Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 22 September 2021 — 2 January 2022
The Royal Academy Summer Show is the largest open art show in the world and has been running since 1769. Every artist has the chance to submit their work and a few hundred of the thousands of applications are chosen to hang in the exhibition. The show is an eclectic mix of works by established artists and emerging artists. This year artist Sarah Jones, based in Malvern, Worcestershire, UK, has had a piece of work accepted into the show.
The Royal Academy is one of London’s main galleries and is also an art college running three-year postgraduate fine art courses which have no fees. It is also a charity and the sale of work at the Summer Show supports its activities. In the past the Royal Academy Summer Show was called ‘The Exhibition’ and it has showcased works by Turner, Gainsborough, Constable and Reynolds. Called the Summer Show as usually takes place in the summer; this year, due to the covid-19 pandemic, it runs from 22nd September until 2nd January 2022.
British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE is the coordinator of the 2021 exhibition, working with a team of Royal Academicians as curators. The theme is ‘Reclaiming Magic’ – restoring value to marginalised art practices. Jonathan Jones of The Guardian gave the show five stars and it is worth going if you can, full of colour and thought-provoking works.
” Colour is my main passion but working with stillness, simplicity and contentment is my main challenge – in life and in my work – whatever I learn in my art practice is reflected in life and vice-versa.
In September I completed an MA in Fine Art and my main achievement was to simplify my work down to an old wooden post. Sliced and re-stacked on a central bar with coloured wooden washers in between each slice allowing light to penetrate the inner surfaces which I had painted in a series of colours. I called this work ‘Post Homage’ and this is the piece now displayed at the RA Show.
At the heart of this piece was the idea of transformation – an old wooden post that once had a utilitarian life, now elevated into a work of stillness, beauty and contemplation. While creating my artwork there is always a process of observation, reflection, play, expansion and then simplification, like a breathing in and out, filling up and emptying. If this can find a balance and harmony then it’s like a really deep and satisfying meditation, the perfect meshing of effort and non-effort. My artwork has reached completion when I have a felt sense of this.”