ING Discerning Eye exhibition, Mall Galleries, 12 - 22 November, 2015
2015 Selectors: Artists: Emma Bridgewater, Nicole Farhi, Collectors: Larry Lamb, Stephen Snoddy Critics: Stephen Doherty, Steve Pill
The Mall Galleries provide an excellent venue for a show like Discerning Eye, which encompasses six displays presented by its selectors and the dynamic Discerning Eye Drawing Bursary shortlisted works. I visited the exhibition on the first morning of opening and discovered that two of my paintings had been chosen by Nicole Farhi and one by Larry Lamb!
The standard and range of work on show is awesome and I spent a happy couple of hours just looking and admiring the artistic diversity, fantasizing over what I would buy if money and space were no object. Given that wall hung artworks must not exceed 20 x 20 inches/50 x 50 cm, the restriction doesn’t confer boring uniformity of size and the collections incorporate a pleasing mix of the largest and smallest allowed. I was pleased to see a painting by another artist with St Ives connections, Claire Coskie, included in Emma Bridgewater's selection.
Here's an excerpt from Nicole Farhi's selection day experience:
“My choices were instinctive and very fast. I found myself raising my hand or jumping from my chair to get nearer to a painting. We chose the work blind, not knowing if the artist was a man or a woman. When I discerned an obviously talented or distinctive style, a work with authenticity, then I would choose at least 2 paintings from the 4 or 5 paintings shown by that artist and very often the rest of the paintings would be selected as well by someone else from the panel.”
The Artists’ PV on the evening of opening day was very busy, with a buzz of excitement and anticipation as the time of speeches and prize giving approached. DE Chief Executive Tony Humphries was first to speak and spent time remembering the major contribution to DE over the years made by art critic, Brian Sewell, who died in September, 2015. DE Chairman John Penrose, was next to speak and award the prizes – cue surprise and delight from the deserving recipients, none of whom had been told beforehand, including Truro artist Mark Surridge, who received the South West regional award. I missed Nicole Farhi in the crowd unfortunately but was able to thank Larry Lamb, who was charming and agreed to being photographed with those of us who asked with patient good humour.
If you are in London the Mall Galleries are well worth a visit - I wish I had taken more photos - as this post only gives a taste of what the show is about. Discerning Eye has a few more days to run yet, last day is Sunday 22nd November.
Click images to enlarge, click links (in blue) to find out more.
Lesley Ninnes, St Ives, Cornwall.