Open Exhibition: preview highlights from the RBSA Open Exhibition!

The Open All Media is one of the RBSA’s most popular annual exhibitions and attracts entries from across the UK.  It displays a brilliant variety of artworks including jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, drawings, paintings and prints.

It’s also a great chance to pick up creative gifts or pieces for your own collection, with most of the artworks for sale and competitively priced.

ALFIE HANCOX previews some highlights from the exhibition, which will run from 14 March — 13 April.

Natalia Nosova

The Devil I Know Oil, £3,100


This striking oil painting by Natalia Nosova combines elements of realism and symbolism. The viewer is immediately drawn to the unusual composition, and bold colour. The combined use of flat and sculptural forms, reminiscent of Gustav Klimt’s work, is particularly intriguing.

Nosova is a Russian-born figurative painter, photographer and print-maker. She has exhibited internationally.

Emma Safe

Haydn Festival in Rehearsal ‘The Creation’, Charcoal, £1650


Emma Safe’s lively drawing depicts a festival rehearsal inside St Leonard’s Church, Bridgnorth. Safe employs free use of linework to achieve a fantastic energy and movement not often seen with the charcoal medium.

Safe describes the process behind the Haydn Festival in Rehearsal series on her website:

‘Standing in-situ to draw, I absorb the rhythm of place and respond to situations physically.  In these works I compose scenes, but I am constantly trying to move beyond the static frame, seeking only a rhythm for the drawing, but also a meaning beyond appearances, something essentially human beyond – or rather through – the personal and the particular.’

Glenn Ibbitson

Consignment Series: Batch 27 Unit 8, Watercolour, £520


Glenn Ibbitson’s Batch 27 Unit 8 is part of an interesting series tackling themes of alienation and objectification. The series depicts partially-lit figures hemmed in a frame, positioned so as to display the vulnerability of the human subject. The faces are obscured, giving a sense of anonymity. The cold tones used in the flesh also serve to heighten the sense of claustrophobia.

Ibbitson has explained elsewhere: ‘The Consignment series developed from an initial theme of escapology into a meditation on social environment. A figure physically enclosed within the confines of a frame suggests both cell & refuge of hiding place. Here it’s employed as a visual metaphor for the individual as an object.

‘An already anonymous figure is reduced to a mere human commodity… a painting becomes a “unit” and any units of a particular size become a “batch”. The whole total of units produced becomes the “Consignment”.’

Robert Perry RBSA

1.20pm, 7 August 2012, Moel y Blythcwm, Gouache, £540


In my interview with Rob Perry for the blog last year I gained some insights into his fascinating work method, which includes the use of a mobile van-studio to be able to paint in all kinds of weather and terrain.

Rob achieves highly complex textures using a unique impressionistic technique that is the result of years of on-site painting. The title of this painting reflects his direct approach, as he explained it to me:

‘I see my paintings above all as a record of the landscape over several hours. In this way I work almost like a long exposure camera.’

Don’t miss a free event during the exhibition: artist Terry Lord ARBSA demonstrates how he paints cityscapes and landscapes – 13 April, 11am-1pm and 2-4pm. No booking required!

Alfie Hancox, RBSA Blog Volunteer

Keep reading ART BLOG for more coverage of the Open, including Alfie’s own thoughts on being selected! Not only is he a great writer, he’s a great artist, too…

I will not be the victim


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Images © the artist or the artist’s estate unless stated otherwise.