SWLA annual exhibition open for entries


The Natural Eye, the annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) which also incorporates the Birdwatch and Swarovski Optik Artist of the Year award, is now open for entries. 

The exhibition showcases the very best of fine art inspired by the natural world. It is open to all wildlife artists working in any medium including sculpture, printmaking, painting and drawing. 

Submissions via an online form are now open. Up to six works can be submitted and there is a fee of £18 per work. The judging committee said that it is "seeking work that evokes the spirit of the natural world and which reveals a personal experience or true understanding of the subject".

Tufted Ducks by Ben Woodhams was the winner of last year's Birdwatch and Swarovski Optik Artist of the Year award.

Registration closes at noon on Friday 7 August. Artists can find out if they have been successful by logging into their accounts from noon on Friday 14 August. Selected works should be delivered to London's Mall Galleries on Sunday 13 September.

All selected works will go on show at the Mall Galleries at a special exhibition taking place from Thursday 29 October to Sunday 8 November.

The exhibition also includes the Birdwatch and Swarovski Optik Artist of the Year award. This prestigious award is given to the artist whose work is considered to be the most outstanding. It is judged by a panel including Rebecca Armstrong (Editor, Birdwatch), Bruce Pearson (SWLA), Chris Rose (SWLA), Andrew Stock (SWLA) and Peter Antoniou (Managing Director, Swarovski Optik UK). 

The prize includes high-quality optics from Swarovski and a three-year subscription to BirdGuides Ultimate. The winning artwork and a selection of notable pieces will feature in the December issue of Birdwatch.

Birdwatch spoke to SWLA President Harriet Mead regarding the exhibition under lockdown conditions. Currently there are contingencies in place for a full-scale online exhibition. However, both the gallery and the society are hopeful that, by October, restrictions will have relaxed sufficiently for a physical exhibition to take place. The gallery is planning how this might work with various distancing regulations. 

Visit the SWLA website for further details.