The Notebook

'Imagination will take you everywhere'

The National Students’ Art Exhibition

Every year the Mall Galleries plays host to a unique exhibition showcasing the best of student art. The exhibition – held under the patronage of the Royal Society of British Artists – celebrates gifted and talented students in schools and collages across the U.K. Last year I entered my A.S Level Art exam final painting of a flamenco dancer on the streets of Barcelona, unfortunately it didn’t get accepted for the actual exhibition, but I did get a ‘highly commended’ certificate, which I was still thrilled with. But 2013 is my year. This year (the 11th time the exhibition has taken place) I entered one of my French landscape paintings; it’s bright, colourful, rather abstract and inspired by the great Fauves. It was accepted.

So it was with unprecedented excitement that I made my way to London for the exhibition opening on a scorching hot day in July. Trafalgar Square was abuzz with swarms of tourists – as per usual - when my sister and I popped into The National Gallery to take a peek at Michael Landy’s latest bout of destruction. His exhibition, Saints Alive, was quite spectacular if a little disturbing – but what conceptual art isn’t a little disturbing? More on his kinetic saint sculptures in a later post. We left the gallery with noises of machinery clanging and banging still ringing in our ears as we descended on the Mall.

The Mall Galleries were already throbbing with students and their families. I was blown away by the high standard of the work on display – some looked as if they had been created by professional full-time artists. There was a wide variety of mediums used; photography, oils, acrylic, pencil, pen, ink, collages, clay, the list was endless. Ages of the young artists ranged from students as young as 14 to as old as 18.

It took me a while to find my painting as I was so amazed by the other work, but I eventually found it in the room furthest from the entrance. It seemed rather child-like compared to the masterpieces that it was placed beside; the colours a little too bright, the shapes a little too simplistic, the detail not detailed enough. But still I felt a wave of pride sweep over me - it had been chosen and that was all that mattered.

I left the gallery feeling proud – not only because my painting hung in the Mall Galleries, but because I was so impressed with the creativity of Britain’s young generation; long let it live.

Opening Times:

The Exhibition lasts from 9th – 13th July 2013. 10am – 5pm Tuesday to Friday, 10am – 1pm Saturday. Free Admission.

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My painting entitled ‘Alpine Memory’

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Here is just a taster of the student’s artwork which is on display in The 11th National Students’ Art Exhibition:

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4 comments on “The National Students’ Art Exhibition

  1. Tanya McGovern
    July 10, 2013

    Love the warm colours in your painting. Did you use acrylics?

    • Jessie Williams
      July 10, 2013

      Thank you! Yes I used acrylics and then used an acrylic gloss over the top.

      • Tanya McGovern
        July 10, 2013

        Lovely. Impressionist work always has a kind of dreamy feel.

      • Jessie Williams
        July 10, 2013

        yes I love the loose, undefined style of the Impressionists – particularly Renoir.

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