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Ray Balkwill: Social Evening
Sunday December 9, 2012
On the evening of Monday 12th November more than sixty Academicians and partners, friends and associates attended a highly enjoyable 'Social Evening'. This was held in the elegant Cavendish Room of the Rougemont Hotel in Queen Street, Exeter. Guests wined and dined to live music by Cornish band 'Gwelhellin Goth' led admirably by fellow Academician Jonathon Coudrille. Jonathon is a multi-instrumentalist who plays trumpet, balalaika, banjo, guitar and keyboards. Is there no end to this man's talent? A big thank you to Jonathon and his band for such an entertaining and consummate performance.

Guests were also honoured to have Alan Jones, a member of the Magic Circle and Obie O' Brien, Former President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians present. Both magicians went round the tables showing guests an astounding display of tricks. Thank you Alan and Obie for this wonderful addition. The whole evening was a truly memorable experience for all present. In fact I was pinching myself at one point during the evening because I thought I was dreaming!

Finally thanks to our hosts the Rougemont Hotel and special thanks must go to Alan and Sonia Fynn and Penny Keen who made the whole incredible 'experience' possible.

Ray Balkwill


Jonathon Coudrille and Gwelhellin Goth


Barbara Rochester: Obituary
Monday December 3, 2012
Barbara Rochester SWAc

If the nineteen year old Barbara Anczykowski hadn't met Ralph Rochester in Muenster in the far-off 1960s all of her remarkable creative energy might have been confined to Germany.

Happily for all of us she married Ralph and so came to Lympstone in Devon to raise a family - and fast became the dressmaker of choice to the local cognoscenti.

This love of tissues and fabrics, patterns and designs flowed through all her work and eventually into her paintings. Barbara had sketched portraits of her school-mates in Muenster but only graduated to real oil painting with her portraits of family and neighbours in her new Lympstone life.

There are still many locals in the village who proudly have portraits in their home to show off Barbara's earlier work. The transition to fully fledged artist started with work, which, by her own description, was "domestic". Her purpose was always in the first place to beautify the family home. She was always busy painting cupboards, working on ceramics or fabrics in the many examples which now decorate her home. These new works, shown locally, brought Barbara's work to a wider audience with successful sales and a wait-list for portraits.

Her early exhibits in the South West Academy expanded her subject matter to include a wide range of works that had a particular style which proved very popular.

These were her modern versions of ancient tapestries and her still-lifes that played with perspective in an almost Matissean style, while her love of colours and fabrics played with backgrounds that might - or might not be - a tablecloth or a wallpaper.

Barbara was elected an Academician of the South West Academy in 2006 and all of her many friends at the Academy shall sorely miss her colour and her cheerful contributions to the work of the Academy.

Obituary by Jed Falby SWAc

Barbara Rochester's Academicians page.


2012 Open Exhibition: News Flash
Saturday October 20, 2012
Winners of the Lionel Aggett Memorial Prize Award announced at the Private View of the Academy's thirteenth annual Open Show this Thursday, 18th October:

Alan Bourne's Landslip was selected by the Academy as the winner of this year's Lionel Aggett Memorial Prize.

Second Prize went to Woman Reading by Steven Bramble.

Third prize was awarded to Charles Turner's pair of photographic studies of Teignmouth Pier and Shaldon Bridge.


Highly commended work:

Jan Phethean's Tree Shadow.

Malbosc Sunset by Laura Hudson.

Blue Dash by Jess Davies.

View 8 Monoprint by Veryan Stephenson.

The Last Supper by Kelvin Harvey.

Second Flowering by Meg Mcarthy.

Morning at Sandworks by Kenson Low.

The Gloss Gallery prize was won by Ruth Bowyer for Green Patterned Cup and Saucer

A full review of the Show with images may be found on the Exhibition pages of this website. This not to be missed show is at the Gloss Gallery until the 10th November.

Full details and map of how to find the Gallery may also be found on the Exhibition pages.


