Announcing The Drawn Prize-Winners

It’s quite a coup to get work accepted into our Open Submission Exhibitions and even more so for your work to be selected to win a prize!  The RWA are delighted to announce the winners for DRAWN 2015.

The Theresa Knowles Travel Bursary 

The Theresa Knowles Travel Bursary offers a bursary of £1500 to an artist to enable them to spend time in Italy making work. Artists are encouraged to explore new research opportunities and residencies as part of their travel and will be invited to share work from/inspired by their trip at the RWA.

Express Asphalt, St Philips, Ros Ford, Cat No.111

Winner: Express Asphalt, St Philips, Ros Ford, Cat No.111

RWA Artist Residency Award

The RWA Artist Residency Award provides studio space at the RWA for 1 week and a small materials bursary. The artist will be based in the Bristol Drawing School Studio which opens on to our stunning main galleries and will be invited to engage in our Learning and Participation Programme as part of the residency.

Carla Groppi After Atget (24) Parc de Seaux, Avril 7 h Matin 2

Winner: After Atget (24) Parc de Seaux, Avril 7 h Matin 2, Carla Groppi, Cat No. 136

Bristol Drawing School Scholarship for Students

The Bristol Drawing School award recipient will be awarded a one year scholarship enabling them to attend our weekly Life Drawing Drop-in classes for one year as part of our Bristol Drawing School programme.

Play Thing, Joy Smith, Cat No. 126

Winner: Play Thing, Joy Smith, Cat No. 126 

Bristol Creatives Prize

Bristol Creatives will be awarding an annual membership to a Bristol based artist. They provide support, advice and opportunities in addition to discounts on art materials and listing on their website.

Satellite DSC14, Jonathan Byles, Cat No.73

Winner: Satellite DSC14, Jonathan Byles, Cat No.73

Bristol Fine Art Award for Work on Paper

Independent art supplier Bristol Fine Art are awarding a prize of one Winsor and Newton Severn Easel (worth £75) and a voucher to spend in-store on art materials.

Sophy Thomas (detail)

Winner: Rain Dance, Sophy Thomas, Cat No.117

The RWA would like to thank the following prize sponsors for the kind donations and generous support.

Bristol Fine Art Logo 002    BDS logo Bristol Creatves

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Arboretum Artist – Julian Perry set to exhibit at the Venice Biennale

We chat to Arboretum artist Julian Perry on his latest success being displayed as part of The Venice Biennale this summer.


At the Venice Biennale  I will be showing in an exhibition titled “Vita Vitale” at the Palazzo Garzoni .

The Azerbaijani  cultural foundation have asked London based curators “Artwise” to curate a show of international artists addressing issues of environmental crisis and climate change. The show is supported by the I.U.C.N

Benacre Birch III

Benacre Birch III

Benacre and Covehithe are two places where costal erosion is at its most acute. Covehithe with it beautiful church (painted by John Piper) and Benacre with its precious wildlife are all threatened by erosion and worsening winter weather. I wanted to take the plight of these Suffolk locations to an international audience. Confronting visitors to the show with images that reflect the drama of what happens when you lose ten meters or more each year to the sea.

Trees at Benachre

Trees at Benachre

Trees at Benachre

Trees at Benachre

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Our Top Events during Drawn

The galleries are currently undergoing a transformation from  wooded canopy to modern contemporary drawing room. As we approach the opening of Drawn and Drawing On.. The Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art we take a look at some of the highlights in the accompanying events calendar.

Join artist Laurie Lax for the unfurling of her new flags, temporarily hung in place of the usual RWA insignia! Laurie will be creating her designs in the Drawing Lab during the last week of March, as well as running drawing mornings and a flag-themed workshop at the beginning of June.Laurie graduated in Fine Art from Bath School of Art & Design 2010. She is based at BV Studios in Bristol and has completed several residencies in Ireland, Sweden, Lithuania and Cumbria. She has exhibited nationally in London, Bristol, Dundee, Folkestone, Canterbury and Chester and internationally in Germany, Ireland and Poland. She is the co-founder of the Sondryfolk and DFW collectives and was selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition 2014.

Aisling Hedgecock was our ‘Invited Artist’ during the Annual Open Exhibition in 2013 and we’re pleased to welcome her back to the RWA as part of the Drawing Lab. Aisling uses her drawings to create 3D forms blurring the traditional boundaries between mediums. The Lab residency (10-12 April and 1-3 May) takes inspiration from Kurt Schwitters’Merzbau experiments, in which he constructed artworks which could be experienced as drawing, sculpture or architecture.

During the workshop you will be using card templates and drawing tools to build organic abstract forms inspired by Aisling’s own sculptures.

