The RBA Christmas Party 2023







[Plenty of wonderful food & drinks]




A great time to get together!


RBA Winter Newsletter

Some good news to share from some of our members:

Habib Hajalli has been as busy as ever: He has work in Black Pen Portraits, Exhibition at Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester from 20 October – 10 December 2023. Last year he won the ‘New Artist of the Year Award’ at Saatchi Gallery and this year they invited him back as a judge. He will also be showing a new artwork at the Saatchi Gallery on Thursday, 9th November:

Habib will also be showing work with The London Group at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham from the 10th-26th November and also with the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall Galleries.  Despite all this, Habib still found time to auction 12 original artworks as part of his annual fundraising campaign with Abundant Life Charity to buy Christmas presents and food for over 100 orphaned children in Sierra Leone!

Cheryl Culver is another member who could fill a newsletter of her own!  She had a work accepted in the Royal Society of Marine Artists Exhibition at the Mall Gallery and Dry Red Press have introduced two more of her works as greetings cards.

Cheryl has a short article in The Pastel Journal USA called The Spark.  The article is called Start From Sketch and relates to a picture which was purchased by an American buyer in 2020:

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Kirsten van Schreven had a print selected for the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition and another selected for The London Group Exhibition at the Copeland Gallery:

Kirsten also has works in The Awagami International Print Exhibition in Tokushima, Japan.  

Sarah Spackman will be showing work in the Winter Exhibition at Tregony Contemporary, Cornwall from December – January 2024


And Sarah also has work in the Christmas Exhibition at Thompson’s Gallery in Aldeburgh.

Anthony Yates told me that he has several works in the Fosse Gallery Christmas Show, Stow-on-the-Wold Gloucestershire.   The show  runs from 26th Nov- 2nd January 2024 – he is showing works with a “loose theme of folk traditions/folklore running through them”:

Also showing works in this exhibition are: Nicola Slatterly and Pamela Kay.

Another Christmas show is taking place at the Russell Gallery in London from 30th Nov-3rd Feb 2024
This exhibition features many of our RBA members, including:

The ROI Exhibition opens at the Mall Galleries on the 29th November and runs until the 16th December.  With work selected for this show are:

David Sawyer has recently returned from 3 weeks in China, at the invitation of the China International Culture Association.  He was recommended by Huaicun Zhang and Mick Davies to represent the UK in a programme called “Silk Road Artists Rendezvous” – a group of international artists who travelled within China and  were also requested to produce 2-3 works whilst there, which were exhibited in an exhibition at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts Gallery:

Sawyer 2

David reported that although it was hard work, as there was a very intense itinerary, he met some really good and interesting people.  He also said “I had an amazing time which completely overwhelmed my expectations”.

The Chinese organisers have prepared 3 videos which you can view here:

They are all quite short but give a fantastic insight to the experience David enjoyed and we are really thrilled that it all went so well!
He also has a couple of videos which he created himself, and these we hope will be on our social media platforms at some time soon.

As always, some of our RBA RISING STARS have been having a busy time too:

Ruth Murray had a very busy weekend recently, showing some work at the Manchester Contemporary Art Fair and also the opening of a group “all Brummie” show with Division of Labour called “Tree & Leaf”.  This exhibition runs until 18th January 2024 at Unit 30, East Philip St, Salford, M37LE

Ruth has produced giclée prints of her award-winning work “Geraniums” and these are available to buy at the Whitworth Shop within the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester

Sabrina Shah was showing her work at The British Art Fair:

Toby Gawler is now the RBA’s Social Media Manager and he has had a work selected for the ROI Exhibition at the Mall Galleries

With a work in the same exhibition is Aelfred Hillman, who was the winner of this year’s Rome Scholarship – he spent the month of September at Sala Uno in Rome
Chris Polunin is another STAR whose work was selected for the ROI show and he is in the Russell Gallery Xmas Exhibition too.

Minyoung Choi is showing work in a group exhibition called The Painted Room which is taking place at GRIMM Gallery in Amsterdam.   This exhibition continues until 22nd December.  Minyoung also has a solo exhibition “Dark Brightness” at the Hive Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, which runs until the 16th December:

Two of our most recent RISING STARS who showed their work at ROSL 
are Jemima Spence and Hettie Inniss

Jemima has a two person exhibition at the Assembly House, Leeds.  They are showing a collection of portrait paintings called “Process” – a look at the physical spaces and creative processes which underpin their work. Her show runs from Friday 24th – Saturday 25th November

Hettie has work in the in the exhibition The Painted Room, which is taking place at GRIMM Gallery in Amsterdam and which runs until 22nd December.  

