The 69th Annual Exhibition of paintings by the Wapping Group, which closed last Saturday, has been very successful indeed. The Private View on Sunday February 15th was extremely busy and at the end of just that first afternoon 21 paintings had been sold. In each of the six days that followed there were between 200 and 300 visitors to the North Gallery, and the show finished with the sale of 39 paintings and 3 original prints (by John Bryce). The group have been exhibiting at the Mall Galleries since 2005 and have always sold a good number of paintings but this is a record.
There were plenty of very positive comments, from our long-standing supporters and also from first-time visitors to the show: the exhibition was ‘fantastic as always’, ‘wonderfully diverse’, and ‘brimming with personality’. The paintings were ‘inspiring’, and showed ‘the Thames in all its glory’; newcomers were very impressed: ‘this is the first time I have visited, and will certainly come again!’
The fine selection of around a thousand greetings cards that were on offer were also eagerly snapped up, and virtually sold out.
All in all, a wonderful response to a show that the group members and fellow painters felt had reached a new standard for its range of subject matter and for the artistic skill shown in watercolour, oils and pastels.
If you missed the show this time please add your name to the mailing list for future exhibitions.
Some early visitors to the Private View, which was shortly afterwards very busy indeed.
Under the heading ‘Des peintres anglais dans la ville’, the presence of the Wapping Group and friends aroused plenty of interest in the beautiful French town of Amboise. The ‘Nouvelle République’ for June 18th explained that ‘ils ont traversé la Manche pour peindre Amboise’ and that the Wapping Group is ‘une des plus anciennes sociétés de peintres de plein air d’Angleterre’, and advised local people to ‘ouvrir l’oeil’. This is certainly what happened; locals kept their eyes peeled and showed plenty of interest in the work that the group produced. The photo, taken by Rob Adams, illustrates this well.
There are now another fifty paintings by the Wapping Group on this website. There are some paintings by new member, Rob Adams, another round of Gallery images has been added, and the Features section covers the letter B in the Alphabet of WGA painting venues by contrasting Brentford and Battlesbridge. We hope that you enjoy looking at our paintings
On April 16th, after a year as a candidate, Rob Adams was elected a full member of the Wapping Group of Artists. We wish him a long and enjoyable life as a Wapper. In the traditional supper that opens the painting programme WGA President Robin Mackervoy presented Rob with the coveted tie.
Below are some images from the opening of the 68th Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London.
Following a welcoming address by Robin Mackervoy the Exhibition was formally opened by John Deston, Gallery and Events Manager, who has been involved in putting on every Wapping Group show held at the Mall Galleries.
‘London and its River’ is open from 24th February to 1st March 2014, 10am to 5pm daily and 10am to 4pm on Saturday 1st March.
Wappers hard at work; a pause in the action
The February 2014 issue of Artists & Illustrators magazine contains a short article which examines the background and objectives of the group and features four Wappers (Edman O’Aivazian, Derek Daniells, Karl Terry and John Killens), who explain which sections of the Thames they find most inspiring.
A few months ago the Wapping Group broke new ground when a team of French journalists interviewed and photographed some of them on location at Gillingham and Lower Halstow for the October-November issue (no. 112) of the magazine Pratique des Arts.
The title of the article is ‘En virée [on location] avec le Wapping group’. Readers with reasonable French can enjoy an in-depth exploration of the planning, setting up and execution of ‘plein-air’ (and sometimes ‘pleine-pluie’ ) painting. The article is both informative and fully illustrated.
The new Wapping Group website is taking shape and will feature a wide range of new information, past group history and a new news area to keep you up to date with current activities within the group as well as images of various painting days and exhibitions. We hope that you like our new website and find it both interesting and informative. We welcome feedback so if you have any comments or suggestions relating to the website get in touch via the Contact page. Don’t forget to sign up to our emailing list’.
Ken Howard OBE RA opens the recent Wapping Group exhibition held at the Chris Beetles gallery in September.
The Private View was very well attended and, in his short speech to open the show, Ken Howard stressed the importance of plein-air painting which is fundamental both to him and to the ethos of the Wapping Group.
The show was well received and sales of pictures were healthy. Below is a photo of Ken Howard with members of the Wapping Group outside the gallery.
Here is the text of a short self-explanatory speech given by the Secretary, Steven Alexander, at the convivial Whitebait supper held in the Cutty Sark pub in Greenwich:
‘I should like to begin by quoting from the 2006 Wapping Group book: “The Wapping Group also has an Honorary Membership category but in almost every case this has been awarded to full painting members who for one reason or another were unable to continue painting. The single exception to this was Ernest King, a staunch friend and supporter of the Group, who was never a painting member”.
Now, when I first learnt of the Wapping Group archives, I’ll admit that I was intrigued; when I discovered that they were at the time stored in cardboard boxes in someone’s loft (Roger Dellar’s loft, I think), the thought did cross my mind: they were safe enough, but might be at risk from damp or worse in the longer term. They were also, I learnt, in disarray having been plundered for display purposes and hurriedly returned. So the conundrum was how to safeguard this invaluable heritage as effectively as possible.
In stepped Martyn, who has lovingly photographed every image and document, and who continues to update and improve the archives with undiminished enthusiasm. If the worst were to occur now every member of the group has a disk on which the elements of our heritage are recorded for posterity. I reckon it is likely that nobody alive knows more about the Wapping Group, and that few people in recent times have done such spectacular service to the group. In sixty six years the Group has had only one non-painting honorary member, so this is a very rare occurrence, but (I suggest) in Martyn’s case, a worthy instance. Therefore I should like to ask our President Robin Mackervoy to present Martyn with a Wapping Group tie in recognition of his considerable support of the Group and as a sign of his election to Honorary Membership of the Group’.
The Wapping Group was featured in ‘The Artist’ magazine in October 2012, the article can be viewed online by clicking the image below.
Days in the Life of the Wapping Group of Artists