Last week, Andrew attended the Artists’ Previews for the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, as well as the final selection of works from The National Open Art Competition (NOAC) at The BargeHouse, Southbank.
Both exhibitions include works from a broad range of mediums and this definitely adds to their dynamics, providing the visitor with a rich and varied experience, and we were pleased to see that both previews were very well attended.
At the Discerning Eye Exhibition, if successful in getting work accepted, one can then look forward to visiting and discovering which selector has chosen the pieces and how these are displayed. It is always intriguing and, this year, two sketches, ‘Taya’ and ‘Auba’, were selected by one of the collectors, Ellen Bertrams whilst the artist, Anne Magill, chose Andrew’s piece ‘Untitled figure (sketch 01A)’.
Interestingly, Discerning Eye are one of the few shows who do not advise the artists of any awards prior to the exhibition, therefore, Andrew was equally surprised and delighted to discover that his ‘Study of Taya’ had been selected for the ‘London and South East Regional Prize’. He’s extremely honoured to have had his work chosen from so many very accomplished pieces.
Inevitably, the diversity of work provides an inspiring environment. The artists enjoy meeting up at these events: the chance to celebrate all their hard work – often undertaken in isolation – allows for an exchange of experiences and much discussion on the work, the process and their frustrations! It is a great opportunity to encourage the further development of their skills and ideas.
The paintings Andrew has been exhibiting in these two shows are representational studies of individual subjects. Each piece is based on his intuitive observations where he explores these ideas in the application and painting techniques. On close inspection, the hand of Andrew’s work is evident in all these paintings. However, where the execution is looser and less finished in the study pieces – shown here in his human figurative work – by their nature these become more enigmatic. Andrew hopes to achieve an ambiguity in the sketches; his aim is to examine our initial reactions to any of his figurative work. How we view aesthetic elements and respond differently are key elements in Andrew’s process which he constantly refers back to, in particular, considering the role of context.
The 21st NOAC venue this year is fabulous. Laid out over several floors, each space has an individual style and the excellent hanging of pieces most certainly deserves a mention. Alongside the show they are running a range of very interesting events and workshops throughout the week. Andrew’s ‘Lemon Meringue’ is beautifully displayed alongside ‘Pear’ by Tif Hunter, ‘Dusk I and II’ by Grace Ayson, ‘Forest Trail 1’ by Belinda Bailey and two small oil painting on boards by Fiona Bradford to name just a few, but there really is so much more to see here.
A particularly special element of the NOAC is the Under 16’s category. There are few opportunities for this age group to participate alongside the major shows and the artwork selected is quite remarkable, beautifully observed and utterly charming.
The Graduate Prize went to Harriet Fawcett for her Photographic piece ‘Ersatz 2017’, a focus on the decline of the bumblebee and this was very well deserved.
Entrance to each of these venues is free and they are well worth visiting as the work available to view has been selected by panels of accomplished artists, gallerists, collectors and critics, and is easily comparable with the exhibits in the RA Summer Show – a view supported by the critic, Simon Tait (please see links below).
However, there are only a few days remaining to visit these exhibitions as the two shows will be closing at 5pm on Sunday 26th November.
For Further information please see –
For Ing Discerning Eye Exhibition 2017:
For The 21st National Open Art Competition (NOAC)
To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:
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