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Academicians Exhibition 2014
Monday March 24
Academicians Exhibition 2014
including the launch of the new book
The South West Academy: Art, People, Place.
Tuesday 27th to Friday 30th May 10-6pm

We are pleased to announce that the 2014 Academicians Exhibition will take place in the Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter, in their Cathedral Room, overlooking the cathedral green.

The work of the Academy's remarkable members is brought together in annual event which is now a firmly established part of our region's cultural calendar. This year's show will feature a first look at the Academy's new publication The South West Academy: Art, People, Place.

Please click here for a map.

Tribute to Michael Morgan
Sunday February 9
Michael Morgan RI SWAc
A Tribute

We were all sad to hear of the death of one of our founding members, Michael Morgan. The funeral will take place on Thursday 13th February at 1pm. It will be at the new East Devon Crematorium, (not the Exeter one). Directions are given on their website.

Below is a tribute to Michael written by Alan Cotton:

I first met Michael at an exhibition of his paintings at the Gordon Hepworth Gallery in Newton St Cyres. We talked much about his work and met shortly afterwards for a meal – the first of many. Gradually we became friends and this friendship developed when we came together as founding members of the South West Academy. As one might imagine, in setting up such an organisation, with far-reaching ambitions, there was much to do. Apart from his work as an artist, Michael had so many talents. When formulating the rules, and applying for Charity Status for our Academy, his knowledge of organisations and procedures was awesome. Yes, he was a pedant and his attention to detail was extreme, but alongside this, his impish sense of humour illuminated all our conversations. This humour surfaced on many occasions. At a crowded Private View, when looking at the work of a well established artist, he would say mischievously, "Rather a good painting that. Had you thought of taking it up professionally?" This was said with such a twinkle in his eye that I’m sure no one was ever offended. I know I wasn’t when he said it to me... many times.

Michael had a distinguished career as a painter, after a very successful life in education, culminating as Principal of the Froebel Institute at Roehampton and as a founding Trustee of the American University in London. As an artist, Michael was largely self taught, but writes that he was inspired by the artist John Blockley and the art historian, Ernst Gombrich. He developed a very individual approach to watercolour painting and was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, which meant a great deal to him. Talking about his paintings Michael said

"I like to think that the images I paint tell their own story for the viewer to unravel. Like Gustav Klimt, I believe that anyone who wants to find out about me – as an artist, which is all that is of interest, should look attentively at my paintings."

In the late 1990’s Michael met Mike and Rosemary Lambert, who were just about to open a new gallery, The Marine House at Beer. They exhibited his paintings and formed a close working relationship with him and a firm friendship with Michael and his wife Jill. He had a long series of successful exhibitions there, establishing a large following of purchasers and friends. The gallery continues to sell his paintings, prints, and books about his life and work. The most recent, both published by Halsgrove, were “The Paintings of Michael Morgan RI (2004) and “80 @ 80 - The Paintings of Michael Morgan” (2008).

Mike and Rosemary write, "Hearing of his death ends 17 years of close friendship which developed between Michael, his wife Jill, and us. There are many good times to reflect on: his bemusement on first meeting in 1997 and being invited to exhibit at the shortly to be opened Marine House at Beer gallery in out of the way Beer; convivial lunches in a little Japanese restaurant in Dorset; enlisting his expert guidance in selecting the John Blockley prize at the RI; enjoying sharing his pride in his wonderful garden; his frequent visits to the gallery so pleasurable for all the staff; the exciting process of selecting and evaluating new paintings for his solo shows; his introduction of new artists to the gallery. These are just a few of the host of pleasurable events and time spent with Michael and Jill which will always remain in our memory."

I can echo what Mike and Rosemary Lambert say about his generosity towards other artists, including myself. He rejoiced as I do in the success of others and gave unstintingly of his time and energy to arts organisations. He was President of the Honiton Art Society, Patron of the Doddiscombsleigh Art Show and a stalwart of our Academy. Throughout our friendship together, we have enjoyed so many happy times, infused with humour and purpose. I will always have a huge affection for him, value the time we spent together and I, with his many friends and colleagues, will miss him greatly.

