September 10, 2016

I am very proud to be able to exhibit in the Royal West of England Academy of Art’s 164th Open Exhibition for the 6th year running. The exhibition is huge (the fabulous building can take it) and the variety of works equally so.

Every year thousands of artists submit and the jury selects around 500 works. All work is for sale (except the works by HRH Prince Charles) and prices vary from under £100 to many thousands. There are oil paintings, prints, photographs, mixed media, watercolours, acrylics, sculpture, embroidery, paper cuttings; the list goes on. Below is a short film of the exhibition, some comments and few images. I hope you can go and visit yourself.

The main two rooms of the RWA usually contain large works that demand a big space. There are sculptures dotted around here and there. Then there is always a black and white room with drawings and prints. One room gets a bold colour: last year we had blue but this year the curators have opted for a vibrant red.

A short film introducing the exhibition during the busy private view


Two of my small lace paintings, Brabant Lace and Lace in Box, were selected for this year’s show and looked wonderful on the bright red wall. The room is full of smaller works and looks amazing.

Brabant Lace, oil on linen,
12×10” / 30x25cm,
Lace in Box, oil on linen,
12×10” / 30x25cm,
Available £1100

All in all it seemed there were more painterly works on show than previous years. There were less photographs or digital works on the walls. Many well known names exhibit in this show, as well as the academicians. Although many artists are from the south-west it is by no means a regional show with lots of artists submitting from further afield. I met artists from Liverpool and London during the private view!One of my paintings, Brabant Lace, happily sold the day before the opening. An American client wanted it for her home and bought it via the RWA. I could proudly say I was the first with a red dot in the show as it sold before the show even opened. I hope the other painting will sell as well.

The RWA offers the Own Art scheme which means every work of art can be bought and the payment spread over 10 months, interest free. It is a great scheme that makes owning art affordable.

I hope you will have time to go and see the show, and in particular my two little paintings. Below are all the details you need to know.

Royal West of England Academy of Art
164th Open Exhibition
9 October – 27 November
Bristol, UK
Entry: £6.95 (conc. £4.95, under 18/SGS, UoB, UWE students: free) Art Fund card holders: £4.50
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10-6, Sunday 11-5Queen’s Road,
Clifton Bristol BS8 1PX
+44 (0)117 973 5129


About the author 


Sophie is an art historian, artist, art tutor, and writer. She writes on art history and painting (oils and pastel). The 17th century is probably her favourite era, although the ancient Romans are currently fighting for the lead spot. She is currently researching lace in Tudor portraiture.

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