Drecki Lecture: A Painter's Journey to Everest
Tuesday October 9, 2012
Alan Cotton: A Painter's Journey to Everest
Royal Albert Memorial Museum
20th November 2012. Reception at 6pm (for a 6.30 start)

This year Alan Cotton will be giving the annual Drecki Lecture for the South West Academy in Partnership with the Friends of the RAMM, which is also open to the general public.

The talk is entitled A Painter's Journey to Everest. Using illustrations and film clips, Alan will be telling stories about people and places he has encountered on his travels, culminating with his two trips to Tibet last year with the explorer David Hempleman-Adams. This will include many images of Alan's recent paintings of Everest. The ticket prices are £5 and these can be booked from the RAMM Booking Office which opens for this event on 9th October. The number to ring for tickets after this date is 01392 265858.

There will be canapes and drinks served from 6pm and the lecture starts at 6.30pm.




Open Exhibition 2012
Monday July 30, 2012
The Trustees are delighted to announce that the 2012 Open Show (the thirteenth Open to be staged) will be held over a full three weeks at the prestigious Gloss Gallery, just a few steps from the Princesshay Shopping Centre in central Exeter, from Friday 19th October to Saturday 10th November (excluding Sundays).

The beautiful period galleries have provided a fine backdrop to the annual Academicians Show, just finished and reviewed on these pages, and we are all now looking forward to staging the Open this year in partnership with the highly professional management of this gallery that is rapidly establishing a great reputation in the City. The Open provides a uniquely inclusive opportunity for all practitioners across a wide range of forms and genres to see their work in the finest surroundings and in excellent company. If you are inspired to join us we will warmly welcome your entries and each work will be very carefully considered.

The conditions of entry and entry forms can be downloaded here.


Mary Fedden OBE RA PPRWA SWAc
Monday July 30, 2012
Mary Fedden OBE RA PPRWA SWAc

Mary Fedden, who has died aged 96, was an Honorary Academician of the South West Academy and from the early days supported the Academy. She enhanced many of our exhibitions and events with her paintings.

Although becoming an artist with a worldwide reputation and moving to London, she never lost touch with her roots in the West Country, especially Bristol and also the Royal West of England Academy. Since her death, her life and career have been extensively covered in the press.

Visitors to this site may also wish to read the fine illustrated obituary in the Guardian at guardian.co.uk.



Derek Barrett: Obituary
Thursday July 12, 2012
Derek Barrett Dip.AD MSCD MSTD SWAc
Born 1932, died May 2012



Derek was born in East London well within the sound of Bow Bells and like many others of his generation, his education was disrupted by the second world war. Shortly before his fourteenth birthday his father found a job for him in a commercial art studio and from that time on, all of his subsequent art education and qualifications were received through study at evening school. This was after work for four nights a week. He completed his National Service by working as a ward orderly in a Hospital in Romford, Essex.

His career has been diverse, spanning both industry and academia. During the 1960s, he became a Creative Group Head at W. S. Crawfords, at that time one of the leading advertising agencies in the country and one that had an enviable reputation for the quality of the work they produced. It was whilst working at Crawfords that he began further studies that would give him the qualifications he needed to enter the teaching profession. He continued in industry, working variously as Art Director and Creative Director, until at the age of thirty, he made a career change to the academic world and began a lifelong commitment to art education.

In the late 1960s he became Head of Visual Communication at Coventry College of Art, a post that he held for some years, until eventually moving on to become Course Director of a new integrated art and design course at Cardiff College of Art. This latter course made a valuable, innovative contribution to art education in Wales. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1997.

Throughout his career in teaching he was painting and retirement gave him the opportunity to concentrate on this, together with writing and lecturing. He has exhibited in London, New York, Dresden, Munich, Coventry, Birmingham, Cardiff, Swansea, Bath, Bristol and Exeter. His work can be found in a number of private collections. The major influence on his painting was the English Romantics and he was particularly inspired by the painting of Samuel Palmer. The foundation of his work was the natural world which he said "motivates him to build visual bridges, between his own response to this world and those who view his work."

Derek was very happy teaching and always delighted whenever one of his graphic design students showed an interest in painting and subsequently exhibited their own work. He strongly believed in the importance of drawing and the skills that he believed to be the basis of all creative work. He was also a very sociable person and was very entertaining company when relaxing with a group of fellow artists!

