Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Is your art organisation or business ready for GDPR - the replacement of the Data Protection Act?

HEADS UP! Next year, on 25 May 2018, a new EU General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect - and this may well affect YOU.

It affects 
  • ALL art organisations holding the PERSONAL DATA of EU data subjects (people living in the EU). This INCLUDES any individual or organisation holding personal data for reasons other than those relating to the strictly personal requirements of an individual: 
    • art businesses - including artists with lists of collectors and contacts
    • art galleries and 
    • national and local art societies and groups 
  • ANY businesses located outside the EU having a transaction involving personal data with anybody (i.e. a data subject) living in the EU - including transfer of any data to another country - which means its ambit goes way beyond the EU.

Why is this happening?

The existing Data Protection legislation is being replaced because it is no longer fit for purpose for the changes in the ways data is collected and the scope and reach of organisations across the world in relation to people living in the EU. Bottom line security has been too lax and there have been too many data breaches with implications for crime and the personal security and lives of individuals.

Home Page for the EU GDPR website

The general data protection regulation (GDPR) is a new EU law. It will replace the current Data Protection Act on 25 May 2018It does not require any enabling legislation to be passed by national governments and is thus directly binding and applicable to all on that date. (i.e. the transition is happening now and has been for some time!). You can read more about this in the links at the end of this post.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. The key articles of the GDPR, as well as information on its business impact, can be found throughout this site. EU GDPR
There are heavy fines for organisations which do not comply.
Under GDPR organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater).
You may remember when Google and others thought that EU Laws and Regulations didn't affect them. They changed their minds once they started being fined very large sums by the EU.

If you're an artist with an art business which records personal data OR a member of an art society or you might want to forward a link to this blog post to your Chair - highlighting this fact.

"Personal data" is defined by the European Commission as
"personal data is any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer’s IP address."
In the new legislation a breach of the regulation will be defined as follows
A personal data breach means a breach of security leading to the destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data. This means that a breach is more than just losing personal data.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Portfolio Career as an Artist

A portfolio career is defined as a career which involves different clients/employers, different activities and income streams.

Thus rather than being just "an artist" you can be:
  • an artist and an art teacher (face to face or online or both)
  • an artist and an illustrator
  • an artist and a curator
  • an artist and a gallerist
  • an artist and a musician and a boring job which allows you time to be creative
  • an artist and an art teacher and another job which pays the rent
  • or any combination of your choosing which allows you some time for the activity you really want to pursue
This post explores the notion of a portfolio career and provides some food for thought.
  • What is a Portfolio Career?
  • Why do people have portfolio careers?
  • More (reading) about portfolio careers
The rear of Norman Rockwell's studio
Is this the ideal of every artist - the studio at the bottom of the garden, one major client and blue skies every day?

What is a portfolio career?

I first came across the notion of a portfolio career while studying for my MBA at the London Business School (see references to portfolio careers at the end). I was very fortunate in being taught by Professor Charles Handy, the Irish author/philosopher who specialised in organisational behaviour and management (and even became a global management guru). 

He wanted us to explore and develop our understanding of the cultures and ways of working of different organisations and what sort of people fitted them best. (e.g Handy’s four types of organisational cultures) I've kept my written assignment for him on the topic of portfolio careers - complete with his feedback notes which have had a major influence on my life and ways of working and how this has progressed over time.

He defined “portfolio working” as being a lifestyle in which the individual holds a number of “jobs, clients and types of work” all at the same time. 

For me, having a portfolio career is when you have a positive intent to develop a portfolio of interests, jobs, clients and types of work and ways of working - as the way you live your working life.

For example, I retired from my full-time professional occupation some 11 years ago and yet I've never stopped working at my interests - and don't suppose I will for many years to come.

I find aspiring artists often have an extremely unrealistic idea of how many professional artists actually spend all day making art

Very many of the professional artists I've met have recognised the reality of needing to reduce stress in their lives to remain creative - and that sometimes this is best met by introducing some level of certainty into their income streams. Which, in turn, can sometimes be best achieved by having a portfolio of interests with varying degrees of certainty as to the level of income that might be produced eg everything from
  • steady and unspectacular eg regular tuition fees from teaching art
  • feast or famine - from making art
Some individuals who have been very successful as artists have managed to combine this with having a full time career doing something completely different. 

It's all a question of how you manage your time and what your other personal commitments - for example in relation to the familial such as bringing up children, keeping a partner on happy and on speaking terms and looking after elderly parents. (While she's an author rather than an artist, I'm always reminded of PD James whose husband was in a psychiatric hospital for a long time before he died. She had to take over the role of full time provider for her daughters - became a hospital administrator and then a civil servant - and wrote her books starting at 5am every morning before she went to work for many years. Most of them were written while she was a senior civil servant at the Home Office.)