Images by Rosie Faragher

During her two day mini residency (26 May and 30 May) illustrator Rosie Faragher will be  doodling away in the Lab investigating the ways lines tell stories.
Join Rosie for a workshop on Saturday 30 May making narratives appear out of abstract drawings. You will be exploring the ways different lines and textures work together to make  stories and characters. All you’ll need is a pencil and your imagination!

Join HATCH for a drawing workshop that will test your powers of observation and imagination! Choose a picture postcard and write a description of it. Swap descriptions with another participant and then draw a postcard, based purely on their written description. Now, spot the difference…!

On the last day of the Drawn exhibition, artist Laurie Lax will be leading a flag-making workshop in the Drawing Lab aimed at all ages and abilities, inspired by her own fascination with the study of Vexillology (or flags!) Laurie will also be leading informal ‘drawing mornings’ during the first week of June (details to be announced soon).

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Arboretum The Art of Trees; the Aborealists and other Artists An overview by Michael Toseland


One simple word that evokes an inexplicable feeling of warmth within us. Perhaps because of our age old symbiosis of keeper of shelter and protector, of providing the very oxygen that sustains us, and the very surroundings that astound us with their beauty.

Maybe a personal view, but I can guarantee something is evoked within you at the sight of these ancient giants. My Yorkshire heritage is inexplicably awakened with the sight of a landscape in its natural state, something is stirred.

On entering this show, I’m sure that the urge for nature and the natural state of things will be touched upon in yourself.

When thought of, an imagine that we all instantly conjure up in our minds is a great vastness of green or for me personally my very first tree painting, a big brown trunk and a splodge of green paint on top straight from the nearest tube (no mixing needed).

This however is as much about the sensuality and texture of the forms they take as the actual subjects themselves.

The dominant feature being ‘Cloud’ a piece by Gareth Edwards central to the space and intriguingly linear, delicate and fragile.

Gareth Edwards 'Cloud'

Gareth Edwards ‘Cloud’

Highlighting the ever present conflict between man made and organic, elegant bare branches burst atop scaffolding beams. Rather a great comparison, a high flight of scaffolding is the ultimate man made tree house.

These are elegant and beautiful as well as holding a sense of the sinister.

The cynicism lies in our love/fear relationship with forestry and nature. The beauty of it and our fear of its power. Who hasn’t seen a horror film with some poor chap lost in a darkened creaking wood, seemingly never ending, solitary and terrifying.

The trees take on an alternate personality as soon as they shed their clothes. As the imposing Jeckel and Hyde characters that they are.

This polar of personalities is perfectly highlighted in Tim Craven’s Little Norton and Impton.

Tim Craven

Tim Craven  Little Norton and Impton

Scattered flat plane abstractions fill our eyes with texture as in the scattered bones of seasons past.

Twig collection by Fiona Hingston is a very interesting piece in relation to this thought.

Fiona hingston

Fiona Hingston

Are these twigs, or archaeological remains, you could be forgiven for thinking the latter.

It is interesting how something of such colour, such vibrancy and variation leads us to nine times out of ten favour the monochromatic.

This is highlighted in the beautifully delicate drawings of Celia de Serra

Ceilia de serra

Celia de Serra

Up rooted trees are avast with texture so much so that any colour would detract from the sheer beauty of it.

This is a show of details and the finite and this is where we find the sublime beauty of nature, in its complexity it offers more that we can see at a glance. Layer upon layer not to speak of the microbial that offer even more astounding complexity.

This is a narration of trees but more our relationship with them, the strange things we see in their form, our fear of the dark forest of unknowable monsters to our saviour on a rainy day when we forget our umbrella.

The complete subjectivity, elegance and sublime nature of these wonderous natural works of art.

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Small is Beautiful – Academician Artworks for Sale

Small is beautiful, a little exhibition currently taking place in the Papadeli Café at the RWA could just as easily by called Hidden Treasures because that is exactly what is contained in this show. Academicians have offered small works for sale, at very special prices in order to help the RWA with its fundraising.
Stewart Geddes Sparnon

Stewart Geddes Sparnon

Amongst the works available there are must-have seascapes by RWA President Janette Kerr, a couple of beautiful little paintings by Stewart Geddes, Christopher Shurrock’s exquisite understated drawings, miniscule canvases of hedgerows by Fiona Robinson and subtle line drawings by Lawrence Nash. There are original prints by Peter Ford, Sarah Van Niekerk, Denny Long and Bronwen Bradshaw. So many delights to choose from and the works were walking off the walls almost before they had finished hanging the show.  Now the secret is out these modestly priced little gems will be selling like hotcakes.

