2014 has been a great year for me artistically. In May, I held my most commercially successful exhibition to date, with plenty of exciting commissions and opportunities flowing straight out of it. In July I exhibited with a new generation of freshly graduated art students at London Bridge’s Art Academy, and in September I exhibited my prints in a sensational show of printmaking talent amongst the works of the East London Printmakers at the Embassy Tea Gallery in London Bridge. But as far as 2014 goes, I have certainly left the best until last. For this October, one of my paintings will hang in an art gallery so prestigious, and so imbued with history, that it feels like a dream to see my work up on its walls.
I am of course talking about the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Britain’s oldest public art gallery, and home to some of the UK’s most illustrious artists and art collections, amongst them undisputed masters such as Gainborough, Watteau, Canaletto, Veronese and Reynolds. And for the next two and a half weeks, starting with a lavish opening gala last night, my very own artwork will be hanging amongst other works in a new Open Submission show a mere few metres from these incredible masterpieces of art history – a complete honour.
The painting selected for show was my simple landscape of Praiano, a glistening little town on the mountainous Amalfi Coast. Painted in gouache on paper in the immediate aftermath of my Amalfi Coast trip, the painting is one of currently 11 paintings comprising my “interpretations” collection, and is perhaps the most meditative and tranquil of them all. All framed up in a fancy oak frame, it looks splendid, and I have never been prouder of my artwork than last night, when I saw my little painting hung on these walls where only months before David Hockney’s world-class printworks had been admired by crowds of thousands.
And of course my painting is not alone. Hanging amongst some 170 others, it is but one in a collection of wonderful works submitted by the Friends of the Dulwich Picture Gallery and chosen for exhibition by a panel of illustrious judges. So don’t just go along to see my Praiano – make your way to Dulwich to see galleries full of creative gems – both those of new budding artists, and of art history’s greats.
The Dulwich Picture Gallery Friend’s Open Exhibition runs until 12 October 2014.