Annual EXHIBITION 2017
A record number of entries, 165 works sold, and several thousand art enthusiasts through the doors of the Public Hall, this year’s show was adjudged a major success. And in the words of the judges on a busy Preview Night, the work on display was of the highest standard to date.
Over the ten-day show the bare statistics demonstrate how Budleigh Salterton remains one of Devon’s most talented, innovative and friendly centres for the arts in general and the visual arts in particular. This year’s entries were really wide ranging, producing many favourable comments from our visitors, some of whom returned for second and even third viewings to enjoy and purchase their favourites.
Acrylics are always a popular medium and there was no shortage of subject and size amongst the exhibits - from figurative paintings to flowers, landscapes and animals to some intriguing abstract works. John Hammond, professional painter of acrylics has a long association with the club, and judging the category, was most impressed with the work. He identified several specific paintings and their artists before finally deciding to whom the Beryl Hammond Award should go. In the event the winner was Pam Harber for “Footpath”, a beautiful free interpretation of an unspoilt and atmospheric location in the countryside.
Of course, watercolours always feature strongly and there were many and varied subjects among the dozens of entries. Not always the easiest medium to handle, considerable skill was demonstrated by exhibitors with some beautiful tiny, framed subjects up to larger and bolder paintings of rivers, flowers, animals of all sorts with townscapes and landscapes in abundance. Our town and seafront, being so picturesque, featured prominently as ever but the eventual winner was Ruth Rockett for her triptych watercolour of Italian landscapes, “Tuscany 3”, beautifully executed and highly praised by our judge, John Hammond.
This year there were more examples of oil painting than at previous exhibitions, much to the delight of Dr Alan Cotton, renowned oil painter of landscapes and president of the club. From subjects as wide ranging as animals, flowers, portraits and seascapes, there was an eclectic mix which received much positive comment from visitors. Landscapes featured heavily and there were several high quality interpretations of vistas both in this country and abroad. In addition, with the recent introduction of our portrait workshops, there were a record number of entries in this challenging subject, many from the sessions themselves. After much consideration, the award for best oil painting went to John Washington for his portrait of “Alan”, the fisherman who sells his catch, fresh on Budleigh beach.
Line and wash is a highly skilled art form and although there were only a few examples on display, the standard, especially of the award winner in the category was of exceptional quality. The skill required to produce work in this category is sometimes underestimated, often because the result appears to be more simple than full colour paintings. Not so, of course, as demonstrated this year by our winner, Sue Hirst, who produced a finely detailed and beautifully crafted illustration of “Three Mice”. The drawing generated many compliments from visitors and particularly our judge, Dr Alan Cotton - congratulations to Sue.
Monoprint and other Media featured well this year and Simon Ripley, our judge for the category, was keen to see more examples in the future. Apart from prints, there were several examples of felting using the most innovative techniques plus other images created in textiles, needlework and other miscellaneous materials. A fascinating and difficult category to judge with so many candidates of similar calibre but creating such diverse artworks. However the award finally went to Pauline Dyer for her beautifully observed and executed textile of “Estuary Birds”.
Sculpture and 3-Dimensional Work made a significant impact this year and it was noticeable how tactile the exhibits were in the central isle of the hall. Hugely varied both in scale and subject matter - and in some cases laced with a wry sense of humour. This must have been one of the most innovative series of submissions for some time and certainly the most interesting. By their very nature, the pieces require huge amounts of time and concentration and in some cases a degree of hard physical labour. So the winner of the best Sculpture and 3-D award went to Pam Wilson for her stunning two-piece work, “Heads 1 and 2”.
The winner of the raffle for Ralph Bingham’s painting was drawn in the final hour of the show by young Nina and the winner of ”Calm Day” was Nigel Deller. He gets to take home this stunning painting and the beneficiaries of the raffle are our chosen charities for this year, Budleigh Salterton & District Hospicecare and Muscular Dystrophy.
This year's most popular exhibits according to the public vote were 1st, "Summer Plaice" by Bob Seabright, no stranger to the Club's awards, followed by "Gordon", John Washington's portrait of a local woodworker and in 3rd place, Bob again with "Summer Afternoon".
So, now the stands are dismantled again, the floors are swept and the exhibition doors are closed for the last time this year. A lot of time and hard work went into the production of the show so we hope the many artists and visitors went home happy. The general consensus from comments made by both members and visitors was that this year, the Club had produced an exceptional demonstration of artistic achievement and with 165 paintings and other work sold it has been an undoubted success.
This of course lays down a challenge for 2018 so it will soon be time to start thinking about what members would like to submit next year. Opportunities abound and with an increasing number of workshops and other sessions run by The Club, subject matter should not be an issue. If you have an idea that you feel would be of benefit for creating future workshop or tuition themes, please speak to one of the committee members or mention it at one of our sessions. We’re always keen to generate new and innovative subjects and if sufficient people are interested, we’ll do our utmost to find a way of pursuing your ideas.
Meantime, many congratulations to our award winners, to those who had special mentions by the judges, to everyone who sold their work … and most importantly to everyone who’s time and effort made this such a wonderful display of local, creative talent. An exhibition of which our Club can justly be proud.
... and that's all folks.