The human form: portraiture at the Open All Media exhibition

You’ll find plenty of fascinating insights into what keeps bringing artists back to the human form at our current Open All Media exhibition.

The show features work by artists from across the UK, many of whom have exhibited at national and international level… and many of the paintings, sculptures and ceramics are for sale!

We asked our exhibitors what inspired the art on display, and had a fantastic response. In the last in our series on the Open, you can read all about some of the portraiture and sculptures on show.

Why not come to the RBSA Gallery soon, and see what you could discover… we recommend viewing in person before making a purchase, but you can preview works online at our Flickr page.

And if you are an artist keen to exhibit with us, why not enter our Prize Exhibition? Deadline Wednesday 28 March.

Althorpe Charcoal Stuart Gregory £350 HIGHLY COMMENDED

Stuart Gregory Althorpe (1)

Into the Blue Egg Tempera Beverley Healy £1,000 HIGHLY COMMENDED

Into the Blue Beverley Healey

I have enjoyed painting faces ever since I could hold a brush. I studied in Coventry and Birmingham, and have won national and international awards for my portraiture. I now live in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I regularly work in egg tempera on gesso board, as it allows for a great softness of colour and sensitivity to detail.

My portraiture forms an intimate study of a sitter, drawing viewers into a moment. I hope others can also revel in the dance of colours and light on the face and feel a connection with the image.

Floating Up Teresa Chlapowski Sand cast glass, copper on limestone £550

Teresa Chlapowski Floating Up sand cast glass

I have used sand casting for this piece, a most alchemic of glass techniques; watching the hot, honey-like glass pour into the sand mould is mesmerising. Between the layers, copper carbonate powder has been sieved, which, once covered with a second layer of glass, creates the aquamarine bubbles and gives it depth. Sand remains fused to some areas at the back, reminding us of its provenance. The figures are cut out of copper sheets.  The piece gives the illusion of water with the solid bodies floating up into the light, to breathe and to be free to dream.

Scotsman Steps Wood Engraving Fred Jones £120 (unframed £100)

Scotsman Steps Fred Jones

I work in mezzotint and wood engraving, media in which there is an emphasis on the dark, but in which a strong contrast between dark and light is also possible. With wood engraving especially, there can be a sort of sparkle about the mid-tones which are made of striations of pure black and pure white. When I made it, the ‘Scotsman Steps’ also made me think of Kipling’s ink drawing of the Cat that Walked by Himself; when I looked the similarity had evaporated, but now that I am no longer looking it seems to be again present.

The Archer’s Assistant Oil Glenn Ibbitson £390

Glenn Ibbitson, The Archer's Assistant

“The Archer’s Assistant” was painted from life as a preparatory study for a larger painting in the “Smoke and Mirrors” project. This is an ongoing series of paintings using circus performers and acrobats. The figure here was used later to hold up a target for her partner in an archery-based act. A limited palette of four colours [plus white] was applied directly onto a ply panel which I find a very sympathetic base colour for figure painting.

Angel After Bouguereau Terracotta, Acrylic patina Chris Baker ARBSA £1,750

Angel After Bouguereau Chris Baker

Relaxing Papier Mache David Love £175


Following the success of their sponsorship in 2017, we are delighted that Fresh: Art Fair is supporting the show again this year. Don’t miss the RBSA coach trip to the Fresh: Art Fair.

Making a purchase

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

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

Our Own Art scheme makes the process affordable through an interest free loan: artwork valued at over £100 can be paid for in ten instalments.

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

Remember, artists can enter our Prize Exhibition until 28 March…

#birmingham #portraiture #humansinart #arts #figurativepainting #exhibition

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