A year ago the Wapping Group was very busy with preparations for our usual annual show at the end of February, and with finalising the annual painting programme. We were having all the usual debate about places to go, pubs to list for the end of day, guests to invite, and all the rest of it. We were, in short, looking forward to another year’s painting, with nothing more serious to worry about than the weather forecasts. None of us could possibly have imagined what was about to happen.
We just about squeezed the 2020 exhibition in before coronavirus struck fully. Then it was lockdown, and we converted the annual painting programme into a virtual one, not going out but working from reference in the studio. Much later, in the summer as the situation eased, some of us ventured outdoors to paint for a few of the dates. But then things got worse again, and in November we took the decision to defer and then cancel altogether our plans for the 2021 annual show.
We are sorry to disappoint all our many followers, not to mention ourselves, but any prospect of a show in 2021 is still too much like wishful thinking. Meanwhile we hope, like everyone else, that vaccination will eventually liberate us, and on that basis we are planning our painting programme as usual for 2021. It gives us something to go on even if we may have to miss a few dates at the beginning, and we know we can always fall back on ‘virtual’ painting. Those of you who followed the virtual programme on Facebook through 2020 will know that each week brought fascinating work to look at, and we hope to keep posting this year, whether virtual or not – keep your eye on it!
In recent weeks the Wappers have started venturing out again. On August 12th some of us were at Cadogan Pier, Cheyne Walk – with thanks for their kind invitation to Simon Rutter and Albyns Ltd – looking for some shade on the hottest day of the year! Paintings can be seen on our Facebook page.
Geoff Hunt and John Killens at Cadogan Pier (photo courtesy Connie Habershon, Cadogan Pier)
At the 2020 AGM last week, the Wapping Group elected three new members – we are proud to welcome them on board. They send the following short biographical notes together with photos which they will probably come to regret! Very best wishes to all three, and we look forward to many years of painting together.
I studied at Watford College, then worked in the printing industry for a number of years, painting and sketching in any spare time available. After the industry moved into the computer age (which left me cold), I left ‘the print’ and have painted full time since. I work mainly in oil and watercolour, and enjoy all subjects, marine, landscape, architecture, still life, and even the odd portrait. I’ve exhibited with the RSMA and the RI.
Robbie trained as a Dental Surgeon at Guy’s Hospital and has been painting all his life. Since retirement in 2008 he has studied at the Heatherley School of Fine Art and now concentrates on painting both plein air and portraiture. He has frequently exhibited with the ROI and the RSMA.
An architect who has painted all his life, in particular watercolours where he finds the spontaneity of the medium well suited for painting outdoors. He lives in close proximity to the Thames at Kew, enjoys painting the river, and has won local and national awards for his work.
The Group’s 2020 painting programme started as usual on 22nd April. But in these days of the coronavirus we’re not setting up any easels on the riverside – instead, we’re working in the studio to make our paintings of each week’s location. You can follow us every week on Facebook or Instagram, beginning this week with a virtual visit – in the sunshine, of course – to Putney.
Evenings training, Putney by Roger Dellar
The annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries is now closed, but you can still enjoy the whole show online and arrange to buy from here – see the link on this page. A first for the Wapping Group!
If you can’t get along to the exhibition, you can now see the all the paintings in the 2020 show on our website and arrange to buy from there. And if you plan to visit in person, don’t forget that this year the show includes an extra day, Sunday 15th March (until 4pm).
Click here to view the exhibition
‘The Wapping Challenge 2020’ Art Evening Event
Join us for an Open Evening on Thursday 12th March between 6 to 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 John Killens (Watercolour/Pastel), John Walsom (oils), and Derek Daniels (Acrylic).
If you can’t usually get here during the day, this evening event is also an ideal opportunity to see the rest of the annual exhibition at the Gallery.
Please click on the link below to see a selection of paintings from our 2020 Annual Exhibition!
At the recent Annual General Meeting the Group elected Keith Morton to full membership. Keith trained at Hornsey College before following a career in advertising. He works in oils, acrylics and watercolour, painting portraits, still life and architectural or marine landscapes. He has shown with the ‘The Discerning Eye’, the ROI and the RP.
In other news from the AGM, Chris Burdett joins the committee. And our strong field of candidates this year comprises Chris Daynes, Andy Lee, Robbie Murdoch and Chris Robinson.
With gallery space unexpectedly available, the major part of the Wapping Group Annual Exhibition continues for another two weeks at the Mall Galleries (relocated to the Threadneedle Space) until Saturday 16th March. See www.mallgalleries.org.uk for opening times and details.
Roger Dellar presided over the opening of the 2019 exhibition last Sunday 24th February, singling Trevor Chamberlain out for special mention with the news that Trevor has just clocked up fifty years as a member of the Group. Roger then introduced our guest, the well-known art critic and author Anthony Lester, who recalled how he began his collecting career as a child, even then having a sharp eye for a good painting. He went on to say that he was very much looking forward to researching and writing the new Wapping Group book, on which work is due to begin this year.
Trevor Chamberlain, Roger Dellar and Anthony Lester at the 2019 exhibition Private View