The Artist’s Life: Wayne Attwood, Vice President of the RBSA

Wayne Attwood left a successful career in advertising to dedicate more time to his art. The bold move came after time as Creative Director of a national advertising agency.

He left it all behind in 2004 to sail around the Atlantic and Mediterranean with his wife in their yacht Hitrapia, reigniting his passion for painting and discovering new sources of inspiration.

A protracted period in Malta led to lasting contacts: Wayne is represented by a gallery there, and his portfolio reflects the inspiration he found on his travels. During his time on the islands he participated in exhibitions for the Prime Minister and President of Malta.

Find contemporary paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, printmaking, textiles and more at the RBSA Gallery in Birmingham

St John’s St, Valletta

Back to Birmingham

Wayne returned to the UK in 2011 and has split his time between the Midlands and the Mediterranean ever since,  saying: 

‘I am constantly seeking to capture the light and the culture of the countries I experience through my travels. I’m also fascinated by the everyday environments we inhabit; how we all connect through a mutual experience of these shared spaces. It’s why I’m drawn to urban, social, and cultural subjects as motifs.’

The artistic process

Wayne creates a series of detailed topographical drawings and studies from direct observation before producing his studio paintings, referring to a variety of sources for each work.

His works featuring Birmingham reflect his love for the city of his birth, and he is never without a sketchbook.

‘Even if I’m out for a coffee,’ he says, ‘I end up having to draw someone.’

His paintings often reflects the broader social milieu. ‘Everyone has a story,’ he adds.

In 2012 Wayne was awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ at the Bath Prize, and election to the RBSA followed shortly after. He has progressed through the ranks to become Vice President in a relatively short space of time.

Between 2013-15 Wayne was artist-in-residence at the New Street Station and Grand Central redevelopment, after finding himself drawn to the building works and the progress for Birmingham they embodied.

John Lewis Steel Work

‘I was kicked off more than one station platform whilst trying to paint, so I approached the redevelopment team to see if we could come to a better arrangement, and the residency was born.

‘I was allowed access to the site, complete with hard hat and high-vis jacket and produced a series of works for the relaunch.’

The benefits of the RBSA

Wayne sees huge value in being part of a Society like the RBSA, because it brings him into contact with other artists.

‘Being a painter, by its nature, can be quite solitary, especially when spending long hours in the studio.

‘The RBSA has given me the opportunity to meet and discuss ideas or projects with other artists.

‘These interactions have helped move my practice forward; it is difficult to be creative in a bubble, and so I value the RBSA as a hub for contemporary visual arts.’


A major exhibition featuring the life and history of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is now on, featuring Wayne’s work.

Around the Jewellery Quarter offers a fascinating glimpse into the people, workplaces and historic locations of the district upon which much of the city’s industry was built.

Wayne is leading a sketching workshop at Winterbourne House and Garden, on November 2.

Find out more about details and booking.

#birmingham #culture #gallery #fineart #arts #exhibition

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