I’ve been going to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy every year for the past 10 years. I love the eclectic mix of pictures especially when the curator hangs works on mass in some of the mixed rooms – always so much more engaging than the tastefully curated rooms showing only RA members work. If I wanted a traditional exhibition experience I can see that at any gallery throughout the year it’s the higgledy-piggledy mash up that makes the summer exhibition stand out.
Last years exhibition was curated by Jock McFadyen whose own work I love and whilst I still really enjoyed my visit the whole thing felt much more curated and because of that a lot less joyful, a sharp contrast from the 2018 exhibition which was curated by Grayson Perry.
I’m also glued to BBC iplayer around the time of exhibition opening, as Kirsty Wark usually presents a programme on the exhibition following three hopefuls who have entered – definitely worth watching out for! The whole entry process is fascinating, especially when you see the artists lined up with their work and then it cuts to he judging where pieces are passed over a set of chairs or benches for them to view and progress or discard – taking only a matter of seconds to decide.
For the past couple of years I have even considered entering but never quite managed it until now! Prompted by one of the designers in my team, well actually the Head of Creative who volunteered to photograph my entries I thought why not, so having spent some time sorting through pictures in my studio. I decided on two I created last year whilst I was on the course in Leith.
I did start a new piece but didn’t manage to get it get it finished in time for the submission date. It was a real team effort as Adam photographed the images (the unframed versions, the framed shots which don’t show the colours very well are mine) and Simon helped me come up with the titles.
The likelihood of being selected is very low but what the hell! I think the first round of judging is around 12th of March so fingers crossed.
Here are my two submissions….
And the Ground Remained – my take on a rusted spade, the colours aren’t an accurate representation but the texture worked quite well.
And A Lifetime to Destroy – inspired by a rusted and discarded cog or wheel from a piece of machinery that I drew constantly for four full days. Again more of an abstract take on the subject but I was pleased with the movement it portrays and also that it showcases the weight and permenance of the items.