The Natural Eye 2017

Red Admirals and passing Hobby by Darren Woodhead SWLA

The annual exhibition of The Society of Wildlife Artists opens to the public on Thursday 19th October and closes on Sunday 29th October at 1pm. Over 360 works by more than 100 artists inspired by the natural world are on show and includes printmaking, drawing, painting, mixed media and sculptures. To see a selection of work click here

There is a calendar of events including workshops, talks and ‘meet the artist’ days. Click here for more information on talks and portfolio days.

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

Screenprinting with Jane Smith SWLA

Thursday 19th October 2017   10.30 til 4.30 pm
171002-1(001)Jane Smith, author and illustrator of Wild Island, is a print-maker, specialising in screen printing. On this one day course you will learn the basics of screen printing, and finish by making your own three-colour print. All materials will be supplied. Just bring a willingness to experiment, an apron and a packed lunch.
Cost £75 (Friends £65) all materials included; limited to 8 participants.
booking and full details

Painting in the Park: sketching wildfowl in St James Park with Robert Greenhalf and Peter Partington

Saturday 21st October 2017 11.00 am til 4.00 pm

Clip0002This workshop is all about drawing birds from life, using as models the collection of tame wildfowl in nearby St. James’s Park. We will have the use of the Learning Centre at the Mall Galleries where we will start the day at 11 am with a brief introduction from your tutors Peter Partington and Robert Greenhalf before heading across the road to the park where you will be free to find your own wildfowl subjects to draw. Peter and Robert will be on hand to advise and instruct throughout the day.
There is a convenient cafe where refreshments and shelter in the event of rain can be had.
At 3.30 pm  we will head back to the Mall Galleries Learning Centre for a short debrief before finishing at 4 pm.
There will be ample opportunity to view and gain inspiration from the SWLA Exhibition in the Gallery. The “Out of the Frame” room should be particularly relevant as it is all sketches and paintings made in the field.
Cost £65 (Friends £55)
booking and full details

Mono and Relief printing workshop with Greg Poole

Sunday 22nd October 2017   10.30 til 4.30 pmshort-eared owl monoprint








We will look at how printmaking can help to simplify and evolve ideas.  The methods we will be using would be easy to set up at home, no press required.
We will explore how to quickly generate bold blocks of tone/texture/ colour. These can then be layered/combined with further blocks, or line The aim to see how many ways we can use to explore the same subject matter.
If you are an experienced printmaker you should come away with some new ideas and if you are a beginner you should leave with a good handle on the basics. No materials or tools required but old clothes/apron or overalls advisable.
It would be helpful if you brought along some recent work to show your approach to drawing and to act as a possible start point for the printmaking.
Cost £75 (Friends £65) all materials included; limited to 8 participants
booking and full details