Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Art for art's sake

A good turn-out to hear this year's prizewinners at the SWLA show.
To the Mall Galleries in St James’s Park, central London, today to judge contenders for the Birdwatch Artist of the Year Award. This is the major prize at the Society of Wildlife Artists’ annual exhibition, and singling one entry out from hundreds of top-flight contenders is always a difficult but enjoyable task.

Assisting ably in this challenge are Peter Antoniou from award co-sponsor Swarovski Optik UK and the considerable artistic talents of Bruce Pearson and Andrew Stock, both former SWLA presidents. It’s always fascinating to see where the views of ‘lay’ judges like me differ from those of the artist judges, and where they coincide.

Martin Woodcock (left) and Sue and Ron Johns at the preview.
Guest speaker Stephen Moss (left) and D I M Wallace in deep discussion.

In the end there was a clear winner which received the majority vote, but you’ll have to wait for December’s Birdwatch magazine (published mid-November) to find out which one it was. In the meantime, enjoy these sample images from the show, and if you can, try and find the time to visit - it runs until 2nd October at the Mall Galleries in the The Mall, London SW1 (five minutes' walk from Piccadilly Circus underground station).

Striking patterns and colours combine in Brin Edwards' Goldeneyes.
A detail from Chris Rose's evocative Soft-plumaged Petrel study.

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