Thursday, October 1, 2020

Annual Awards for Marine Art Not Too Disturbed by Pandemic

High Standards as Ever for London Exhibition
Shipping News Feature

UK – Strange times indeed, however the presence of the virus which is permeating every level in the fabric of society has not deterred the artistic urges of those who entered this year's Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA) annual exhibition, which has now seen the winners announced by the RSMA and partners the Mall Galleries.

Without a Private View due to social distancing restrictions, many of the winning artists have instead provided videos, audio, images and statements but, as ever, standards proved incredibly high. This year's exhibition features pieces by elected members and non-members, celebrating all aspects of the sea, with themed works in a broad range of styles and media.

Winner of the Baltic Exchange award was a scene of the Mylor Yacht Harbour at low tide by John Walsom who can be seen here in a short video explaining how he managed to win the £2,000 prize and extolling the virtues of visiting the Mall Galleries to see the collection of winning pieces.

The common themes of the contest are the sea and tidal waters although, within that remit, work is wide and varied. Subjects range from deep water shipping to coastal scenes, competitive sailing to quiet harbours, marine wildlife to still-life.

Some specialise in carefully researched historical paintings; others paint en plein air, thereby embracing the significant challenge and thrill of capturing the visceral essence of the scene at a given moment in time; yet others work in their studio from copious notes and sketches made on location.

The Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA) is widely recognised as the focal point for much of Britain's finest contemporary marine art and many of the country's leading marine artists are elected members of the Society. The other successful works shown at this year’s exhibition can be viewed online here, whilst tickets to view at the Mall itself (in socially distanced and suitably protected surroundings) can be booked here. The list of winners following John Walsom’s Baltic Exchange award are:

  • The Artist Magazine Award - Gareth Brown RSMA - Sea Flora V
  • Winsor & Newton Oil Prize - Richard Dack RSMA RWA - Hebridean Recollections
  • RSMA New Generation Award - Awarded by the Society, the successful artist will receive £250. Open to all artists aged 35 or under at the time of submission. - Gregory Smith - HMS Illustrious; HMS Majestic; RMS Queen Mary's First Approach to Southampton, 1936; RMSP Asturias
  • The Charles Pears Award - Srirangam Mohankumar Reflections, Pin Mill
  • The Classic Boat Award - The winner will take home a handsome, hand-crafted sculpture by Astins Sailing Sculptures, given for the most atmospheric depiction of a classic boat - Kevin Clarkson - A Breeze on the Blackwater (Altering course on a blustery spring afternoon on the River Blackwater in Essex UK)
  • The Kenneth Denton Award - For a work on the theme 'The Sea in all its Moods'. Made possible by the generosity of long-standing member Kenneth Denton. Value £500 - James Bartholomew RSMA - Sun on the Solent
  • Murray's Commercial Fishing Award: 1st Prize - For a work in any medium depicting commercial fishing - Jenny Morgan RSMA - Hauling the Trawl - Sidewinder Trawlers
  • Murray's Commercial Fishing Award: 2nd Prize - For a work in any medium depicting commercial fishing - Alistair Butt RSMA - Banding the Lobsters
  • RSMA Award for the Best Small Painting - John Lines RSMA - Waiting
  • Topbond Marine Award - For works depicting marine engineering or construction activities in harbours, estuaries or marine waters within the UK - John Maule-ffinch - The Old Cranes at Bristol Docks

All the winning entries can be seen HERE.

Photo: Jenny Morgan RSMA - Hauling the Trawl - Sidewinder Trawlers