Why do people have portfolio careers?

People pursue portfolio careers for a number of reasons - the drivers are essentially economic and a blend of psychological and social.

Friday, August 18, 2017

President's Committee on Arts and Humanities resigns in disgust!

Yet another council of eminent people - the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities - is walking away in disgust at the "equivocation" of the President of the USA. Only one did not resign - it's chaired by Melania Trump.

Speaking Truth to Power READ THE LETTER HERE (link is via Politico)
Below are the reports of the resignations of members of the President’s arts and humanities committee. I'll add more in as I find them.

I'd like to say I tried very hard to get the most culturally appropriate screen for the Committee's website - but it was accidental!

website of the Presidents Committee on the Arts and Humanities



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Shipping artwork internationally - how to send art to overseas exhibitions and clients

Many artists sell art across borders to other countries these days - but there's not a lot of help out there in terms of:
  • what you have to do to move art through Customs
  • what's the best way to pack and label art and ship it internationally
a new resource for artists - all about how to master customs tariffs, documentation
and services to get artwork from your studio to its final destination in another country

My very first serious exhibition 20 years ago was in the USA. I had to learn pretty fast about how to pack art so it arrives safe and sound and which service works best for getting the artwork there by the due date - and the customs documentation and tariff codes required and how to display it so that the package actually got out of Customs and arrived at the Gallery!

Everything went fine - but it was a long wait until I got the confirmation everything had arrived safely!

Since that date I've heard of numerous artists who have messed up on sending their artwork to other countries. It's hugely disappointing to the artists who have invariably made their best efforts - but just didn't get everything right because they'd never ever done it before.
  • The artwork often remains in Customs while the exhibition goes ahead without them!  
  • Or the artwork arrives damaged because allowances were not made to what can happen to artwork moving overseas. 
  • Or it just disappears......
Which is how come I've remained interested in the topic and developed a site to share the information with those for whom sending art overseas is a new and mysterious challenge!

I've now transferred that information to my art business website.

Guide to how to send art to other countries

This is my new page about How to ship art internationally on my Art Business Info. for Artists website

Information is divided into two sections.

The paperwork for Customs

  • How to produce an export invoice
  • UK Trade Tariff - export commodity codes
  • HOW TO: Complete Customs documentation in the UK
  • ​HOW TO: Complete Customs documentation in the USA
  • The ATA Carnet​

What else you need to know

  • Size, Weight and Content Restrictions and Prohibitions (International)
  • ​HOW TO: write an international address correctly​

The page is part of a major section on my website which is all about....

How to pack, post and ship art

This is what my section on How to pack, post and ship art covers:

Packing your art

  • How to pack, post and ship art (Section HOME Page) including 10 Top Tips for Packaging and Shipping Artwork
  • How to pack artwork for shipping Overview: Generic advice about packing and shipping
    • Tips from artists, photographers, galleries, curators, museums, conservators, art societies, art collectors, shippers and more
    • How to create an internal package which protect and cushions artwork
    • How to create an external package for artwork which survives transit.
    • How to pack framed works
    • How to pack fine art prints and works on paper
    • How to pack pastel paintings​​
  • Packaging Materials for shipping artwork
    • The pros and cons of different types of packaging for the external and internal packages
    • ​warnings about how packaging can damage your art
    • how to be sustainable and reuse materials when shipping​

Special Shipping Challenges for Art

CN 23 Customs Declaration form for artwork valued in excess of £270
  • How to ship art to exhibitions Exhibitions bring a particular challenge when artwork needs to be submitted minus packaging!
  • How to ship internationally Information about all the documentation required for international shipping
    • How to produce an export invoice
    • All about export commodity codes
    • How to complete customs documentation 
    • How to write an international address correctly

Postal, Parcel, Courier and Shipping Services for Art

Royal Mail Services

Feedback please

I'd love to get any feedback
  • either in terms of practices or services you have found helpful 
  • or about queries you have which are not answered by this page or this section on moving art from studio to exhibition, gallery or art collector
Thanks in anticipation....

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Compilation - Van Gogh's Sunflowers on Facebook Live

This is a catch-up for those who missed the Facebook Live event when five Van Gogh sunflower paintings were reunited from five museums around the world yesterday.
(see my earlier post for what this event was about Five Van Gogh Sunflower paintings on Amazon Live on 14th August 2017)

Below are links to the videos on Facebook. Each post is also embedded. The links go to the Facebook Pages and relevant posts of each of the participating museums

Enjoy the FIVE VIDEOS BELOW - and take a look at my comments at the end.