Works by Lar Cann Acquired by Sheffield University
Friday November 29
One of the leading universities of the Russell Group, the University of Sheffield, has recently procured three paintings from academician Lar Cann to add to its Heritage Collections. These works have been taken into an already extensive collection of paintings, sculpture, glassware and ceramics, amongst a much wider collection of artefact of scientific and scholarly significance amassed over the past one hundred or more years.

The University of Sheffield Heritage Collections comprise paintings, sculpture, ceramics, decorative textiles, maps, medals, memorabilia, scientific instruments and silver as well as some specimen collections such as the Alfred Denny Zoology Museum and the Turner Museum of Glass.

Photograph © Dr Lynne Fox

The two museum collections were created by university academics for specific learning purposes. Students in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences still use Alfred Denny's specimens of species from all over the world, collected from the 1900s onwards, in their studies and the location of WES Turner's superb collection of artistic glass objects in an area used as a cafe and meeting space in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering fulfils his wish that those employed in the technical research of engineering materials should be surrounded by the potential of their medium for beauty and creativity. Both museums are open to the public.

Photograph © Dr Lynne Fox

The other objects are the result of donations, gifts and purchases over the years since the creation of the university in 1905. Almost all the paintings, textiles and sculpture in the collections are on display throughout the university campus to foster a pleasurable and creative environment in which students and staff can work. The university also supports and encourages artistic creativity though purchases, commissions and exhibitions.

Dr Lynne Fox, University Heritage Officer, University of Sheffield

Further information about the collections can be found here:



Alan Cotton - Studio Exhibition
Wednesday October 30
Alan Cotton - Studio Exhibition
Open for Four Days:
Saturday 30th November to Tuesday 3rd December
10am to 5pm Daily

Opening by Judi Spiers at 11am on Saturday

This will be the first Westcountry exhibition of Alan's paintings of Everest following his expedition to Tibet and Mount Everest, as expedition artist, with the explorer David Hempleman-Adams. After his exhibition of Everest paintings at Messum's Fine Art in London in September 2012, Alan continues the theme with new paintings of the world's highest mountain, for this Studio Exhibition in Colaton Raleigh.

There will also be paintings from Hartland, Venice, Provence, Piemonte and the West Coast of Ireland.

Hidden In Plain Sight/Lar Cann
Wednesday October 30
Hidden In Plain Sight: British Abstraction from the Collection
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
26 October 2013 - 11 January 2014
Admission Free

Currently showing in the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and running until 11th January 2014 is an exhibition highlighting key painting and sculpture from the gallery's permanent collection, many of which have not been displayed for a number of years.

Curated by Adam Milford, Learning Officer responsible for Site Interpretation, it includes work from several of the leading artists of the St Ives School such as Patrick Heron, Bryan Wynter, Alexander Mackenzie and John Wells. Barbara Hepworth is represented with a number of pieces on loan from her estate. Strength in depth comes with sculpture from Devonians Margaret Lovell, of the Royal West of England Society, Peter Tysoe and Peter Thursby.

Prominent in the show is Devon-born Justin Knowles, who has work held by both the Tate and Arts Council, amongst several other public collections, and the 1991 Turner Prize nominee Ian Davenport.

South West Academician Lar Cann is pleased to see his work White - Brown Advancing - White of 1967, has been included with this illustrious company. "It was my first sale of note after leaving art school, and marked an important start to my career."

Alex Cummings was curator at the City Art Gallery during the 60s and 70s and fostered close ties with the Penwith Society, St Ives; he is to be credited for acquiring this important aspect of the collection.

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery Website

Photograph © reproduced by kind permission of PCMAG.