Six years ago he suffered a stroke but recovered well and continued painting and exhibiting. In 2011 he produced a series of paper collages depicting "Christ of the Cross" which were exhibited at Truro Cathedral. That same year he was delighted when one of his granddaughters gained a 1st class degree at Cardiff in the department in which he had worked and he was able to attend her degree show.

Obituary by Jim Lester


Alan Cotton: Drecki Lecture, November 20th
Friday June 15, 2012
The Annual Drecki Lecture, Given by Alan Cotton
Tuesday 20th November at 6.30pm
Royal Albert Memorial Museum (Tickets £5)

The South West Academy, in conjunction with The Friends of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, is pleased to present the Academy's Annual Drecki Lecture. Alan Cotton will give an evening's entertainment of stories about people and places he has encountered on his travels, culminating with his two trips to Tibet last year, with the explorer David Hempleman-Adams. With illustrations of his work and clips from films, he shows how his paintings are produced.

The Art Historian, Jenny Pery writes:

"Excited by the malleability of oil paint, liberally applied by knife, his paintings exude luscious physicality. Unashamedly romantic in his approach, he travels extensively to find terrains that excite him, but returns often to his emotional centre in Devon. Wherever he chooses to paint, Cotton's work celebrates the splendour of the natural world".

The talk will be in one of the new galleries where refreshments will be served. Booking for the Drecki Lecture will be through the Museum and the event will be advertised in the RAMM Brochure. Tickets are £5.

Zbigniew Drecki
Zbigniew Drecki was a Jewish survivor of both Auschwitz and Buchenwald, who married an English nurse and settled in Exmouth. He was a painter and a great supporter of the South West Academy at a time, in the early days, when its very survival was in the balance. This supprt helped the Academy to become the successful organisation it is today. In gratitude for his generous legacy, the Trustees decided that an annual lecture should be established in his memory.


Alan Cotton Draws at Base Camp


Jelly: Exhibition of Paintings
Monday, May 28 2012
Exhibition of Paintings by Jelly, Hon. Swac.
Until 29th June 2012
Exhibition of recent paintings at the offices of Charlesworth Nicholl & Co, Solicitors - 31 High Street, Crediton. View Google Map.

The exhibition will be open during office hours Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm. If you are travelling any distance please ring first to make sure all rooms will be accessible as the conference room is sometimes used for meetings (01363 774706).





Peter Mallison: 2012 Open Exhibition
Monday, May 21 2012
The SWAc Open Exhibition 2012 will be held for three weeks at the Gloss Gallery, Exeter from the 19th October to 10th November.

Full entry details for Academicians will follow later.

Call for Entries (the details for public submissions) to be advertised.


Alan Cotton: Exhibitions and Talks
Tuesday, March 6 2012
Exhibition and Talk at the Lewis Elton Gallery
University of Surrey
Monday 16th April 2012

An exhibition of paintings from Provence, Piemonte, Venice, Ireland and Hartland in North Devon, in association with Messum's Fine Art, will open in the Lewis Elton Gallery at the University of Surrey on Monday 16th April. Alan Cotton will attend the opening Preview at 5.30pm and the evening includes a talk about his work and stories of people and places from his travels, including his recent Everest expedition. The lecture will take place at 6.30pm in the Griffiths Lecture Theatre. For more information visit the University of Surrey Website.

To book for the lecture contact the Box Office on 01483 686876 or by email: arts@surrey.ac.uk


Talk at Tremough Campus Festival
University of Exeter
Sunday 20th May 2012

A talk by Alan Cotton called "A Painter's Journey to Everest", will take place on Sunday 20th May at 3.30pm and will form part of the Daphne du Maurier Festival held in Fowey in May 2012. The talk will reveal not only the artist's physical journey and experiences in the Himalayas, but will explore his journey through a few earlier paintings and encounters, which led to the opportunity to fulfil a long held dream to travel to Tibet and to paint the world's highest Mountain. In May 2011 and again in October, he was Expedition Artist to Everest with the explorer David Hempleman-Adams.

