National Open Art at the Royal College of Art
National Open Art is now in its 17th year. Since its launch as the Chichester Open in 1995, the show has evolved to become one of the UK’s most important annual open art competitions.
The 2013 edition of the exhibition, held at the Royal College of Art, brings together over 100 pieces that are selected by a panel of judges including Barbara Rae, Brian Sewell and Michael Hoppen. The competition aims to provide a platform for the work of talented emerging artists, and the pieces in this year’s show, which demonstrate a high level of both ability and originality, do not disappoint.
The exhibition includes a range of media, from painting and drawing to printing and textiles – although it should be noted that this range doesn’t extend to free-standing sculpture. The National Open Art exhibition receives hundreds of entries each year and, while getting a piece into the show is an incredible achievement in itself, there is also the opportunity to win one of 25 prestigious awards.
The display also features a large amount of photography, with the Prudential Award going to Michael Vogt for his piece H33 Mantegna – part of a series based on the concept of heterotopia, as described by the philosopher Michel Foucault.
One of the exhibition’s key aims is to provide exposure and encouragement for young artists. This year the Piran Strange Award, for artists under 21, was awarded to Kara Chin for her etching Order and Joe Liam Reddy for the photograph Hand I.
With an eclectic range of pieces, it is impossible to mention them all, however some of the most eye-catching works include Donna McLean’s stunning painting Kelso Road, winner of the Naylor Award, and Rebecca Jewell’s printed feather pieces A Looming of Owls and Cape of Pacific Voyages.
Exhibits are available to buy, providing a unique opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors to take home work by some of the future stars of the UK art scene. National Open Art at the Royal College of Art is highly recommended, particularly to those interested in contemporary painting, photography and portraiture.
National Open Art is at the Royal College of Art until 7th November 2013, for further information visit here.