South West Academy Open Exhibition
Monday October 21
South West Academy Open Exhibition 2013

Lionel Aggett Memorial Award
Prize Winners
First prize - Phillip Booth, Coded Erratic
Second Prize - Eilean Eland, Ice Age Matron 2
Third Prize - Gregory Mason, Overhead

Gallery Prize
Brian Brusselle, Dartmoor Towards Black Head

Highly Commended
Meg McCarthy, Scattered
Jess Davies, Sky View Farm
Brian Brusselle, Dartmoor Towards Peter Tavy
Charles Turner, Blue Boat At Topsham, Storm Clouds Over Powderham
John Sellings, Ursula Drawing on the Wall
Liz Cleves, House On The Hill - Budleigh Salterton
Jane Leitch, Vicarage Hill
Jim Dean, Into The Distance
David Lawrence, Old Time Circus
Anna Grayson Clark, An Allegory Of Modern Marriage

Young Artists Award 2013
The South West Academy's annual Open Show was much enhanced this year by the prize giving for the Young Artists Award, alongside the traditional ceremony for the winners of the Lionel Aggett Memorial Award.

After being extensively trailed last year it is with great pleasure that we have restored the young artists' section to the yearly calendar of The South West Academy. The Academy is now concentrating upon the age range of 16 - 19, the age when young artists are at the end of their art education in schools and preparing to enter University or College of Art and Design to study art full-time.

We received well over one hundred entries to The Young Artists Award this year from Independent, Academy and Local Authority Secondary Schools and Colleges.

The work included ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, digital media, photography and painting. The Selection Committee identified ten Highly Commended pieces of work from this wide range. All ten can be found on the Young Artists Page.

This year the first prize went to Kingsbridge Community College, second prize to Stover School and third to Coombeshead Academy. These works are on full display at the Open Exhibition.

We were pleased that all the schools were able to attend at Gloss Gallery where the individual schools and artists were awarded cheques up to the value of £150 or £100 respectively. This year's winning young artist has informed us that she plans to use the award to fund new photographic equipment for her forthcoming University Art degree course. We are very pleased to be able to contribute, in a small way, to a future career in the Arts.

Restored as an annual event the Academy is planning for the the Young Artists Award again in 2014, with a desire to include even more schools and colleges across the South West, so do look out for further information on the website.

Art for Life Auction
Tuesday September 24, 2013
Art for Life Auction
Childrens' Hospice South West Academy Event

More than forty academicians of the South West Academy donated work to raise money for the children's Hospice South West. A total of £20,510 was raised.

The photo below was taken outside the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter. Left to right: Peter Mallison SWAc, Emma Perry (CHSS), Eddie Farwell (Co-founder and Chief Executive, CHSS), Alan Cotton, (SWAc; Patron: Art for Life) and Alison Summerfield (Sponsorship Organizer for the Auction)

Drecki Lecture 2013
Saturday September 21, 2013
an illustrated talk by the award winning author and artist
19th October 2013 6.15 for 7.00pm

Book now for the Drecki Lecture 2013 and listen to the fascinating True Art Stories as told by award winning artist and author Laurence Anholt. This illustrated talk will take place in the exciting surroundings of the Exeter auctioneers Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood. Items for a forthcoming auction of antiquities will be on display. Come and join us at 7.00pm for a glass of wine and a canapé.

Tickets are £8 (to include refreshments) and are available from Penny Keen at 07784 434791 or email: admin@southwestacademy.org.uk. Early booking advisable. Limited parking available. Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood Auctioneers, St. Edmund's Court, Okehampton Street, Exeter EX14 1DU.

SWAc 2013 Open Exhibition
Monday July 16, 2013

The Academy's major annual Open Exhibition will run from October 5th to November 2nd, 2013 at Gloss Gallery.

SWAc 2013 Open Exhibition
Wednesday July 17, 2013
2013 South West Academy Open Show:

The Academy's major annual Open Exhibition will run from October 5th to November 2nd, 2013. Artists wishing to submit work for consideration should download and read all the following documents:

Call For Entries

Conditions of Entry

Form A (entry by email)

Form B (postal entry)

Alan Cotton: Art for Life Auction
Wednesday July 17, 2013
Art For Life Auction
Auction of Artworks to support the Children's Hospice

The event that was staged at the Royal Clarence on Saturday 11th May 2013, was a tremendous success and as a result we were able to raise a large sum for Children's Hospice. Thank to those academicians and others who donated a piece of art work to the auction, where every single item was sold. The room was full to capacity, many people standing at the back with a great atmosphere as the auction (conducted by Robin Barlow) got under way. We are still jubilant about the whole event, and we will be able to donate a very substantial cheque to this great cause.