Monday, August 14, 2017

65 years of Royal Gifts exhibition at Buckingham Palace

As Prince Phillip retires and the Duke of Cambridge steps up to his new role of representing the Queen on a full-time basis, there's a certain sense of an imminent sea-change in the operation of the British Monarchy.

It's not at all surprising therefore to find that there is a retrospective exhibition at Buckingham Palace of a very tiny sample of the Royal Gifts that the Queen has received in the last 65 years - since she ascended to the throne on 6 February 1952.

Put simply there will never ever be another exhibition like this one - simply because it will be a very long time before any monarch reigns for more than 65 years...

Also - if you enjoy the British Museum and its ethnographic displays of people and their heritage then you will enjoy this exhibition - where you can see some of the very best of the very best examples of craftsmanship, skills and materials from around the world.

Royal Gifts exhibition 

A view of the Africa Exhibit in the State Dining Room gives you a sense of scale
The extremely popular Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace (until October 1st) has an exhibition every year.

It's not at all surprising that this year's exhibition looks back at one particular aspect of the very long reign of Queen Elizabeth - and also one which will be of much interest to people from all over the world.  Which during August is most of the people on the streets of central London! ;)

I visited the exhibition last week (for a special Bloggers Preview) and was able to see and admire the gifts on display. (PS I had intended this post for Friday but Blogger went on strike!)

All the gifts were presented to the Queen
  • as part of official duties - such as state visits and audiences. 
  •  during visits she makes in the UK for various events - such as a visit to a School (and it was very pleasing to see a number of gifts related to children)
The exhibition explores Her Majesty's role as Head of State, Head of the Commonwealth and Head of Nation through gifts presented by people from all walks of life and from over 100 countries and territories during State Visits, overseas tours and official engagements both at home and abroad.
The exhibition is an excellent example of ritual and decorative art and has been organised by Sally Goodsir, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts. She told us that she  aimed to select one piece from all the countries visited and to make that selection representative of the country and in particular of particular materials or skills unique to that place.

I'm going to give you a sample of images of items below from the different continents.

Plus an insight into the nature of the Tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales which comes at the end of the exhibition - to mark the 20th anniversary of her death at the end of this month.

Display of Diana Princess of Wales personal possessions
within the context of her timeline

Friday, August 11, 2017

Five Van Gogh Sunflower paintings on Amazon Live on 14th August 2017

I'm trying to upload images to a blog post but Google's Blogger has decided it isnlt going to work today

Which is why I'm posting this information about a brand new initiative to unite artwork and art museums around the world today rather than tomorrow....
Today five 'Sunflowers' paintings are located in museums across the globe and have never been united. Until now that is. On 14 August 2017, in a world first, all those 'Sunflowers' will come together in a ‘virtual exhibition’ bringing the paintings together in a way the artist could never have imagined.

Which sunflowers and museums?

The sunflowers are those in the following museums around the world

What's happening in the Amazon Live Event?

The museums are participating in a unique and unprecedented global collaboration to explore the 'Sunflowers' series, live on Facebook.

Over 95 minutes on 14th August 2017, there will be 
  • a consecutive relay of five, 15-minute Facebook Live broadcasts from the five museums - starting with the National Gallery at 5.50pm UK time (12:50 p.m. Eastern time) in London. 
  • Each will take place in front of a different 'Sunflowers' painting and all will celebrate and explore Vincent van Gogh’s life and work.
  • It will conclude with a broadcast by the Tokyo curator (from the Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art), starting at 2:10 p.m. Eastern time (7.10 pm London time).
This is the first time ever there has been a live Facebook ‘relay’ of this type between different institutions worldwide. The five galleries have worked with Facebook to create a fully immersive digital exhibition, Sunflowers 360.

To further unite the paintings, and in such a way that would be totally impossible in the physical space of a gallery.....
Using a combination of VR technology and CGI to create an experience that will look and feel as if the five paintings were actually together in one room, viewers can interact with Sunflowers 360 on Gear VR or view as a 360 video on Facebook. Entering the gallery in VR, people can rotate around a 360 degree environment to view each of the paintings, or go on a guided tour of each painting. Willem van Gogh – the great-grandson of Van Gogh’s brother Theo – narrates the experience, sharing personal memories of the paintings. Sunflowers 360 is released today (10 August 2017) on the Facebook pages of each museum and through the Oculus store.

In terms of UK time, theVan Gogh 'Sunflowers' Facebook Live Running Order – 14 August 2017 is as follows

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Archibald Prize 2017 - Selected Artists and the winner

I love seeing the portraits for Australia's Archibald Prize - because they're so very different from the ones which get entered for art competitions in the UK.

