates a real atmospheric scene. The area of the work that appealed to me the most was the mid-ground and the use of dark marks to create the silhouette of the trees. How this darkness sits against the background just works really well. The execution of this piece is definitely something I aspire to. I always love to see printmakers work in the flesh as you can really appreciate the time, skill and love that goes into creating the work.

The exhibition finishes on the 27th June and is on display at the Mall Galleries in London. If you get the chance you should go and see it.


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