Painting by Ken Howard RA hon SWAc

Phil Creek: Young Artists Exhibition and Awards
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Young Artists Exhibition and Awards

During the summer term 2013 the Academy is running a new art event for artists aged from 16-19.

We are asking young artists from years 11-13 in both schools and colleges in the South West to submit their work in art and design to the Academy for an exhibition in October 2013. The ten young artists, who show particular promise in art and design, including painting, printmaking, ceramics or sculpture will have their work placed on a dedicated page for Young Artists on the SWAc website from September 2013.

From this group of ten the Academy will award three top prizes of art materials to the value of £100, £50 and £25. A scrutiny panel of SWAc Academicians will select the top three Young Artists and one piece of work, from each of the young people, will be exhibited at The Gloss Gallery, Exeter as part of the Annual SWAc Open Exhibition.

Interested students should email a maximum of three images (in jpeg format) of up to a maximum of three un-aided works of art to swacyoungartists@gmail.com by the closing date: 30th June 2013.

The ten selected, most promising young artists, will be informed by July 31st 2013. The top three awards will be announced in September and the awards will be presented at The SWAc Open Exhibition on 4th October 2013 at The Gloss Gallery, Exeter.

Annual Academicians' Exhibition
Friday May 10, 2013
2013 Academicians Exhibition
18 May - 8th June 2013
Wed-Thurs: 9.30-5:30
Fri-Sat: 9:30-6:00
Gloss Gallery, Exeter. Click here for map.

The work of the Academicians gathered together in the prestigious galleries of Gloss Art for the annual show that has achieved recognition as a major event in the South West Region's art calendar. View and purchase work in all media including entries from the newly elected Academicians for 2013.

Exhibition: The Lens and the Easel
Thursday March 21, 2013
The Lens and the Easel
Portraits of the Artists of the South West Academy by Michael Carter
17th - 26 April 2013
The Gallery at the Ariel Center. Click here for map
Monday-Friday 9:30am to 4:00pm
Saturday 9:30am to 12:00pm

Although traditionally centred around Exeter, the South West Academy's current active domain covers a large amount of map and a wider range of talent. Its membership is distributed over four of England's South West counties, and with Honorary members in London and the South East it has the widest spread of artist Academicians outside Bristol's Royal West Academy and London's R.A.

So when SWAc photographer Michael Carter outlined a project to make classic black-and-white photographic portraits of all members in or around their studios, he knew it would take both time and miles. His exhibition The Lens and the Easel is his complete collection of SWAc faces - thirty-six distinctive and original artists working in all media scrutinized by the lens.

A personal textual record of each of his visits is also presented alongside the portraits, giving his impressions of the artists and some observations and insights into their work. But The Lens and the Easel offers more than words and faces: the artists have paired their portraits with their own selected artworks, so visitors will now be able to see both the art and artist in one glance, and also the place where the art was made.

'Artists are normally only known by their work,' says Michael Carter. 'But in this show at the Ariel Centre Gallery the visitors get both. They'll see the face in the studio, and they'll also see next to it an artwork that has been created in the studio where the face has lurked. Under one roof they'll have the whole of the South West Academy. So I think people will find there's something satisfyingly complete about this exhibition.'

Charlie O'Sullivan in her Studio

Art For Life Auction
Monday January 21, 2013
Art For Life Auction
To raise money for Children's Hospice South West
Royal Clarence Hotel, Saturday 11th May 2013, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Auctioneer: Robin Barlow DL FRICS ASFAV

A substantial number of paintings by South West Academicians have already been donated for auction to raise money for the Children's Hospice in North Devon. Alan Cotton has recently formed a committee of Academicians and willing helpers to organize the event. Donated paintings plus a selected number of paintings by invited guest artists will be auctioned in the upper rooms of the Royal Clarence Hotel in Cathedral Close, Exeter on May 11th.