You might have noticed a recent news media item showing King Charles and Queen Camilla unveiling larger than life-size sculptures of the King’s late parents at the Royal Albert Hall.  The sculptures, were commissioned as a result of a competition, and were specially designed to fill two empty niches on the exterior of the South Porch of the Royal Albert Hall.  
Poppy Field was the sculptor who won the competition and was commissioned to produce the works and she has shown Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip when they were young:

Poppy Field with her work – A fantastic achievement, Poppy!

Receiving the Rome Scholarship in 2023 by Aelfred Hillman

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‘Here is a short statement about my experience and some photographs’ – Aelfred Hillman

“Receiving the RBA Rome scholarship in 2023 has been an incredible experience, entailing a month of unrelenting cultural enrichment and historical exploration that I will never forget.

Staying at the Sala 1 gallery within the Aurelian wall, I found that relics of the cities deep history greeted me at every turn, from the remains of the ancient aqueduct practically attached to my room, to the Scala Santa and Lantern Basillica just minutes away.

Around these proximate institutions you are able to get a unique sense of the cities religious life. Simply by their locality I found that I could return to the same magnificent buildings at different times of day to view their masterpieces in the changing light, or encounter the various ceremonial occasions that break up the week, giving me a perspective distinct from the usual routine of the daily tourist visit.

Meanwhile, the wider city is inexpressibly rich with different locations to visit, from Renaissance palaces and museums to the various archeological sites that have made the city famous across the globe.

Given the fantastic location of my accommodation, I found that there was little not within an hours walk and a practical distraction of places to interrupt my journey on any route I chose.

As a student of Literature with an enthusiasm for art history I found that I struggled to make time for my own artistic practice, given that there is simply so much on offer across the city. I attended talks at the Keats and Shelly museums, gallery openings and even a late night concert in the Vatican museums, each of which will make their own small impact on my artistic practice and thought process going forward. All of this would not have been possible without the generosity of all those at Sala 1 and the RBA, to whom I am indebted for facilitating this incredible month of artistic discovery in the eternal city.”

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RBA Autumn Newsletter 2023

There is a lot of news here for you to read about.
As always, some of it will seem like a distant memory, having happened earlier in the summer.

First, a big ‘Thank You’ to newest RBA member Hun Adamoğlu, who took it upon himself to organise for a copy of our Souvenir Bicentennial Catalogue to be sent to the British Library for their collection:

Some of our members’ work at this year’s RA Summer Show:

At the Chelsea Art Society’s Summer Exhibition:

And … Peter Newsome who was awarded the ‘Visitors Choice’ Prize:

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Peter Newsome

Alex Lidagovski had new work in an exhibition at The Beach Gallery. He said “This sculpture ‘Z-Nutcracker’ is my reflection upon the tragic transformation of Russian culture in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine”

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There is an “Online exhibition of highly distinguished entries” for the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize 2023. Among them are the immediately recognised:

David Sprakes had some new work in the Summer Exhibition at the Jerram Gallery in Sherborne, Dorset:

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And he is also showing work at the Signet Contemporary Art Gallery in Chelsea, London

Tony Yates helped to organise a successful show of printmakers at the Rose Paterson Gallery, Weston Park in Staffordshire. This show included RBA members:

Meg Dutton, Austin Cole, Mick Davies, Vicky Oldfield, John Scott Martin & Tony Yates

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Nicola Slattery has a solo exhibition called Wild Imagination at The Fosse Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold from 1st – 21st October:

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And Tony Yates had work in the Fosse Gallery Summer Show

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From the 7th – 30th September, Sarah Spackman is having a solo exhibition at the Sarah Wiseman Gallery in Oxford

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She will also be teaching a workshop for the Winslow Art Centre on the 29th September

The Geedon Gallery has its Autumn Exhibition, Artists of Today & Tomorrow, from 14th – 29th October.
Included are the following RBA members:

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Austin Cole

Akash Bhatt had his work selected for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize

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This exhibition runs from the 28th September to the 15th October

Habib Hajallie has also been busy … he was awarded the Hermione Hammond Drawing Award at the NEAC Exhibition at the Mall and at the opening of The Gallery at Green & Stone’s Summer Exhibition he was awarded the Damian Greenish Drawing Award. Also, he will be having a solo presentation at the Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester from 20th October – 10th December.


However … Habib’s biggest announcement is that he proposed to his partner Katie and was having a sale of his work [20% off – might not be available now] on his website [] to help pay for his wedding next summer!!