Is it a hemisphere thing - or a cultural discontinuity about portraiture? Whatever - this post covers
  • the winner and the controversy!
  • selected artists
The prize (is) awarded, in the terms of the will of the late JF Archibald dated 15 March 1916, to
the best portrait ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia during the 12 months preceding the date fixed by the Trustees for sending in the pictures’.
This year, The 2017 Archibald Prize had
  • 822 entries this year 
  • 43 portraits selected for the exhibition.  (ie 5% success rate)
  • 14 of the 43 finalists are women – a third.
  • Of those selected almost half chose artists as sitters - 19 painted artists including a double portrait of an artist couple, James Drinkwater and Lottie Consalvo.

At the end of this post there's a review which compares the Archibald to the BP Portrait Prize - and it's a  recommended read!

Winner of the Archibald Prize 2017

"The Archibald Prize chronicles the changing face of Australia"
Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales
Archibald Prize 2017 winner
Agatha Gothe-Snape by Mitch Cairns

© the artist

Mitch Cairns won with his Matisse-styled portrait of his artist-partner, Agatha Gothe-Snape.
  • Bio: born 1984, Camden, Australia
  • Education: BFA with Honours, National Art School, Sydney (2003-2006)
  • Previous Archibald: 2013, 2014 amd 2015 - he was highly commended in 2014 and 2015
Every portrait is usually of a significant Australian and artists painting each other is almost an Archibald tradition . Gothe-Snape is a significant contemporary artist exhibiting widely both in Australia and overseas.  So the couple have achieved a major win - of  prize money and major marketing for both their artistic practices!

Below you can read about the controversy triggered by this choice.

The Winner of the Packing Room Prize 2017 is Peter Smeeth's painting of Lisa Wilkinson AM
Other finalists are listed below. You can see images of the all artwork in the exhibition on the website. These are made much more accessible due to a voiceover of the narrative of each painting. It's a pity we don't see these more on exhibition websites for those whose eyesight finds text difficult.

There seems to be rather less preference given to the eminent Australians this year compared to previous years - but that's just an impression, I've not been counting!

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A Holiday at Mentone by Charles Conder

For those not on holiday, during August I'm posting paintings of those taking a break.

I'm starting with Charles Conder's painting of "A Holiday at Mentone" which is one of the best loved of all Australian Impressionist paintings. Its home is the Art Gallery of South Australia
A Holiday at Mentone by Charles Conderoil on canvas, 46.2 cm × 60.8 cm (18.2 in × 23.9 in)
Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide
I first saw this painting earlier this year at the exhibition of Impressionist Paintings by Australian painters at the National Gallery - see my blog post Australia's Impressionists at the National Gallery - review.  I can well understand why it so well liked by Australians.

Some facts about the painting

  • this was the first painting by Conder that he painted in Melbourne; 
  • the painting was found to have sand embedded in the painting suggesting that this was painted or at the very least started while at the beach
  • This painting is one of the first to capture the intensity of Australian light.  The weather is sunny and bright as are the colours; the shadows are also coloured
  • Its theme is one associated with life in Australia - it celebrates the light, leisure opportunities and the beach - and consequently is very popular with those who love the be in the sun and go to the beach. Both figures reading on the beach are reading 'The Bulletin' magazine known as 'The bushman's bible' because it celebrated outback life and culture
  • the building to the right is a bathing enclosure - used for segregated bathing
  • the use of the bridge to bisect the painting is suggested to be reminiscent of the bridge device used in paintings in Japanese art and as used by Whistler. This was also the age when Japanese art had a great influence on painting - see my earlier posts on The influence of Japanese Art and Japanese Art
  • the education page highlights the conundrum of the figures in the painting

an image that continues to intrigue generations of viewers - the curious drama in the foreground, involving three people who may or may not be aware of each other, poses several questions: Is the man lying on the sand just sleeping? Will the young woman ever notice that her umbrella has blown away? Will the self-important young man (standing at right) retrieve it and introduce himself?

Some facts about the painter:

  • Charles Conder was just 20 when he painted this painting. He was born in 1868 in Tottenham (then in Middlesex, now in the London Borough of Haringey)
  • Conder lived in Australia between 1884-90
  • he was sent to work for his uncle, a land surveyor for New South Wales, Australia at age 16 however he wanted to draw the landscape rather than survey it
  • he became a key figure in the Heidelberg School
  • in 1888, he Arthur Streeton, and shared a studio with Tom Roberts, two other key figures of Australian Impressionism
  • Conder left Australia in 1890 and moved to Paris where he studied at the Académie Julian
  • He spent the rest of his life in England, although he visited France frequently
  • he died in Virgina Water in Surrey in 1909 - he was insane

Some facts about the location

  • Mentone in the 1880s was a suburb of Melbourne - the railway had not yet reached it and consequently it was quieter than some other locations
  • it was one of the favoured sites of painters associated with Australian Impressionism

Another painting by Conder made available by the Google Art Project selection of paintings by Charles Conder is that of Bronte Beach - which is painted on cardboard.