Cafe Sale

Cafe Sale

Academicians' works

Academicians’ works

Academicians' works

Academicians’ works

Detailed Print

Detailed Print

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What’s on for Families this Half Term

Tree Tales with Rosie Faragher
Tuesday 17 February 3pm – 5.30pm
£10 per child
Suitable for children aged between 7 and 12, accompanied by an adult.
Book online here


Join Bristol-based author-illustrator Rosie Faragher for an afternoon of drawing, storymaking and storytelling, in response to the Arboretum exhibition, including (weather allowing!) a walk on nearby Brandon Hill to find inspiration amongst the tree.


SuperTrees! Family Screenprint Workshop with Simon Tozer
Wednesday 18 February 10:30 – 12:30
Suitable for Children aged 5+, accompanied by an adult.
£10 per child
Book online here 

Trees are among the most magical and awe-inspiring life forms in nature. Every tree supports a myriad of other life forms such as plants, insects, birds and mammals for whom it provides food and shelter.

In this workshop we will celebrate both the tree and tree dwellers by making fabulous poster-size screen prints of trees and the creatures that live in them. Perhaps there will be space in the tree for us, perhaps space for our own tree house high up among the branches.

Christine Howes Wildlife Print Image 1

Butterflies and Bees – Buzzing in the Meadow. Print Workshop with Christine Howes
Wednesday 18 February 2-4pm
£10 per child
Suitable for children aged between 7 – 12, accompanied by an adult. 
Book online here 

From bees, dragonflies and butterflies to a meadow buzzing with insects of your creation! Come and print your handmade printing blocks with an Artist printmaker.


Giant, Fuzzy Needle Felting, with Uncanny Creations
Wednesday 18 February
Choose a session: 11am-12.30pm, 1pm-2.30pm or 3pm-4.30pm
Suitable for children aged 5+
£5 per child
Book online here 

Learn how to make fantastic 2D Creatures where the only limit is your imagination. We will teach you the techniques and skills you need to create pieces for our giant fuzzy felt board. Needle Felting is a very easy and quick process using a stabbing motion which binds all the fibres together till flat and smooth.

Beau Street Hoard image

The Beau Street Hoard Roadshow!
Thursday 19 February 11am – 4pm (drop-in) Illustrated Talk at 2pm
Suitable for all ages
Free with exhibition entry
Come and discover the Beau Street Hoard, a unique find of 17,577 silver Roman coins uncovered by archaeologists in Beau Street, Bath.

Animal mask image

Wildlife Mask-making with the Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project
Saturday 21 February 10.30am – 4pm
Avon Gorge Wildlife talk at 2pm
Free with exhibition entry

Come and create your own wildlife mask, choosing from a range of designs, including peregrines, butterflies, badgers and the Bristol Onion (a wild flower that only grows in the Avon Gorge and nowhere else in the UK!)

At 2pm Mandy Leivers will also be delivering a short talk about the wildlife of the Avon Gorge and Downs.

Ian Wade Squirrel image (1280x960)

Wildlife Photography Workshop, with Ian Wade
Saturday 28 February 10.30am – 1pm
Suitable for children aged 7 +, accompanied by an adult.
Book online here

Join award winning photographer Ian Wade for a look around the British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition, followed by a ramble on nearby Brandon Hill, where you will have the opportunity to take snaps of the natural environment, under Ian’s expert guidance.

Beginners welcomed. Please bring a digital camera – be that a camera phone, a compact or a digital SLR.

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Get Drawing – Drawn 2015 submissions for entry

There’s only a month and a half to go until Drawn 2015 submissions close and the RWA are encouraging artists from all over the country to inspire us with their drawn works.

Drawn Call for Entries

Why Submit?

  • For emerging artists, the exhibition offers the chance to show in a leading gallery alongside established artists
  • Selected artists will have an opportunity to raise their profile by having their work to be viewed by leading critics as well as the public
  • The accompanying exhibition of 20th Century drawings means your work may be view alongside some of the great names of British art – Burra, Frink, Hepworth, Hockney, Piper, Spencer and many more

    The prizes:

  • Theresa Knowles Travel Bursary offers a bursary of £1500 to an artist to enable them to spend time in Italy making work.
  • RWA Artist Residency Award provides studio space at the RWA for one week and a small materials bursary.
  • The Bristol Drawing School Award recipient will be awarded a one year
    scholarship enabling them to attend our weekly Life Drawing Drop-in classes
    for one year as part of our Bristol Drawing School programme.
  • Bristol Fine Art Award for Work on Paper – independent art supplier Bristol Fine Art are awarding a prize of one Windsor and Newton Severn Easel (worth £75) and a £75 voucher to spend in-store on art materials.

Bristol Fine Art Logo 002 BDS_logo

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