All the paintings will be reproduced together with a short biography in a full colour catalogue and sent out via a number of mailing lists. Speedprint acting as one of the sponsors will print the catalogue and all paintings need to be photographed by the end of February together with the 100 word biographies. Thirty-five members have already generously donated art works to raise funds for the continuing work of the hospice and other members of the Academy who are interesting in donating a painting can contact Alan by email: alancotton1@btinternet.com or by phone on: 01395 568601.

Each painting will be displayed on the Art for Life Events Website well before the auction and information about the auction will be included in the Children's Hospice South West Newsletter. There will be further publicity across the media including radio Devon. Sponsors are currently being contacted and anyone interested in sponsorship can contact Alan or Alison Summerfield on 07770 941062 or at alisonsummerfield@hotmail.co.uk.

The first Children's Hospice to be set up in the South West for the care of children with limited life expectancy was Little Bridge House Nr Barnstaple. In addition to caring for the children the hospice also provides accommodation for parents and siblings to enable the whole family to be together for precious periods of time. Now, thanks to continued fund raising, there are two more Children's Hospices in the Westcountry; Charlton Farm Nr. Bristol and Little Harbour, St Austell, Cornwall, all doing tremendous work with no government funding.

Alan Cotton Patron: Art for Life

Martin Dutton: Exhibition
Thursday January 17, 2013
Parallel Themes: Exhibition of Paintings
Mezzanine Gallery: 28th January - 15th April 2013

The exhibition brings together four inter-related themes that Martin has been working on in recent years: Intuitive abstraction, in-situ landscape painting, Dartmoor and landscape.

The exhibition runs from 28th January to 15th April at the Mezzanine Gallery, Theatre Royal, Plymouth. There will be a Launch Party on Tuesday February 12. Martin will be talking about his work from 5:30 to 6:30pm followed by drinks. Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew will open at the Theatre Royal on the same night.

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.

Monday July 30, 2012

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)

Peter Mallison: The Academicians Exhibition 2012
Wednesday, December 14 2011
The Academicians Exhibition 2012 will be shown at the Gloss Gallery, Exeter, from 14th April - 4th May. The full entry details will be emailed to individual Academicians later.

Ray Balkwill: Christmas Exhibition
Wednesday, October 5 2011
Ray Balkwill's Annual Christmas Exhibition in his Studio Gallery is this year entitled Under Western Skies and features new paintings from his recent travels in Southwest Ireland and Cornwall, as well as scenes of the Exe Estuary for which he is perhaps best known. His dialogue with skies and water still dominate his work and it is a subject that continually inspires him.

The exhibition also features ceramics by Andy Morley. Inspiration for his ceramics is derived from the Devon and Cornish landscapes. More recently the rough and rugged seascapes of the Southwest of Ireland have been a considerable influence. His 2011 ceramics seek to combine the story telling tradition of the Iveragh Peninsula with the rocky southwest coast of Ireland.

Recent Paintings from Co. Kerry to Cornwall
by Ray Balkwill, SWAc.
Ceramics by Andy Morley.
Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December. 10am - 5pm.
Exhibition then runs throughout December but by appointment only.
For invitation to the Preview please contact:
Ray Balkwill, Studio Gallery, Thistledown, Marley Road, Exmouth, EX8 4PP
Telephone: 01395 270278


Cill Rialaig Oratory II, Ceramic by Andy Morley
Ann Jones: Introduction and Welcome!
Saturday, August 6 2011
The Private View of our Academicians' Exhibition was held in June 2011 at the excellent Gloss Gallery in Barnfield Crescent in Exeter. The exhibition attracted many favourable comments and sales from the visiting art enthusiasts.

Our thanks to Francesca Dawson of the Gallery and our own Peter Mallison for their skill and hard work in putting this exhibition together.