Bronte Beach (1888) by Charles Conder
oil on cardboard, h226 cm x w330
National Gallery of Australia

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Adebanji Alade - an Addictive Sketcher

I've written before about the need to put in the hours if you want to get good at anything - see
The first comment on my 10,000 hours post is from a friend who put in the hours and became (in chronological order) a very successful pipe band player, then an artist and now a very successful author of amongst other things a #1 New York Times Bestselling series optioned for television!

She made the very important point that it's also essential to know how to learn and when putting in the time to make efficient use of it. It includes the following sentence
The long time is acquiring proficiency -- everything after that, if you're still learning, is acquiring brilliance. 

So here's my theory: talented people are those who know how to learn. They know how to practice, to find patterns, and most importantly, to not reinvent the wheel. They shave years off their 10,000 hours by being able to look at other people in their field who have succeeded and define and incorporate why they are successful.
I've known Adebanji Alade for a long time - and all the time I've known him he's been sketching - and moving his career as an artist onward and upward.

Mostly he sketches people. Mostly he does it while travelling on public transport - meaning that he never loses a moment to sketch. Mostly he does it because he always has his sketchbook with him.

What prompted this blog post is his video of his sketchbook used during 2016-2017 - from beginning to end - and it takes 9 minutes to get through it!

He's now started a new sketchbook

As a result of his constant looking and sketching of people and places from observation it has helped him hone his artistic practice.

Some of the things he has achieved as a result of what he has learned about making art and becoming a successful artist are:
Afro XXI by Adebanji Alade
(in the section on Charcoal
in my book Sketching 365)
which contains lots of great advice

He's been making videos for a long time - having spotted the opportunity they give to raise your profile amongst lots of people doing the same thing as you.

This is The Life of the Artist made in 2012 - which was the year he got my Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy. This is an artist who packs a lot into every second of every day!

This is Adebanji back in 2010 when I photographed him with his work in the ROI Exhibition 2010.

Adebanji Alade - with his painting "Summer Crowds, Pavilion Theatre, Cromer" £1,650

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2017 - Selected Artists

The names of the 78 artists selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition 2017 were formally announced yesterday. Prizewinners will be announced in advance of the exhibition opening - in the Culture section of the Sunday Times magazine on Sunday 27th August.
  • 87 paintings and sketchbooks in watercolour media will be exhibited in the 30th Exhibition at the Mall Galleries between 19 - 24 September 2017.  (This compares to 75 paintings selected in 2016 and 90 works in 2015.) 
  • They were selected from 1057 submissions - meaning just over 8% of the paintings submitted were selected.
Eligible media includes any water-based media, which includes acrylic, inks and gouache (note it does NOT state that watersoluble oil paint is acceptable!). My own feeling is that it should also state that all works should be on paper - but it doesn't. It would also be nice if the rules made it clear that sketchbooks are also eligible for submission.

Cornish Coastline Sketchbook by Sarah Wimperis - selected for the 2017 STWC Exhibition
This blog post is about the artists whose work was selected. The aim is to give those aspiring to being selected some sort of idea of the range of people who actually achieve selection.

There are 78 artists listed below -with links to their websites in their names and mini bios where info is available online. (See that's why you have a website!).
  • 9 artists have got more than one painting in the exhibition and two of them are Lilias August and Camilla Dowse.  
  • This year I've indicated which artists selected in 2017 were also selected in previous years.  STWC indicates previous years selected for this competitionAs you can see although there are a very few artists who are regularly selected, there's been a fairly significant 'turnover' and there are artists in the exhibition this year who weren't in last year - and quite a few of those have never been selected before. 
  • There are NINE artists marked with an *  who have been selected at least three times prior to 2017. This means just over 11% of this year's artists have been selected more than 3 times - and the vast majority have never been selected before at all - meaning this competition is wide open to future applicants in 2018!
So - as you can tell from the social media posts below there are some pretty pleased artists out there!

I also make a prediction about a future winner in this blog post - see if you can spot which artist I predict will win this prize at some point.

If you'd like your pic included in this post, please send it to me. You can contact me via my "Contact Page" at the top of the blog or the link in the side column.

