We are very sorry to report the death, at the age of 89, of John Powley on 29 April 2018.
During and after his long career as a surgeon, John pursued a parallel life as a successful painter, teaching courses at Phillips House and Dedham, and having work hung in the RS Summer Exhibition three times. He was elected to the Wapping Group in 2000.
John brought a quirky, amusing and highly individual character to the Group, and he will be much missed.
John Powley (right) in typical Wapping company with Trevor Chamberlain and John Shave after a day’s painting. Photo: Rick Holmes
Chris Burdett, who has been a particularly determined Candidate with the Group over the last two years, was unanimously elected to full Membership at the recent AGM. A very warm welcome to Chris. Last year’s new member, John Walsom, was elected to the committee as second Exhibitions Organiser, so Chris can probably already see the fate that awaits him.
If you have been struggling with the snowy weather this week and haven’t been able to get to the annual show, there’s now another chance. The Mall Galleries will be closed on Sunday 4th March but will open as usual on Monday 5th at 10am – the Wapping Group show will be partly re-hung with some fresh work (to replace that sold in the first week) and will then run through the week until Saturday 10th March, closing at 1pm.
Please note: the second week will not be manned by Wapping Group members and the sought-after artists’ greetings cards will not be on sale, but if you want to meet some of the members and buy some of the cards you still have until 4pm tomorrow, Saturday 3rd March. However you will be able to buy paintings during next week as usual via the Mall Gallery desk.
Join us for an Open Evening on Monday 26th February between 5.30 and 8pm. We’ve called it the ‘Wapping Challenge’. Though this will take place indoors, it’s actually the same thing we do all the time outdoors: some artists taking on the same subject in their own styles and using different media. And just like when we work outdoors, we’re doing it live, real-time, in front of spectators and passers-by, and it can all go horribly wrong! The brave up-front artists this time will be Roger Dellar, working in oils, Rick Holmes (pastels), and Geoff Hunt (watercolour).
If you can’t usually get here during the day, this evening opening is also an ideal opportunity to see the rest of the annual exhibition which goes on as usual around the Gallery. There will be a bar open. Admission free.
We warmly welcome Chris Daynes, Keith Morton and Robbie Murdoch as new Candidates to the Wapping Group, and we look forward to seeing them on many a rain-swept towpath for the 2018 painting season.
If you are interested in joining the Wapping Group as a Candidate or simply as a guest, go to the heading ‘Joining us’ .
SIDNEY CARDEW 1931 – 2017
We are very sad to have lost Sidney Cardew, who died on 26th July 2017 at the age of 86. Sid was big figure physically and in other ways too. We remember him for his down-to-earth, uncomplaining character and the great strength he showed in the many years of dedication to his disabled son Steve. And then there was the painting: you could always depend on Sid to produce good work, which he did throughout his life both for the Wapping Group and for the Royal Society of Marine Artists. He was famous in both groups for always selling at every exhibition, which gives some indication how much his many admirers and collectors appreciated his art.
Sid was born in the East End, later moving to Essex. After National Service in the RAF, he served as a senior design engineer with the Ford Motor company before becoming a full-time artist. He was elected a member of the Wapping Group in 1989 and the RSMA in 1998.
Photo by kind permission of Tania Weymouth
The 2017 AGM brought a number of changes to the Group as two of our longest-serving officers stepped down from their terms of service. After twenty-five years ( including fifteen as Social Secretary and five as Chairman) Robin Mackervoy concluded his five-year Presidency. We are delighted to have as our new President another very well-known figure on the wider art scene, Roger Dellar. In taking over, Roger paid warm tribute to Robin for his term as President, firmly based upon the Group’s traditions.
Further changes followed. Geoff Hunt took over from Alan Runagall as Chairman, and in turn thanked Alan for his five years as a very hard-working, dedicated and unflappable Chairman. Alan too had served as an officer for twenty-five years. John Killens was elected to the post of Secretary after seven years as Social Secretary, and that role now goes to Karl Terry.
Having formally established the category of Honorary Member, the meeting went on to award this distinction to John Powley.
We welcome a new full member, John Walsom. John trained as an architect, and later worked as a theatre designer, scenic artist, photographer, and illustrator. He works in oils and watercolour, and has shown with the ROI, the RBA, Chelsea Art Society, and at the RA Summer exhibition
Chris Burdett continues as a Candidate for the 2017 season.
Roger Dellar receiving the chain of office from Robin Mackervoy
New Wapping Group member John Walsom
The Group’s 71st exhibition opened on Sunday 12 March at the Mall Galleries, closing at 4pm on Saturday 18th. 138 framed works were shown by the members and candidates. As usual, many different places were visited by the membership last summer, so the subject matter was very varied depicting not only the River Thames, but subjects further afield such as Faversham and Maldon, as well as a few City of London scenes.
The exhibition was opened by our retiring President Robin Mackervoy who is standing down after 25 years’ service to the Group. Robin thanked Exhibition Organisers Derek Daniells and Rob Adams and their hanging committee, and also to John Deston and the Mall staff for their excellent work in getting the exhibition on the wall from a 10am start to all finished and labelled by 2pm.
The exhibition was very well attended throughout. At the final count 31 pictures were sold, together a number of unframed prints, cards, and some superb booklets of work by Trevor Chamberlain and Bert Wright.
There were two noteworthy events during the exhibition. The first, arranged at very short notice, was a live interview on London Live television at midday on the Private View, with Geoff Hunt answering questions about the Group and the exhibition. The second event was an all-day workshop on Wednesday 15th March conducted by Roger Deller on behalf of the Friends of the Mall Galleries. Roger took his eleven students to the Hungerford Bridge area for a ‘plein air’ painting session before returning to the gallery to look at the exhibition and discuss their work.
13th March – 17th March 10am – 5pm, Saturday 18th March 10am – 4pm
“Members of the Wapping Group have been painting “en plein air” in London and along the banks of the Thames since 1946.
During the summer once a week, come rain or shine, the group meets and paints at an agreed venue. From Windsor to Faversham,
from riverbank to city street each subject is seen and recorded through the member’s eyes. Each year they exhibit the year’s delights
and sights of riverbank, estuary and city. A unique exhibition of over a hundred works ranging from the expressive plein air sketch to the
more considered studio pieces. All works are for sale.”
‘Maldon Still Morning’ by John Killens