Prize Exhibition launch: how artists interpret the everyday…

Our Prize Exhibition  is now open! On until 23 June, it features work across a range of media saying much about contemporary life in the UK.

We asked artists to tell us what draws them to certain subjects. Cities and modern life seem to be a particular source of fascination and we’ll be featuring a series of articles on themes emerging from the exhibition.

Enjoy a sneak preview at ART BLOG, and make sure you visit the exhibition soon to see the full range on show. Many works are for sale, and our staff will be happy to help you with any enquiries.

Lindsey Lavender, Accessway

Lindsey Lavender, ‘Accessway’

Lindsey Lavender, 'Shortcut'

Lindsey Lavender, ‘Shortcut’

Lindsey is drawn to structural elements, points of transition or thresholds.  She is interested in the transformative effect of light on essential elements upon which we tend not to focus.

The pieces selected for the RBSA Prize Exhibition 2018 are typical of Lindsey’s current practice, focusing the viewer’s attention on the interplay of light with the structure and often treating other elements of the composition in a more abstract way.

Rob Leckey ARBSA, 'Sunrise on Platform 4'

Rob Leckey ARBSA, ‘Sunrise on Platform 4’

Shrewsbury artist Rob Leckey is known for his unconventional approach to painting… instead of paintbrushes he uses rollers, blocks of wood, and old credit cards to create his works.

‘Realism is way down the list of my intentions. By the very nature of how I apply the collage, paint and inks, I can never predict the outcome.’

His approach to mixed media is proving popular. He’s sold more than 70 works across the UK, shows at the Soden Gallery alongside Damien Hurst and David Hockney, and was recently elected to the RBSA.

Like many artists my inspiration comes from the subject matter. Experimenting with colour, media and techniques is very rewarding.

Rob says he dabbled at painting when he worked as a headteacher, and on retirement was able to devote more time and carve out his unique style. Previously only working in watercolour, Rob now primarily focuses on acrylic paint and ink, collage and mixed media.

John Maule Ffinch 'They've All Gone Home'

John Maule-ffinch ‘They’ve All Gone Home’

John Maule-ffinch has been painting since 2013 and is inspired by Joseph Zbukvic and latterly Chien Chung-Wei, who both developed individual loose styles.

He is essentially self-taught, taking up watercolour painting after retirement. A city-boy at heart, he is most comfortable working on urban scenes.

The ambition is to say more with less and always looser!

Malcolm Barton, 'Winter Fair, Princes Street Edinburgh'

Malcolm Barton, ‘Winter Fair, Princes Street Edinburgh’

Malcolm Barton responds to the world around him. Triggers include the shadow patterns in an urban landscape, the reflected highlight on a portrait subject’s face, the subtle colours of autumnal moorland and the delicate tones and curves of a life model.

The desire to capture and communicate these visual encounters has currently led me to adopt a representational approach. However, I am also aware that the marks made when I am translating what I see carry their own intrinsic visual aesthetic quality. I strive to achieve an optimal effect by consciously balancing the expression of the subject with the quality of the surface that I am creating.

Malcolm is currently working in acrylics, oils and pastels.

Andrew Maczkowski, Sorrow'

Alex Maczkowski, Sorrow’

Alex Maczkowski studied at Stourbridge College of Art and Design, then Chelsea School of Art.

‘When I started to work with landscapes, I naturally decided to focus on urban scenes. That paradoxical sense of disconnection and isolation whilst in the midst of a bustling city was something that I found particularly appealing.

‘I decided to work with tools more associated with graphic design – gouache and ink said ‘urban’ more so than oil on canvas. That youthful exuberance associated with graphic novels and comic strips seemed more appropriate. In fact, I was looking just as much at graphic novelist Chris Ware’s work as I was Edward Hopper…’

Maczkowski employs a realist technique to produce evocative, atmospheric works displaying great compositional skill and an almost poetic, storytelling quality much in keeping with his influences.

Visit the Prize Exhibition Soon

These works are on show as part of the Prize Exhibition which runs until 23 June. The RBSA stages the show every year, providing an opportunity for some of the most sought-after artists to show their artwork alongside emerging new talent.

With a top prize of £1,000 competition is fierce! Artworks range across jewellery, ceramics, textiles, drawing, painting, and printmaking.

Did you know that many of the artworks on display at our Gallery are for sale?

Although the RBSA has museum status and a Permanent Collection, we also stage annual exhibitions of contemporary fine art featuring paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, crafts and much more…

Here’s what some recent art collectors told us:

‘I saw the work online and loved it! It’s great to have something based on the city and I thought the sense of light in it was fantastic. I just knew it would be perfect for me.’

‘I know the artist’s work and saw this piece on your Flickr album. I fell in love with it, came to see it, loved it even more in the flesh, and simply had to have it!’

Buy Art

We recommend viewing in person before making a purchase, but you can view many current exhibitions online, with prices, at our Flickr page. 

We take a deposit or full payment at the gallery, and you can arrange to collect your work once the exhibition is over.

If you can’t make it to an exhibition, call us on 0121 236 4353 or email

Did you know…

You can also talk to the gallery about commissioning art. You may like the style of an artist, but have your own ideas.

Why not visit the RBSA   soon and enjoy some inspirational art?

Featured image: Lindsey Lavender, ‘Accessway’ (detail)

#artexhibition #artforsale #Birminghamartgallery #ContemporaryBritishart

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