  • Roger Allen - STWC : Selected in 2016 and 2015. Based in Derbyshire and paints the Derbyshire landscape using a traditional technique of overlaid washes in watercolour. 
  • Lillias August RI - One of my favourite watercolour artists - I've rarely seen anything she exhibits that I don't like. Studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London then did a postgraduate course in The History of Art and Design. Exhibited in STWC (when Singer & Friendlander) in 2001. Elected a member of the RI in 2006 and has been a prizewinner at RI exhibitions in 2002, 05, 06, 10 & 17 - but she's not somebody who normally enters competitions. She has a solo show at The Old Fire Engine House, Ely later this year (3 – 26 November). She has been working on a series of unmade beds
The inspiration came from walking round a house that I was renting with my family. It was very quiet. They had all gone out for a walk and there were just these ‘remains of where they had been’ and I found it very moving. The subject matter is naturally evocative – I want the paintings to be dark and still, slightly brooding but peaceful. Technically the method of painting has been rather brooding too with paint being layered on and lifted off in stages to create a muted, soft yet strong, effect.

  • Debbie Ayles - Based near Colchester in Essex. Participating in Open Studios in September. Difficult to summarise her work.
Escalation by Debbie Ayles
acrylic and size (framed) is 70x90cm (framed)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Civilisation, Cultures and Collaboration - the BBC Arts Agenda

Civilisation, Cultures and Collaboration seem to be the dominant themes of plans for the arts - and art - on the BBC in 2017/18 - as indicated in the BBC Annual Plan for 2017/18
The BBC’s mission in arts has always been to nurture artists and organisations, create great art and engage the widest possible spectrum of audiences. 

Highlights for Art on the BBC

The Brexit Lesson has been well and truly learned by the chattering classes amongst the London Elite at BBC Centre!
The BBC is determined to rise to the challenge of better reflecting and representing a changing UK. The biggest investment in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for decades has recently been announced and will be implemented over the next three years. BBC publishes Annual Plan for 2017/18
Key points are:
  • Culture UK and Collaboration - Recent launch of 
    • an ambitious new Culture UK partnership with the British Council, the Arts Councils of England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and Creative Scotland with a view to energising audiences, artists and the creative industries across the UK. You can read more about Culture UK here
Culture UK represents an unprecedented new level of collaboration for the BBC, and it will deliver at least three big landmark moments a year, starting this autumn with poetry.
Culture UK - Looking very white, very middle aged and very middle class!

Darren Henley (Chief Executive of Arts Council England), Jenny Niven (Creat)ive Scotland), Tony Hall (Director of the BBC), Jonty Claypole (Director of BBC Arts), Nick Capaldi (Chief Executive, Arts Council of Wales) and Noireen Mckinney (Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland)
"We’ve come together because we want the UK to be the most culturally engaged and creative country in the world, where everybody, wherever they come from, can take part. There are real challenges that make working together more necessary and more urgent than ever. Culture is one of the things that unites us all and expresses our identity. We ignore that at our peril.” Tony Hall, Director of the BBC
    • a £4m Artists First commissioning budget and change to how the BBC commissions arts programming - to enable the BBC to be more open to artists and arts organisations.
  • Civilisations – a major season across television, radio and online telling the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day, for the first time on a global scale. This will 
    • A landmark nine-part series on BBC Two - remaking the original version and adding in civilisations from Asia to the Americas, Africa as well as Europe.
    • accompanied by programming on BBC Four, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 - as well as digital partnerships with cultural organisations across the UK.
Civilisations will explore the visual culture of societies from around the globe, revealing alongside the magnificent objects made in the West the wealth of treasures created by other cultures, from the landscape scrolls of classical China and the sculpture of the Olmecs to African bronzes, Japanese prints and Mughal miniatures.
Civilisations will have three presenters, each bringing their own skills and perspectives to the series:

  • Simon Schama, an art historian with a breadth of experience and authority second to none, will present six programmes, reflecting the wide-ranging nature of his expertise and his extensive knowledge of global art
  • Mary Beard, the well-known Cambridge classicist, will present two programmes which put the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome into a much wider context, using early material from China, Iran and Mexico
  • Historian and writer David Olusoga, who is also making two programmes, will call upon his expertise in Empire, military history and the relationships between global cultures
David Olusoga, Mary Bear and Simon Schama
  • BBC Two will also celebrate 
    • the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy and 
    • the art of Picasso. 
  • Continuing to showcase Hull as the UK City of Culture 2017 over the coming months, with hundreds of hours of coverage of Hull 2017
  • Regular programming
    • Saturday nights on BBC Two will be the new focal point for arts built around a key 9pm slot with a landmark documentary or collaboration 
    • Topical arts programmes across BBC Radio include Front Row and regular coverage on TV programming through shows like Artsnight. 
    • Landmark content includes significant artist-led documentaries or profiles such as Imagine... 
    • a further series of the popular Fake or Fortune strand will return to BBC One.
The above comes from Media Packs published by the BBC - explaining its Annual Plan and Culture UK

Personally, it seems to me that the hand of Nicholas Serota - now the NEW CEO of the Arts Council - can be seen all over the plans for Culture UK although he doesn't get a mention in this plan or announcements.

