Peterborough Open Art Exhibition. 2016. A Personal View.

This is my personal view of the 2016 Peterborough Open Art Exhibition, ( I would have put a link in here but the website of Peterborough City Council had only a call for entries, nothing about the actual exhibition).  At the end of this review I'm going to crunch some numbers for the artists among us.
The winner! "Camera" by Ingrida Bagdonaite

I visited on a quiet Tuesday lunch time, there were three other people looking round.

The gallery, consisting of three rooms leading one into another, is a beautiful space, airy and well lit and shows off the work at it's best.

Because the judges didn't choose any of my submitted work I didn't approach this visit with a great deal of enthusiasm.  Could it be that I was just a tad jealous? There, I've said it and now I can get onto the exhibition itself.

I thought the hanging of the exhibition was well presented and peaceful, show casing each piece to advantage. There was a definite muted feel about the galleries with the occasional pop of garish colour. I was left wondering perhaps if how the pieces looked together was more a priority than the actual artwork.

The Winner: of the Maxwell Memorial Prize.
"Camera" by  Ingrida Bagdonaite was a large painting of a camera, many layered, print and oil on canvas. It had an eeriness about it as though we were seeing it through skins of time.
I also liked the other painting by Ingrida called "Goggles"
Highly Commended: City Drawing by Jane Walker , acrylic and charcoal on paper. Of course being charcoal it was very dark.
The Best Drawing Award went to Boon Yik Chung for las Vegas Pigs Farm, except it wasn't a drawing it was a giclee print of a drawing. Which admittedly was skillful and engaging but it was not the actual drawing.
Newcomer Award was given to Mark Mathod for "Alan Bracegirdle" a photomontage. Not just something to look at more a work to ponder over. I quite liked this in an odd sort of way.
Silage Grass V by Gareth Brown
Goggles by Ingrida Bagdonaite

My Favourites: 
"Connection " by Diana Savostaite a pastel and charcoal drawing on paper executed with assurance and panache and some colour.
"Natural Treasures" by Sarah McGonigle which was a beautiful classical botanical illustration in watercolour. A little gem!
Best of all "Sillage Grass V" an oil painting by Gareth Brown. Such detail, such precision!


Approx 400 entries, 76 chosen.
Of those chosen:
Oil/acrylic on canvas or board: 26.
Mixed Media 11
Drawing: 7
3D: 6
Watercolour: 3
Giclee prints:3
Other prints:2
Video: 2
It has been said that the exhibition looks a bit bare and more work should have been chosen.
If you are an artist of course you want more work displayed, particularly your own art. If you are a curator I suspect your aims are different. After all you only want the best, looking the best.


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