• Published on Wednesday, 28 October 2020
  • | SWLA News
  • | Announcements
  • | Exhibitions

The Natural Eye 2020 Award Winners

The Natural Eye shows an amazing collection of work inspired by the natural world with pieces ranging from drawings to bronzes, original prints to oils, scrap metal sculpture to delicate watercolours and more besides. This year is no exception, with over 350 works on show not only from the UK but from as far afield as Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary and America. 

Each year the Society is able to acknowledge outstanding pieces in the exhibition through the generous support of our sponsors. We are delighted to announce the winners here.

  BirdWatch and Swarovski Optik Artist of the Year Award Winner 2020 Esther Tyson
BirdWatch and Swarovski Optik Artist of the Year Award Winner 2020 Esther Tyson

The Birdwatch Swarovski Optik Artist of the Year has been given to Esther Tyson. 

Esther spent many weeks observing and drawing the peregrine pair and their chicks at a quarry local to her home in Derbyshire. One of the judges, Rebecca Armstrong from BirdWatch said that Esther’s work was Part of a great series that shows detailed study of the subject; clean lines really communicate the bird’s jizz” for the body of work in oils.

Esther will receive a Swarovski optics ATS 80 spotting telescope with 2550 zoom eyepiece worth over £2400 and a year’s subscription to Birdwatch/​Birdguides magazine.

  Swallows by Simon Turvey
RSPB Award Winner 2020
Swallows by Simon Turvey RSPB Award Winner 2020

The RSPB Art Award has been given to Simon Turvey for his detailed and charming painting of swallows on a wire. 

Swallows are a gift to paint as they are so smart and sleek looking, they have the striking colours of dark blues, russets and white and the wonderful long tail strings.

Simon Turvey
  Goldfinch and Wych Elm by Chris Wallbank
Goldfinch and Wych Elm by Chris Wallbank

The Birdscapes Conservation through Art Award has been given to Chris Wallbank. The prize of £750 will be split between Chris and his chosen charity ORCA with whom he has worked in the past.

For many wildlife artists, their practice is a solitary occupation, preparing for the production of finished works, in attractive rural surroundings. A browse of Chris’s website reveals a ‘documentary’ artist, often ‘in the thick of it’, catching moments of unlikely subjects in unlikely places: from snipe poking around muddy margins among the outflow pipes on his local reservoir, to swarming black kites mixing with people and machines on a vast Delhi rubbish tip.

For Chris, his exploration of visual art’s role in presenting new angles on ecological themes, has led to involvement with many conservation projects and makes him a very deserving winner of The BIRDscapes Gallery’s Conservation Through Art Award.

Steve and Liz Harris Birdscapes Gallery

The Larson Juhl Award went to Nik Pollard. The judges were struck by the vibrancy and mark making within all his work, but the studies of bees in particular have captured the movement and energy of the insects and given a wonderful sense of being immersed within the meadow.

  Moorhens, Mallards and Mayflies by Richard Jarvis
Moorhens, Mallards and Mayflies by Richard Jarvis

The Dry Red Press Award has gone to printmaker Richard Jarvis for his lovely linocut Moorhens, Mallards and Mayflies’ which wil now be added to the Dry Red Press’s collection of greetings cards.

This is part of a British Wildlife A-Z that I have been working on recently and hopefully will become a small book. M wasn't the most difficult of the letters of the alphabet to tackle and with moorhen and mallards easily available as subjects along my local river and canal they were an obvious choice.

Richard Jarvis

Congratulations to all the artists and thank you to the sponsors for their generous support. 

Click here to view all the winning work and watch acceptance videos from them.