However back in the 2015 Plan he is quoted as follows
This partnership will give audiences, people in this country and an international audience, an unprecedented opportunity to see work by major companies, by emerging companies, and by young artists. It’s a great platform to show what’s vital, exciting and special about what’s happening in the United Kingdom today
Sir Nicholas Serota, (then) Director, Tate
However he was talking about "The Ideas Service" a new UK Arts Platform. I'm just left wondering if this morphed into Culture UK?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

National Open Art Competition 2017 - extends deadline to 23rd July

The National Open Art Competition 2017 - for artwork in various media, including digital, photography and the moving image - has extended its deadline to 23rd July. It may well appeal to those who feel that:
  • their art doesn't get given a fair review in other competitions 
  • art competitions always involve the judges rewarding those they know
See below as to why. There again there are other things one needs to know about the National Open Art competition....

For example, two years ago in National Open Art Competition 2015 - Final Call for Entries i commented that

Other than the fact THEY DO NOT EXPLAIN:
  • why the art competition exists!
  • what the prizes are!
....they've got a well organised website which provides answers to all the "other"  FAQs  - click the link for the full answer. My brief version follows the question
They do not know who the artists are, whether you are male or female, how old you are, where in the UK or Ireland you come from or live, your background, your education or your training, if any. We do not brief the judges and we do not dictate any percentage or quota for each category (e.g. painting, photography, drawing or young artists’ work). The only condition we ask of our judges is that if they recognise an artist they know or are familiar with, that they make their position known and withdraw from the selection process of that piece, leaving the decision to the remaining panel. 36 reasons to enter the National Open Art Competition.
Finalists will be announced in late September and the winners revealed at the Private View and Prize Giving this Autumn.


The exhibition will be held in...
A vast, untouched four-storey industrial building will host the 21st National Open Art Exhibition. Bargehouse is an exciting atmospheric space on London’s fast moving South Bank and Bankside areas and sister building to the iconic landmark, Oxo Tower which stands proud on the cultural path between the National Theatre and Tate Modern.
This is a Video of the 2016 Exhibition

NOA Awards 2016 from ProAction Creative on Vimeo.

Reasons to Enter

This is the link to the article which suggests 36 reasons to enter the National Open Art Competition.

Personally I've always felt very ambivalent about it - and that's because the website doesn't address basic questions.

Monday, July 17, 2017

ING Discerning Eye 2017 - Call for Entries

This is about the Call for Entries for the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2017 at the Mall Galleries in November.

Below you can find:
  • information about the exhibition
  • a note about the judges - with links to their websites
  • a summary of information about prizes
  • Call for Entries - How to Enter
    • a summary of the information for artists e.g. who can enter what etc.
    • information about the deadlines and dates and where to find information about regional collection points
  • links to websites and my blog posts showing images of the art selected and hung in past exhibitions for those unfamiliar with this art competition.

About the exhibition

The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics

Michael Glover's exhibition in 2016

The exhibition is unusual for a number of reasons
  • it's a very large exhibition with c.600 artworks spread across all three galleries in the Mall Galleries.  In 2016, a record 724 works by 403 artists were exhibited.
  • However, the exhibition is actually six small and diverse exhibitions - of small and varied artwork
    • one for each selector/curator - who are two artists, two art collectors and two art critics who all operate independently
    • each small exhibition (of c.100+ works) represents the individual interests, taste and style of that individual curator
    • all works selected are SMALL works - drawings, paintings, fine art prints and sculpture
  • In order to get selected you just have to please one selector
  • Selectors can also invite artists whose work they like as well as selecting artists from the open entry. This sometimes works to the disadvantage of the open entry if a selector leans very heavily towards artists they know/favour and have invited to exhibit (as has happened on occasion in the past eg one educator selected all her students!)
  • This is a rare opportunity for works by lesser-known artists to be hung alongside contributions from better known artists.
  • Finally - all works are for sale.

The 2017 ING Discerning Eye Exhibition will be open to the public from Thursday 16 November until Sunday 26 November, between 10am and 5pm daily, at the Mall Galleries.

Admission is free - and it's certainly an exhibition that I recommend people going to see.

Dan Coombs exhibition in 2016


There are more prizes this year and the value of other prizes have changed. The 2017 exhibition prizes are:
  • ING Purchase Prize - £5,000
  • DE Founder's Purchase Prize - £2,500 - in honour of Michael Reynolds
  • DE Chairman's Purchase Prize - £1,000
  • Meynell Fenton Prize - £1,000
  • Humphreys Purchase Prize - £750
  • Wright Purchase Prize - £500
  • DE Sculpture and 3D Work Prize - £250
  • St Cuthberts Mill Award
  • Regional Prizes of £250 each awarded to outstanding entries from the regions

Sacha Craddock's exhibition in 2016

Who are the Selectors/Curators in 2017?

