The Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) or The Society of British Arts as it was known back then was established in 1823 as an alternative to the Royal Academy. Queen Victoria granted the Society the Royal Charter in 1887.
The Society began with just 27 members made up of sculptors, printmakers, architects as well as painters and has grown to around 110 elected members.
The RBA is part of the Federation of British Artists which is based at the Mall Galleries in London.
We were delighted to be asked by the RBA to put together an exhibition of works by 6 selected members together with bronze sculpture by Neil Wood.
Malcolm Ashman was born in Bath, Somerset in 1957.
Malcolm is a painter working in oils and pencil, the landscape and the figure are the principal subjects.
‘The landscape paintings, no longer directly observed, are worked from brief drawings, memories and something deeper, maybe inherited memories I can't quite pin down. They are places I know well; this is an important part of the work, revisiting the familiar. At its core it's about solitude.’
Susan Bower mainly paints in oils and are based on ideas and experiences. Born in 1953 in Yorkshire, Susan has painted and drawn all her life and had her first exhibition in watercolour in 1987. Susan painted in watercolour before moving onto oils and from a traditional style to a more naive style of painting in which she found herself. She lives and works in Yorkshire with my husband and has four grown up children.
David Eustace was born in Birmingham in 1950
He observes the everyday world around him but presents it with an individual style and viewpoint. Subjects are sometimes dislocated from their surroundings or hover, lending an air of mystery. There is a three-dimensional dream-like quality to his art. Painting with acrylic on board David overlays this with a light oil glaze to enhance depth and colours.
Brian George is a trained painter and ceramicist and is an Honours graduate of the University of Loughborough and holds Masters degrees from the universities of Nottingham and Loughborough.
The inspiration for his paintings comes mostly from the East Anglian landscape.Suffolk Second World War coastal defences, and images of dereliction and the shapes created by decaying buildings are of particular interest to him and are the focus of much of his recent work.
The landscapes convey the mood of each particular place as well as giving an impression of the essential geographical and physical features of the area portrayed.
Martin Leman was born in London in 1934. Attended Worthing School of Art & The Central School of Arts & Crafts,London. After working in design and advertising as well as lecturing in Graphic Design at Hornsey College of Art, Martin began painting seriously in 1971 and exhibited at The Portal Gallery,London. Since that time he has shown paintings in galleries across the UK and beyond. His paintings of cats formed the basis of over 20 books and made him well known at home and abroad - especially the USA and Japan.
William Selby was born in 1933. He has painted in his spare time throughout a varied career that has included Coal Mining, National Service, Engineering and Insurance. He now paints professionally in oils, watercolour, acrylic and mixed media. His best known subjects include still life, musicians and dramatic and highly personal depictions of his native Yorkshire landscape.
Neil Wood has been a practicing professional sculptor and fine artist for three decades. He has many years experience teaching and lecturing in fine art and sculpture at institutions in the UK. He has worked in various settings; in education, as artist in residence and visiting lecturer, alongside his practice producing sculpture for exhibition and commissions.
He employs a Modernist methodology to explore the human condition in the 21st century. He continues to use the figure as a vehicle to explore formal material qualities and visual language as a means of expressing, often complex ideas, about the world we inhabit and the nature of human experience and relationships.