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
Join us for an Open Evening on Monday 25th 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 Paul Banning, working in watercolour, John Shave (oils), and Karl Terry (oils).
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. Admission free.
25th February – 1st March 10am – 5pm, Saturday 2nd 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.”
On Thursday 6th December members of the Group attended the funeral of Ronald Maddox, who died on the 14th November. Ronald will be remembered as a long-serving President of the RI and for his many years of committee work for the FBA and the AGBI, but less well known is the fact that he was a member of the Wapping Group for over fifty years, having been elected in 1966. Ronald had a very recognisable style, a delicate, almost miniaturist sense of line and watercolour work, and will be much missed.
Thames contrast (Wapping Group annual exhibitiion, 2014)
This is the time of year when we look back over the year’s work and think about what’s going in to next year’s annual exhibition (open to the public 25th February 2019).
2018 was a very interesting painting season during which we got to some locations unusual even for the Wapping Group – Harwich, Margate, Trinity Buoy Wharf, HQS Wellington (courtesy of the Worshipful Company of Master Mariners) and Cadogan Pier (courtesy of Cadogan Pier Limited
John Wilson of Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’ programme spent Wednesday 5th September painting with us by the riverside at Walton on Thames as part of their Inspire series. He didn’t do badly at all – the painting on the easel is ‘all his own work’, with quite a lot of input from some of us! The whole process was sound-recorded ready for editing, and the programme goes out at 7.15pm on Thursday 6th September.
John Wilson with ‘all his own work’
There was a strong turn-out on 18th July when the Wapping Group were the guests of the Worshipful Company of Master Mariners aboard their flagship, HQS Wellington, by kind permission of Glyn Evans. Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable day – even the weather was kind – and after a glass of wine at lunchtime it proved possible to persuade everyone to line up for this photo on the focs’l.
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.