Artists as judges

Artists and Sunday Times Watercolour Competition judges, Sara Dudman and Lucy Willis, discuss the selection of the 2015 show.

Over 1,200 works were presented this year for consideration by the panel comprising Sara Dudman, artist; Desmond Shawe-Taylor LVO, Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures; Josh Spero, Editor, Spear’s Magazine; Art Critic, Tatler, and Author; Lucy Willis, artist; and Louis Wise, Critic and Writer, The Sunday Times.

Sara Dudman, comments: “The final exhibition aims to reflect the scope of what artists are doing with water-based media today, and each selected work has been chosen on individual merit as being an outstanding example in its field. In the most successful cases, the artists’ mastery and understanding of the potential of the media and technique completely resonated with their intent or subject, creating works which truly are greater than the sum of their parts.

As we worked through the selection stages, the decision became increasingly difficult. Decisions were debated, works were fought for, and at all times, the final choices were agreed against shared criteria, which essentially came down to the strength of the work as a whole. Had the artist used the unique and essential characteristics of water-based media to effectively convey their intentions at a very high level? The answer for all the selected entries is a clear ‘yes’.”

The judging panel have selected 90 works by 80 artists to be displayed at the Mall Galleries, London from 14 – 19th September 2015. The London exhibition will be followed by The Smith & Williamson Tour to venues across the UK, including Castle Fine Art, Birmingham (10 – 18th October 2015) and Guildford House Gallery, Guildford (14 November 2015 – 2 January 2016).

The Prizes, which are a First Prize of £10,000, Second Prize of £6,000, and the Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize of £1,500 will be announced in the Sunday Times during August, and awarded at a private ceremony during the exhibition at the Mall Galleries.

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