Royal academy: from shrine to altar


Last year I was shortlisted for the RA Summer Exhibition with "Bedroom Shrine for the Virgin of the Rocks" which will be exhibited at the Riviera Art Fair in The Spanish Barn Torre Abbey Torquay 3rd Feb - 25th Feb 2018. It was also displayed in my "Chapel "' in 2017 Devon Open Studios at my home in Brixham.

This chapel, named The Chapel of St Catherine and Virgin of the Passion began as a virtual concept to display my works under the theme "Art of the School"

I will be taking part in 2018 with additions to the Chapel.

In November 2017 I began a large painting titled "Is your all on the altar" This derives from a traditional hymn with lyrics by Elisha A. Hoffman: Scripture: Romans 12:1 and this is the painting I had decided to submit to the RA Summer Exhibition.

By serendipity I discovered Grayson Perry is curating the exhibition this year. Although he is not part of the selection committee, it is hopefully an omen that a ceramic artist is involved. My painting symbolises a high altar with Milton Head pottery representing the altar pieces, as sacred relics. I have charcoal still life sketches by my father of household items that have been another influence.

It measures 100cm x 70cm, one of the largest canvas I've attempted and making me a bit panicky about the February deadline for submission of digital images. This is an acrylic painting and does not involve collage. However the symbolism is stitched together in my head and translated into a painting, which in itself symbolises the traditional religious art found in churches.

March will bring the results of the first round of judging, reducing the selection from 12,000 down to 4,000. Those are seen in the flesh by the selection committee. Bedroom Shrine made that journey but no further. Maybe my altar will top my shrine this year...

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