© Julia Manning
© Julia Manning

Become a Friend of the SWLA

The SWLA Friends scheme was set up to encourage involvement from people who have an interest in art and the natural world. Funds raised from the Friends’ support will help to ensure that the SWLA continues to offer bursaries and opportunities for young and emerging artists and will enable the Society to explore new relationships between artists and conservation organisations. In the 20 years since its inception, our Bursary scheme has awarded over 80 bursaries to artists who have needed support with a project or help with new skills and techniques for their artistic development.

Currently, we offer places on the Seabird Drawing Course and accept applications for general bursary proposals from young and emerging artists inspired by the natural world. We have worked alongside conservation charities both in the UK and abroad to help bring conservation stories and issues to a much wider audience through collaborative projects. Recent projects include the SWLA Wadden Sea Project looking at the UNESCO world heritage site in Denmark and the BTO/SWLA Flight Lines Project looking at the amazing story behind many of our summer migrant birds. We have worked with the Wildlife Trusts on a residency at their Dorset reserve in Kingcombe as well as collaborated on their Undersea Art Award where the recipients were given the opportunity to learn to dive to make work in response to the extraordinary world off the coast of the UK. The RSPB Wallasea project was a collaboration to document a groundbreaking reserve on the Thames estuary and further afield four artists spent time mentoring and working alongside Turkish artists in the Sweetgum Forests in Turkey a project enabled and overseen by DKM in Turkey.

With your support, we can expand on these opportunities and increase our projects so that the enthusiasm, expertise and talents of our artists can go even further.

Become a Friend of the SWLA and not only will you be helping to nurture artists inspired by the natural world you will also enjoy the following privileges:

  1. Attend the private view of the annual exhibition and drinks reception to Meet the Artists’
  2. Free entry to exhibitions and lectures arranged by the Society and admit a limited number of guests
  3. Receive a quarterly Friends e‑newsletter*
  4. Opportunity to take part in studio visits of member artists
  5. Receive discounts on events, workshops and courses offered by the SWLA
  6. Friends will be entered into a ballot where a proportion of the subscriptions will be devoted to the purchase of a work from the annual exhibition. The successful Friend will be told the amount available (currently £250) and invited to select his or her work from the show.

SWLA Friends incur no liability for its management and will be admitted on the basis of an annual subscription of £25.

*SWLA Newsletter — The e‑newsletter covers a variety of topics relevant to the members of SWLA and the Friends. It includes reports from Bursary winners, articles on expeditions and interviews with member artists alongside such things as details on recently published books and forthcoming exhibitions of interest. Friends of SWLA are welcome to submit articles and notices for inclusion and may request back issues from the Secretary if these are still available.

For a limited time, new Friends will receive a free copy of The Natural Eye, Art Book One (overseas applicants will need to pay p&p) Interested? Fill out the application form and join the Friends today.