For more information go to dumaurierfestival.co.uk To book tickets contact the Box Office on 01726 879500.


Exhibition: Messum's Fine Art
8 Cork Street, London
12th - 29th September 2012

Alan will be exhibiting paintings from his travels up Everest as Expedition Artist. Wednesday 12th September - 29th September 2012. www.messums.com.


Ray Balkwill: EGM
Monday, March 5 2012
Under the chairmanship of Alan Fynn, a well-attended EGM was held on the 18th November 2011 in the Cavendish Room of the Rougemont Hotel in Exeter. Immediately following this was a highly successful Social Evening, which was attended by over fifty Academicians and partners, friends and associates. Guests wined and dined to the music of a live band led admirably by fellow Academician Richard Thorn.

The elegant Cavendish Room boasts a magnificent collection of large William Widgery landscapes that provided a fitting backdrop to a memorable evening. Special thanks must go to Alan and Sonia Fynn and Penny Keen for organising the event, our hosts the Rougemont Hotel and Michael Beach SWAc, who very kindly donated an original painting for first prize in the Raffle, won by Michael Carter SWAc.


Ann Jones: News
Monday, February 20 2012
The Royal Albert Museum in Exeter has opened again after several years of refurbishment. The transformation is amazing with the complete reorganisation of the gallery space, better lighting and the rearrangement of many of the old and familiar museum exhibits. Search for the giraffe!

The many hands on activities available for young and old alike, and the museum's fresh and appealing new look, are already attracting many new visitors. Its avowed aim is to be a centre of excellence for art in the South West of England.

The special exhibitions which were launching to coincide with the opening are well worth visiting. French and British painting from impressionism to the early 1920s, two superb Canalettos, easily viewed at eye level from Artists and Travellers on the Grand Tour, paintings sourced from many galleries and collections. Plus some wonderful early British photographs from the Royal Collection - I particularly liked the black and white portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879). - The Museum now has Sunday opening, which should attract many family groups - plus an excellent cafe.

We have just returned from a few days in London. We had booked tickets for the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy. This innovative and prolific artist has made good use of modern technology, cameras, iphone, ipad etc., to find new ways of looking afresh at his much loved Yorkshire landscapes.. The result is a prolific outpouring of work showing the seasonal changes through the use of vibrant colours, interesting brush strokes, and interesting compositions. The well planned and cleverly displayed work was backed up by some superb tonal drawings, sketch books, film and photographs. The result is a truly amazing quantity of work all undertaken in the last 2-3 years. Alan commented in a loud voice "when did this man sleep?" There was nodding agreement all around.

The exhibition runs until 9th April 2012. Booking is advisable.

There is a different style of exhibition in the Albemarle Gallery (near the RA) by artist Adrian Wiszniewski. This runs until 25 February. Adrian Wiszneewski is one of the figurative artists who emerged from the Glasgow School of Art in the mid 1980s. Poetic paintings light up the gallery with their colours. His paintings are reminiscent of the stained glass windows which up until recently, he had been involved in designing.

We glimpsed through the large gallery window of Christie's auction house at the late Elizabeth Taylor's collection of paintings, many from the French Impressionists. The following day they were auctioned. With prices starting at £700,000 - we decided to give this one a miss!

The opening of an exhibition entitled The Body Clothed in Art at the Chelsea Arts Club, attracted work from 150 club members including one from myself. All great fun and with a range of imaginative styles. The work will be auctioned at the club on Wednesday 22nd Proceeds for a charity for under privileged children and for the club. There were entries from Peter Blake, Rolf Harris, and Ken Howard and bids have already reached over £13,000. Non members can bid on-line at any time at the Chelsea Arts Club Website. The day we left London the Lucien Freud Portraits Exhibition opened at the National Portrait Gallery. It is on until May 27th. A friend who managed to see it on the opening day described it as "quite amazing". Freud's portrait paintings span 70 years and include one unfinished work which he was working on just before he died last year.

Wishing you all a happy, successful and artistic 2012.

Ann Jones (Ann. L. Roe SWAc)


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