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Red Underwing Moth

Red Underwing Moth

3 local artists make the Royal Academy

When Helen Hunt went up to the Royal Academy for the traditional ‘Varnishing Day’, she was delighted to discover two more members of Hastings’ arts community had their work on show. HOT’s Erica Smith asked her to tell us more about her day at the RA!

“I was delighted to have both pictures that I entered into this exhibition short-listed and thrilled to have one of them hung in the Summer Exhibition 2013. My successful submission is a picture called Red Underwing Moth (Catocala nupta). It is a mixed-media drawing on a beautiful  hand-marbled antiquarian book cover dating back to the Victorian era. It encapsulates my love of the natural World as well as a delight in old and beautifully crafted objects. My picture is hung in The Lecture Room which was curated by Michael Rooney RA.

“The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, now in its 245th year, is the largest open-submission exhibition in the World and attracts almost 200,000 visitors each year. The exhibits are selected by a panel of celebrated artists, this year co-ordinated by Norman Ackroyd RA and Eva Jiricna. Out of almost 12,000 entries approximately 1200 are exhibited. About 100 of these are by entrants like myself who have never exhibited there previously. It is really exciting to think that my work is hung in such a prestigious gallery alongside that of high profile artists such as David Nash OBE, Grayson Perry RA and Richard Long CBE, artists whose work I admire.

“I was very excited to attend ‘Varnishing Day’ on Monday 3 June which was my first chance to see the exhibition. This was a special day organised for the exhibitors, whether they be Royal Academicians or artists of less calibre who have not exhibited there previously, as was the case for me. It started with a procession, led by a steel band, along Piccadilly to St James’s church for a special Service for Artists. Back at the Royal Academy of Arts we were greeted with a glass of Champagne and some delicious food before a speech by R.A. president, Christopher Le Brun followed by prizes which were awarded to outstanding exhibitors. The day was a real celebration of the artistic achievements of both acclaimed artists as well as ‘unknowns’ and a really memorable occasion that I was proud to be part of.”

On ‘Varnishing Day’, Helen was delighted to bump into two other Hastings-based artists: the painter Angie Braven and photographer Brian Rybolt. It is a credit to our town that we are so well represented at the Royal Academy this summer.

Varnishing day was followed by several days of Private Views before the exhibition opened to the public on 10 June. The Summer Exhibition is open daily and runs until 18 August.

You can see more of Helen’s work on her website.

Posted 14:34 Friday, Jun 14, 2013 In: Arts News

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