The 2017 Judges/Curators are a curious bunch!


artwork by one of the judges - Anne Magill
  • Elmo Hood - a self-taught artist who creates colourful work using stencils, spray paint and acrylic (pop art meets graffiti!). 
  • Anne Magill - born in Ireland; studied at St. Martin’s School of Art. Initially a commercial artist; moved into fine art in 1992. Has an international following


  • Ellen Bertrams Curator of the ING Collection. Specialised in art policy and management at the University of Amsterdam. 
  • Miranda Richardson - acclaimed actress (Golden Globe Awards and Academy Award nominations). Best known to a certain generation for her role of Queenie in Blackadder. Films have included 'Tom & Viv', 'Empire of the Sun', 'The Crying Game', and 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'. 


  • Nicola Coleby - an art historian, with a particular interest in modern and contemporary art. Works at the Royal Pavilion & Museums in Brighton & Hove.
  • Simon Tait - a freelance journalist, writer and editor; formerly arts correspondent of 'The Times'. 

Chris Orr's exhibition in 2016

Call for Entries

The really important information is highlighted in red below.

Who can enter?

ONLY artists who were born or are currently resident in the UK.

What kind of artwork is eligible?

  • all artwork must be an original creation by the artist. This usually means the artist must be able to assert copyright (i.e. the work is not derivative) and the work has not been copied from another artwork or photograph.
  • Painting, prints, drawing, photography and sculpture are all accepted. 
  • Maximum size limit: 20 inches / 50 cms INCLUDING THE FRAME. (3D – 20” x 20” x 20” (50 x 50 x 50 cm) including base/stand). Works exceeding these dimension in any direction will be rejected.
  • All works must be for sale. This is essential / not optional. 
  • Up to six works can be submitted for competition.

What sort of framing is acceptable?

There are very specific requirements as to framing and presentation for hanging. Don't let your work get rejected because you didn't read the small print!

Frames and mounts of unusual colour, size or design may prejudice the selectors’ judgement.

What does it cost?

  • Entry fees are £15 per work - payable when works are delivered. However you can reduce or eliminate this by 
  • PLUS a transport fee of £8 per work if you use a regional collection point
  • PLUS Commission is charged at 40% + VAT. Price entered on the entry form is the catalogue selling price from which commission and VAT payable is deducted.
The Discerning Eye is a non-profit making organisation and any monies received go towards the next exhibition. Any sales effected by The Discerning Eye will have priority over a sale effected by the artist.

How to enter

  • Deadline for entries is 5pm on Monday 4 September 2017.  There are earlier deadlines for those wanting to submit their work via a regional entry. 
  • Paperwork: Download the documentation for entries that you need directly using these links: 
  • Complete and sign the entry schedule - making sure each copy is legible 
  • Provide a digital image of each work. This is NOT for selection purposes - rather it's for inclusion in the online catalogue. 
  • Label each work LEGIBLY in block capitals and attach to work. Include your regional area to become eligible for a regional prize

How to deliver

  • All 2D works should be delivered unwrapped, although corner and edge protection on paintings is permissible. Frames must be able to accept a small screw or nail in the back for hanging purposes
  • 3D work should be sent in sturdy cardboard boxes. Do NOT bind wrapping materials with tape or string. 
  • Make sure your work is insured (see Insurance for Artists)
  • Take your labelled artwork and entry schedule to a regional collection point or 17 Carlton House Terrace by the deadline for that location.
  • You can submit direct to the Mall Galleries on 2nd OR 4th September 2016 (between 10am and 5pm)
  • Alternatively use the Submission by Post service at a cost £8 (inclusive of VAT) per work. Various dates for various places around England, Scotland and Wales between 24 August and 1 September including:
      • England: Berwick-Upon-Tweed; Birmingham; Bristol; Doncaster; Exeter; Kendal; Manchester; Newcastle; Norwich; Penzance; Plymouth; 
      • Scotland: Edinburgh; Errol, near Perth/Dundee; Glasgow, Stirling
      • Wales: Cardiff; 
      • Motorways: M74 & M6 Service Areas

For further details or any queries please contact Parker Harris
  • Entry forms and further details are available from: www.parkerharris.co.uk
  • on 01372 462190
  • or de@parkerharris.co.uk
  • or Parker Harris, 15 Church Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 8QS

More about the ING Discerning Eye

The Discerning Eye website maintains an archive of:
The following are all posts on Making A Mark over the last 10 years.