Author Archives: harriet mead - SWLA president

New Art Prize

The Terravesta Art Prize

The SWLA is delighted to announce that Terravesta, the pioneering UK business creating sustainable energy from miscanthus, is to sponsor ‘The Natural Eye’ the Society’s annual exhibition which runs at Mall Galleries, London, from 19-29th October 2017. As part of the sponsorship, Terravesta has created a new £2,000 prize for the best work exhibited.

“We are very pleased to be supporting the SWLA and The Natural Eye,” said William Cracroft-Eley, chairman of Terravesta. “We are passionate about the environment and sustainable agriculture both here in the UK and elsewhere, so it is a natural fit to become involved with the Society in this way.”

Terravesta’s sponsorship of the Natural Eye will make a real difference to the exhibition, facilitating a raft of activities to make the event even more attractive for both visitors and artists. The creation of a major prize is an additional benefit and is particularly welcome.

The Natural Eye shows the very best of art inspired by the natural world. The open exhibition includes a wide range of contemporary work from both SWLA members and non-members which celebrates the wild whether close to home or further afield. The different approaches to the subject ensure a delightful mix of the detailed to the more abstract in many different media including oils, watercolours, pastels, printmaking, drawing and sculpture.

“The work exhibited in previous years has been magnificent so we’re excited to see the final selection for the 2017 show,” added Cracroft-Eley. “I know that the choice of a ‘best in show’ exhibit for the Terravesta Prize is going to be extremely difficult.”

Terravesta works with farmers to grow miscanthus which it can process to produce sustainable, high quality fuel and energy. The company’s mission is to establish miscanthus as the UK’s no.1 home-grown biomass resource and it is developing new initiatives ranging from added value energy products to fully self-contained heat supply systems to support this. Terravesta aspires to be a leader in the responsible and economic evolution of sustainability grown and processed energy crops.

To find out more about free events and talks supported by Terravesta please click here.

The Natural Eye exhibition events


 Events during The Natural Eye exhibition 2017 are generously sponsored by Terravesta, pioneers of sustainable energy from miscanthus.

All events are held at Mall Galleries, London SW1 admission charge to the exhibition £4 (concessions £2.50)

Thursday 19th October Portfolio Day

Bring your own work for appraisal. SWLA members including Harriet Mead and Kittie Jones will be available to discuss sketchbooks and portfolios of non-member artists.  11am-3pm in the main gallery.

Friday 20th October Portfolio Day

Bring your own work for appraisal. SWLA member Darren Rees will be available to discuss sketchbooks and portfolios of non-member artists.  11am-2pm in the main gallery.

Friday 20th October Terravesta illustrated talk:

Ice Bound by Darren Rees

Darren Rees talks about his experience as Artist in Residence on board the Royal Navy ice breaker HMS Protector. The five week trip to the Antarctic waters was organised by the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute and Darren has just brought out his book, Ice Bound, about the project. 2pm Learning Centre.

Tuesday 24th October Terravesta illustrated talk:

Welding Wildlife by Harriet Mead

Harriet Mead will talk about her work and give an insight into how she approaches making her distinctive sculptures from old tools. 3pm Learning Centre.

Friday 27th October BTO illustrated talk: Flight Lines by Mike Toms

Mike Toms of the British Trust for Ornithology will be giving a talk about the BTO/SWLA Flight Lines Project – a major collaboration between the BTO and the SWLA involving many artists. The Flight Lines book, published this year, highlights through art and narrative the challenges that migrant birds face and brings to a wider audience the research and conservation work that is being done to help them. 3pm Learning Centre. To reserve a place click here.

