The Ferens Gallery – Open Exhibition 2011

The Open Exhibition: Hull’s prestigious Ferens Art Gallery’s annual celebration of the city’s Artistic, Craft and Creative talent, once again gives those that use the city centre a chance to see a range of contemporary fine art, illustration, sculpture, photography and craft by both amateur and professional artists. It also offers the chance for visitors with an eye to aquiring something to grace their walls to buy original works of art at affordable prices.

Every year there are approaching nearly 2,000 peices of art, 2D and 3D,  submitted to the Ferens Open Exhibition – but only one quarter are eventually selected for display in the gallery.

Its always a fun exhibition, the diverse range of styles and media meaning that there is usually something for everyone, whether its large canvasses that float your “art critic boat” or tiny miniatures; dense and obscure thought-provoking peices, or lightweight sunday paintings of flowers in a garden; mosaics; classic portraits, paintings of abandoned industrial building by the River Hull or spatter paintings, basketweave funery masks, welded and found object sculpture; pop art or perhaps the paintings, drawings and porcelain renderings of dogs and cats; and even (gasp!) a peice of “historical illustration”… Regardless, the Ferens Open has it all.

As in previous years there were further selections made beyond the prestige of just making it into the exhibition, with five prizes on offer to the artists – numbers in brackets eg. [388] denote the artworks number to help you find it in the catalogue or gallery plan.

Winner of the Friends of the Ferens Award – 1st prize, was a multi-layered, almost archaeological image “Figure” [286] by Tracy Abraham – prize £200 (in Gallery 8).

Winner of the Friends of the Ferens Award – 2nd prize, was the impressionistic street scene “Two’s Company, Three’s A Crowd” [264] by Malcolm Palmer – prize £130 (in Gallery 8).

Winner of the Friends of the Ferens Award – 3rd prize, “Two Forests” [397] one of two dense, print like drawings (reminiscent of the work of sculptor David Nash) by Andy Black – prize £70 (in Gallery 9).

Winner of the Bohemia Galleries Award was  Clare Holdstock for her large “Untitled” portrait [379] – prize £300, selected by Bohemia Galleries (in Gallery 9).

The Student Award –  chosen by architecture firm Browne Smith Baker, was Lesley Binks (a Ferens Open prize winner, two years running) for her oil painting “After Lockwood Terrace” [388] – prize £150 (in Gallery 9).

Amongst the other work on display are peices by some of the usual suspects, Andy Dakin [386] of the Kingston Art Group; Mark Wiggan [385] of the Museum of Club Culture; Tracy Savage [276]; and Anna “Blue Beany” Bean [440].

Whilst some personal favourites amongst the exhibited work include the afore mentioned “After Lockwood Terrace” by Lesley Binks [388] ; “Double Dream” (a great little rendering of Bottom or a satyr) by Russel Lumb [446]; “The Knitters“, an illustration style print by Pat McCarthy [475]; The curious small scale found object sculpture in glass globes of Christine Tuton [530 & 532]; The giant, seemingly flightless bird sculpture “Naomi” by Rodney Wilson [511]; Tracy Savage‘s fantastical topiary and hidden house illustration “The Hedge” [184]; The expressive, illustration style image of a preist by someone who’s name seems to have escaped my notes but you can find it by its number at [435]; Andy Black‘s other submission “Path” [505] a larger peice that I preferred over his winning work; a couple of smaller architectural illustrations [191] and [228] the latter of the tidal barrier by D. Moore.

There was also some interesting examples of craft skills on display including the “day of the dead” style decorated boxes [521 & 520]; sculptures in stone and bronze(?) [514 & 512]; and highly detailed woodwork peice [445].

This year’s selectors were Sally Greaves-Lord, Textile artist and Neil McGregor, Exhibitions Officer, Doncaster Museum and Gallery.

Prize money was kindly donated by the Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery, Bohemia Galleries and Browne Smith Baker.

The Ferens is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 1.30 – 4.30pm. Admission is free, get yourself down there

Thinking ahead to next year? Maybe want to enter? Well this year there was an entry fee of £3 and £1.50 for concessions for each piece of work submitted, and you could enter up to three works… I imagine it will be roughly the same next year. Entry form can be picked up from the Gallery reception in January.

Some Links:

For more information on HULL ART (a site where you can freely admire the work of over a hundred local artists) visit, email Rich Rignall via .

Kingston Art Group

Hull In Print – – Article “Art will draw crowds”

Museum of Club Culture –

Blue Beany

Ferens Art Gallery

(I’ve listed the Culture24 link as it is a better and more informative webpage than the official one – why hasn’t the Ferens got its own interactive site? It’s 2011 – check out the Google Art Project for how it can be done

Friends Of The Ferens

Browne Smith Baker –

~ by hesir on February 15, 2011.

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