A corner of the 2011 SWAc Academicians' Show

Our thanks to all those SWAc members who have submitted news for inclusion in this website. Keep this information coming in and include dates of your own exhibitions and any further snippets of art information that you think might be of interest to our members. We are indebted to Tom Fynn for this new and exciting website. It is a thoroughly professional job and mirrors the standards of excellence that the Academy strives to attain. Thank you Tom from us all.

Although we will no longer be running the Young Artists'/Schools' Exhibitions (we did have eight hugely successful years), there are plans afoot to involve the younger generation of artists in the future. Watch this space!

Alan Fynn has been managing our finances with his own deft and magical touch, with the aim of placing the Academy on a sound and lasting financial footing. The future looks promising. Our thanks to Alan and Sonia Fynn for this stalwart and positive effort and of course to our excellent administrator Penny Keen for all of the hard 'behind the scenes' work.
Peter Mallison: Help needed with set up/hanging
Exeter Castle, Open Exhibition

Saturday, August 6 2011
Volunteers required for the set up/hanging on Tuesday 11th October. The handing in of work starts at 9am but we aim to begin hanging at around 11am and hopefully finish late afternoon. Volunteers also required for the take down/hand back on Friday 21st October starting at 9am and finish by 1pm.

Please contact me if you will be able to assist:
Ann Jones: Help needed with stewarding!
Tuesday, August 2 2011
We need your offers of help with the stewarding of the Open Exhibition at the Castle Exeter from Thursday 13th October to Thursday 20th October 2011.

There will be two sessions per day, morning 10am to 1pm and afternoon 1pm to 5pm. We need at least two people per session.

Please email or telephone me as soon as possible with your dates and times. Many hands make light work! Your support is invaluable.

Ann Jones (Ann L Roe) 01297 552422
Annie Field: Exhibitions
Tuesday, August 2 2011
Annie Field will be exhibiting paintings and sculpture at the Quartz exhibition in Taunton in early October, the Doddiscombsleigh Art Show from the 27th-30th October, and then the Cricket Fine Art Gallery (2 Park Walk, London SW10 0AD), which will represent some of her sculptures, is having a mixed show in November.
Alan Cotton: Alan's trek to Everest wrecked by Chinese Police
Tuesday, August 2 2011
Invited by explorer David Hempleman-Adams to travel as expedition artist to Everest Advanced Base Camp, Alan Cotton and his son Robin, who accompanied him, had been in training for over six months. All the gear had been purchased, the vaccinations completed and on the 27th April 2011 they flew off to Kathmandu. Alan takes up the story...

This was to be a long standing ambition for me to paint in high mountains. Robin and I both felt very fit and ready to face anything the tour might throw at us. After several days acclimatising in Kathmandu we flew on to Lhasa, the home of the Dali Llamas and then on up to Shigatse and Shigar, stopping to acclimatise to the altitude at each stage. Finally we reached Thringi our last stop before travelling to the Rongbuk Monastery ready for our trek to Base Camp. On our way through to Tibet we had been warned about the dangers of altitude sickness, the need to avoid any uncooked food and drink only sealed bottled water, but we had had no problems whatsoever and were both feeling really good. What we could never have anticipated however is what would happen in the next twenty four hours.

Everest! (picture not taken by Alan Cotton...)

On the morning of Thursday 5th May we did a trek to 15,000ft with no problems and that night went to bed very excited at the thought of travelling on to Rongbuk Monastery at 17,000ft, from where we would trek to the first Expedition Base Camp. We were both fast asleep when at around 1am we were awoken by a hammering on the door. We opened it to find nine police officers, who came aggressively into our room. They emptied all our bags, and searched every item - even flicking through packets of tissues and examining the seams of garments. They took our cameras and looked at every image. All this time they were videoing us and taking still photos. We tried to ask why they were doing this, but were not allowed to ask questions. Next door was an American lady who was more confrontational, she was pushed around, had her laptop scrutinised and ended up in tears. They finally left, but we had little sleep that night.