Society of Wildlife Artists – Meet the Members

Members of the SWLA will be on hand throughout this year’s Annual Exhibition to meet and greet visitors:

Thursday 19 October (all day) – Harriet Mead and Kittie Jones

Thursday 19 October (afternoon only) – Brin Edwards

Friday 20 October (all day) – Richard Johnson

Sunday 22 October (all day) – Richard Tratt

Tuesday 24 October (all day) – Harriet Mead

Thursday 26 October (all day) – Robert Greenhalf

Friday 27 October (all day) – Michael Hampton

Saturday 28 October (all day) – David Parry

Sunday 29 October (morning only) – Richard Allen

Langford Press Field Sketches Award

The deadline for applications to the prestigious Langford Press Field Sketches Award close 15th September. If you are inspired by the natural world and work from life in the field please consider applying. The prize includes £200 and a choice of titles from the impressive collection of Langford Press art books. A selection of the winner’s sketches will be displayed at the annual exhibition of the SWLA The Natural Eye at Mall Galleries, London in October. Click here for more details.


Gannet study, John Busby

The Natural Eye 2016

The annual exhibition of the Society runs from 26th October to 6th November. There are over 350 artworks by more than 100 different artists (both members and non members) and includes displays from collaborative projects. There will be a major display of unframed work from the DKM/SWLA Turkish Sweetgum Project that took place earlier this year. Four SWLA artists spent time in Turkey working alongside 25 Turkish artists and students in the unique habitat of the Turkish sweetgum forests. Their guidance in showing new approaches and methods, such as working outside in situ inspired the students and proved to be a a rich and rewarding experience for all involved. Other unframed project displays include the RSPB/SWLA Wallasea Island Project and paintings by Darren Woodhead SWLA as part of his diving adventure as recipient of the Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art award who invented his own equipment to enable him to use watercolours underwater.

Hares and Goldfinches by Andrew Haslen SWLA

Hares and Goldfinches by Andrew Haslen SWLA

An online gallery of selected works can be found here.

Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award

Past winners of the Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award, Chris Rose SWLA and Harriet Mead PSWLA, will give an informal illustrated talk about their diving experiences.

First established in 2007 the Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award is a fantastic opportunity for an established artist to learn to dive and use their experiences and resulting art to publicise the plight of our marine habitats and the need for protected areas. The award is open to any artist with a passion for nature who wants to find out more about the astonishingly varied submerged landscapes around UK shores that are hidden beneath the waves. Chris Rose spent time exploring kelp beds off the Northumberland coast and Harriet Mead dived the chalk shoals in North Norfolk. This talk will give an insight into the challenges of drawing underwater and shows how they were inspired by the whole new world that they encountered.harriet-mead-diving

The talk is on Wednesday 26th October at 2pm in the Learning Centre at Mall Galleries and is free. No booking is necessary but as places are limited, please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

RSPB/SWLA Wallasea Island Project

SWLA artist Brin Edwards and Jeff Kew, Operations Manager Eastern Region RSPB will be giving an illustrated talk about the third SWLA/RSPB collaborative artist residency project at the Wallasea Island Reserve, which took place in October 2016.

The talk is at 3pm on Thursday 27th October in the Learning Centre at Mall Galleries and is free. No booking is necessary but as places are limited, please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Six artists spent three days on the site observing and drawing wildlife in the newly landscaped habitat at this major new Essex reserve. The aim of the Wallasea Island Reserve is to combat the threats from climate change and coastal flooding by recreating the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh, lagoons and pasture. It will also help to compensate for the loss of such tidal habitats elsewhere in England.

The artists involved are: Kittie Jones SWLA, Brin Edwards SWLA, Ben Woodhams SWLA, Richard Allen ASWLA, Nik Pollard SWLA, Greg Poole SWLA


Wildlife Trusts Diving Bursary Open for Applicants

An artist prepared to take the plunge and seek inspiration beneath the waves is being sought by The Wildlife Trusts and the Society of Wildlife Artists. Continue reading

Concrete Nature

March Peregrine Carry Akroyd SWLA

March Peregrine
Carry Akroyd SWLA

Inspired by urban wildlife? Why not submit to this open exhibition which will be taking place at Stamford Arts Centre in Lincolnshire from 5th-21st November? The opening will coincide with the New Networks for Nature Symposium. The show is themed around wildlife in urban settings so includes all flora and fauna. The submissions need to show the context of the creatures and plants that make their home in towns and cities.

Submissions close on the 4th September.

For more information click here.