On behalf of the RBA members, we are sending lots of congratulations and good wishes to Habib and Katie for the future!

Also busy are our RBA RISING STARS, past and present, and there is quite a lot of news to share from them:

Dide [Siemmond] – her work was included in the Society of Women Artists show at the Mall and she was presented with the ‘Young Artist’ award by HRH Princess Michael of Kent:

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At the RA Summer show I spotted work from five of our RISING STARS:

Poppy Field had work in the Chelsea Art Society Summer Exhibition:

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With work in the Wells Contemporary Exhibition:

Tedi Lena is included in the shortlist for the Art Gemini Prize
[fingers crossed for Tedi!]

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Two of our RISING STARS have work in the online exhibition of the
Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Exhibition

These four made the long list for the Jackson’s Painting Prize:

Theo was an RBA Star Student [‘A’-Level] and prize-winner at
the 2023 Annual RBA Exhibition

Niamh Coutts and Samuel Owusu Achiaw had work in the London Beinnale 2023 which took place in July in Chelsea Old Town Hall

Nicholas Baldion has had his work ‘Social Murder: Grenfell in Three Parts’ selected for the John Moores Painting Prize which opens 16th September – 25th February 2024

Nicholas also had a solo exhibition in August at the Brixton Library

Samuel Owusu Achiaw has also had a work selected for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize – this exhibition is from the 28th September – 15th October

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Joshua Donkor, one of our 2023 Rome Scholarship finalists, is participating in a group show called Ambivalent Paradox at the Omaka Gallery in London SE11. The show is open until October 29th

Toby Gawler is showing work at The Gallery at Green & Stone in the Fulham Road London. The Show is called Otherlands and is open from 11th – 16th September. There are 3 exhibitors and alongside Toby is Annam Butt who is also showing work

Owain Hunt received a £250 award from the New English Art Club as one of their ‘scholars’ and will receive mentorship from society members and free entry to all their classes and workshops. He will be invited to show his work in their exhibition in 2024

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Well done Owain!

“If you were an exhibiting artist in the Bicentennial RBA exhibition and would like to have copies of our special
Souvenir RBA Bicentennial Catalogue,
for yourself, your galleries or your clients, please contact: / Tel: 020 7359 4330
There is no charge for the catalogues but we have to ask £5.50 for 1st class post & Packing.”

Qualiart’s MINERVA Private View at the Mall Galleries

Qualiart’s MINERVA Private View at the Mall Galleries.





RBA Summer Newsletter 2023

What has been happening and what do we have to look forward to?

When Mick Davies was invited by Qualiart to Japan to open their exhibition this year, they celebrated the opening of their MINERVA Exhibition as well as the RBA’s 200th Anniversary with a formal dinner and a huge birthday cake!

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The MINERVA Exhibition will be at the Mall Galleries 25th to 28th July

Pete Brown had work in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition which took place last month and Nicola Slattery exhibited work for the first time at the Sussex Art Fair also in May:


Austin Cole had work selected for the Pastel Society show, which has just taken place at the Mall Galleries

Henry Jabbour has a solo show at Friedrichs Pontone Gallery in New York – June 22 till July 23rd.

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The following RBA members have had their work accepted in the New English Art Club Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, 23rd June – 1st July:



Showing work in this year’s RA Summer show are:


Some great news from RBA RISING STARS, both past and present:

Charlie Schaffer had his first solo exhibition, Charlie Schaffer: Scalpel-like Eyes, since winning the Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in 2019. The show was in May at the BWG Gallery in London:


Charlie was also interviewed by Alison Smith, the chief curator at the National Portrait Gallery and you can see the interview here:

Our 2022 winner of the Rome Scholarship, Clark Broadwood Smith, shared an exhibition of new sculptures with his partner. Called ‘Sensitive Chaos’ it opened at Abbey Hall Creative Space in Suffolk in May – and might continue into June:


Ethan Caflisch had 4 works selected for the annual ‘Works on Paper’ online exhibition at the Blue Shop Cottage Art Gallery in London and also had work in ‘Our Vision is Clouded’ at ‘Warbling’, an artist-run curatorial project also in London:


Georgina Davenport had a work in the recent Pastel Society Exhibition and Chris Polunin had his work in the NEAC Exhibition both shown at the Mall Galleries


Congratulations to Natalia Glinoer [a past Rome Scholarship winner and an award winner at this year’s RBA show] who has had her work selected for the Royal Academy Summer Show:

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The BWG Gallery in London are curating a group show in June ‘Mise-en-scène’ which includes Yeonsu Ju and Robyn Packham. Robyn has work in our present RBA RISING STARS Exhibition at the Royal Over-seas League


Our ‘STARS’ were well represented at this year’s
Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition:



In fact portrait painters did very well at the Royal Over-seas League RBA RISING STARS show this year, because Joshua and Aelfred, along with Aniela Preston, were the three finalists for the 2023 Rome Scholarship:


Not an easy decision for the Education Committee, but it is Aelfred who has been awarded the 2023 Rome Scholarship and he will be travelling to Rome in September! I am hoping he will keep in touch with us with an occasional blog on our social media [I haven’t asked him yet, which is why I am just ‘hoping’ at this time!!]

We send our congratulations to all of our RBA RISING STARS!

In the meantime, we have received thanks from the “Voices of Children” Foundation for the generous donations during our buffet raffle. They have been providing psychological assistance to thousands of children effected by the war in Ukraine and, in view of the latest humanitarian disasters in that country, we are hoping to continue to send assistance next year and to think of ways to expand donations from members and the public during the course of our exhibition.

RBA RISING STARS Exhibition 2023

Photographs of the Private View of the RBA RISING STARS Exhibition 2023.
The exhibition took place at The Royal Over-Seas League in Central London on the 25th April.
Photographs by Terry Watts RBA






RBA Newsletter – Spring 2023

Following such a successful Exhibition despite all the difficulties, it’s good to have some further good news to share from RBA Members and RBA RISING STARS.

We have two new members who were elected to the RBA at our AGM at the end of the exhibition:

Hun Adamoğlu

       Hun Adamoğlu  

John Scott Martin

John Scott Martin

We warmly welcome them both!

We also have 2 new Honorary Members – Huaicun Zhang


And – Alex Lidagovsky 


And a new Fellow of the RBA – Alistair Redgrift


We are delighted to welcome all three of them!

I spotted 2 familiar names at the recent RI Exhibition at the Mall Galleries:

Habib Hajallie

Habib Hajallie  

Chris Myers

Chris Myers

Good news also from Cheryl Culver, who tells me she has ten pastel paintings in the M1 Landscape Exhibition in Greenwich, opening 21st April (Postponed until further notice) and three works in the Russell Gallery Summer Exhibition. 

Congratulations Sarah Spackman who was recently elected to the ROI


Hon RBA Shanti Panchal invites us to look at this interview by Studio International – it gives a fascinating insight to his work and early life in India, as well as serving as a reminder that his work “Endurance” which is a community portrait of people and places in Brixton, can still be seen at the entrance to Brixton underground station – it is a community portrait of people and places in Brixton:



Mick Davies won The Artist Magazine award at the RBA 2022 show and the 6 page article about his work, with many explanations and clues to his thinking and ways of working, was published in their February ’23 edition:


It is always interesting to hear news from RBA RISING STARS, and it was very pleasing to see some of them in the RBA Exhibition this year – the selection committee did not have the artists’ names when they were selecting them, so all these young artists were in the show on merit:

Toby Gawler tells me that he recently won the ‘De Lazlo Young Artist Prize’ at Green & Stone’s Summer Exhibition and then was included in an Exhibition of “Tutors and De Laszlo Scholars” at the London Fine Art Studios in February – and this is where I spotted work from Rosalie Watkins too:

Tedi Lena had his work Artist and Poet” Alan Gouk shortlisted for the 9th Edition ArtGeminiPrize 2022 and another work “My Town”
( St Johns Wood High Street, London) exhibited by the Howden Company, in London:

I am reminded that Chris Polunin had some of his works selected for the last ROI Exhibition at the Mall:

Mick and I were lucky enough to see Thomas Merrett’s solo show at 54 The Gallery, Shepherd Market in London.  It was called THE LISTENERS & other works:

Ruth Murray had a two person show in March at Rogue Project Space in Manchester

Ruth Murray

The only other good news I have to share is that, thanks to the generosity of all those who attended the recent RBA Buffet Supper [those who bought the tickets as well as those who donated prizes] as a result of our raffle we were able to donate £301 to the ‘Artists’ General Benevolent Institute’ [AGBI] and £600 to ‘Voices of Children’ in support of the children of Ukraine. 

RBA Prize Winners 2023

RBA Prize Winners 2023








RBA Star Students 2023






RBA 2023 Supper

Members and Non Members, friends old and new meet for the RBA Supper at the Mall Galleries. Many faces to recognise:
‘Give us a song John D’.