Next morning we were told that the road to the monastery was closed as there had been an avalanche during the night. This we knew to be untrue because a vehicle had travelled down from the monastery that morning. It wasn't until later that day we discovered that a group of Americans had staged a protest at Rongbuk, with flags and banners, to mark 60 years of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. This had brought about a massive influx of both the military and police and it is certain that our night raid was to check for any inflammatory material to see if we had been part of that group. Although it would have been obvious following the search that we were not, we were nevertheless not allowed to travel anywhere by vehicle and watched closely as we walked around the town. We were advised by our team leader not to phone or send text messages with any of this information as they might well be intercepted. It was also suggested that our rooms could have been bugged. We were later told that the road could be closed for the next ten to fourteen days but there was no guarantee that the route would be opened then.

The utter frustration of getting so close and knowing that had we been one day earlier we would have been through the pass and at Base Camp was hard to bear. We had much discussion and advice, but our guides were adamant that we needed to leave Tibet, so we had to pack our bags and make our way back down to the border with Nepal at Freedom (how ironic!) Bridge. All the way down we were stopped at road blocks to have our documents scrutinised and at Freedom Bridge it took almost four hours to get through the Police Check Point - once more all our luggage being searched and camera images checked. The American lady again had her laptop examined and was body searched.

The team of climbers, lead by David Hempleman-Adams, were ahead of us, already at Advanced Base Camp and had been to the North Col, to acclimatise for the final ascent to the summit. David had made the trip down to the first Base Camp to meet us only to be told that we had been prevented from making the trek to Base Camp and that we were now back in Nepal. In an attempt to compensate, David phoned down to Kathmandu and arranged for us to have a flight in a small aircraft around Everest. Kind thought, but it was little compensation, because the pilot was not allowed to fly over the Chinese Territory of Tibet, so we only glimpsed the Himalayan Range from a great distance.

David and his team hope to make their attempt on the summit on the 18th May, so we wish them luck.

Back home in Devon I am still trying to come to terms with having prepared for so long, travelled so far and got so close, but - through no fault of my own - having not made it to Everest and having no drawings or images for my 2012 London Exhibition. Will have to re-think that one!

Note from Ann Jones
Alan has told me that he has recently been invited by David Hempleman-Adams to make a further attempt in October this year.

I am sure that the thoughts and best wishes of all of our members will be with our President Emeritus as we await the news of 'Part 2' of this great adventure.
Alan Cotton: Honorary Professor of Arts, Bath University
Tuesday, August 2 2011
This year the Senate of the University of Bath conferred on Alan Cotton the position of Honorary Professor of Arts. Over the past three years he has had a developing relationship with the University of Bath, advising on the University's new "Centre for the Arts" project and using his extensive contacts to help support the fundraising initiatives associated with it.

Alan's Inaugural Lecture "Alan Cotton - A Sense of Place" Wednesday 2nd November at 6.30pm East Building, University of Bath. Alan will be introduced by the Vice Chancellor, Glynis Breakwell, and will present stories about people and places from his travels, and, with illustrations of his work, show how his paintings are produced.

Academicians are welcome. The lecture is free, but advanced booking from the ICIA Box Office is necessary as there are limited places.
Alan Cotton: Exhibitions
Tuesday August 2, 2011
Alan Cotton is currently exhibiting in the British Impressionists Exhibition at Falmouth Art Gallery. This Exhibition continues until 10th September.

He will also be exhibiting at Messum's Fine Art, 8 Cork St, London W1S 3LJ, with paintings from Isle of Skye, Cornwall, Hartland, Italy, Provence and the West Coast of Ireland, from 14th September until 1st October 2011.

Studio Exhibition: Brockhill Studio, Colaton Raleigh, Devon EX10 0LH, 3rd - 5th December 2011, 10am - 5pm each day.


Academicians Exhibition  24.03.2014

Tribute to Michael Morgan  09.02.2014

Works by Lar Cann at Sheffield Univ.  29.11.2013

Alan Cotton - Studio Exhibition  30.10.2013

Hidden in Plain Sight/Lar Cann  30.10.2013

Lionel Aggett Prize and Young Artists Award  21.10.2013

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