If We Could Own One Piece of Art...

Illustration

We asked staff which artwork they would most like to own from the 165 Annual Open Exhibition. Here's what they said...

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Your name and job title  Alison Bevan, Director

If you could own one piece of art from the RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition, what would it be?  No.106, Janette Kerr, PPRWA Suspended, oil on canvas, £14000

Why do you like it?  I've loved Janette Kerr's work ever since I first saw it. Perhaps it's because we share a love of being wind-blown and sea-spray drenched, and her work brilliantly captures that sense of being battered by the elements, evoking in me the same feeling of awe and exhilaration I'd get from being there with her, safe in the knowledge that I'll be heading home to a cosy fire and a warming drink.  I've become slightly obsessed with Janette's paintings since taking one to Penny Brohn UK for participants in a "living well with cancer" retreat to use in a meditative exercise. Spending 30 minutes just staring at one of her paintings was a truly wonderful experience: her work really rewards time spent looking, so I know that living with one every day would be very enriching.  

Where in your home would you put it?  I'd hang this in my sitting room, above the sofa, partly because it's the only suitable piece of wall, and also because it'd resonate with the view from there out over the Severn.

 

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Your name and job title  Jacqueline Pucher, Assistant Administrator

If you could own one piece of art from the RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition, what would it be?  No.33, Joel Nicholas, Losing Isaac, oil and chalk spray, £1900

Why do you like it?  I am drawn to the size, colour and format  in the first instance – the brightness, the great block of colour, interrupted by what, at first glance, seems like a snail’s random trail left behind on a steamed up window pane. Combined with its title this painting stirs my imagination and becomes a powerful, yet rich and warm story of loss. Its seemingly simple execution offers depth and bitter-sweet comfort. I imagine Isaac as the distorted shadow of a figure depicted in black, laden down by his history, a heavy, back bending weight on his shoulders, supported by a crooked walking stick. His last leg of life a meandering, pale line – possibly a reflection of his mind’s state – forever walking away from the onlooker, his family and friends, towards an inevitable and lonely place

Where in your home would you put it?  Above our bookcases in our living room

 

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Your name and job title  Thea Bailey, Gallery Volunteer

If you could own one piece of art from the RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition, what would it be?  No.68, Kurt Jackson RWA, Autumn Badger Set, mixed media on paper, £8000

Why do you like it?  He manages to capture the diversity of colours and intricate forms within nature, without clichés, and adds a depth that allows you to look afresh each time.  Here one sees the undergrowth and the light filtering through the superbly captured trees and branches and then the badger!  There is a depth and lightness combined. 

I think I finally decided upon this work as I had just spent time with a lot of his work down in St Just, Cornwall at his Kurt Jackson Foundation, a gloriously new Gallery set in the heart of the landscapes he knows and loves so well.  Thus his works are at the forefront of my mind’s eye just at the moment.

Where would you hang it?  I would hang it in a place which would allow me to look at it often, and from a distance, perhaps the end of a corridor with good light.

 

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Your name and job title  Sarah Hickie, Visitor Experience Manager

If you could own one piece of art from the RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition, what would it be?  No.228, Hilary Paynter, Hilltop Village, wood engraving collage, £4000

Why do you like it?  I like it because it reminds me of where I grew up. My childhood home was in a small village surrounded by woodland. I love all the trees and animals dotted about.

Where would you hang it?  I would hang it in my bedroom.

 

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Your name and job title  Emily Browne, Digital Marketing Manager

If you could own one piece of art from the RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition, what would it be?  No.561, Tim Shaw RA RWA (Hon), Raven 1, bronze, £7500

Why do you like it?  The sculpture perfectly captures the intelligence and curiosity of the raven. I love the choice of material, the colour and the texture - it makes me want to run my hand along its back. I also like that this sculpture is life size, adding an element of realism.

Where would you place it?  I would like it somewhere slightly elevated, so as to surprise visitors when they notice the raven gazing down on them!

 

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Your name and job title  Hannah Farthing, Gallery Volunteer

If you could own one piece of art from the RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition, what would it be?  No.330. Michael Porter RWA, Vanitas Series 25-03-17, oil and acrylic on paper, £18000

Why do you like it?  I enjoy the complexity of this work in terms of both technique and subject matter, and of how these two interrelate. This quality in the work allows me to engage with it from many different viewpoints. I can focus on the painted surface in all its materiality, then on the exquisite realism of its figurative details, and finally on its reference to art history (e.g. the trees in the background appear copied from the work of a 18th century master). I enjoy the irony of how the work continuously pulls me to look at it in one way then another, without allowing my eye to settle on one approach. 

Where would you hang it?  In my ideal house, it would be in a large entrance hall. Somewhere people could stop and look at it, yet not feel it overpowering the room.