Welcome to the 2022 ING Discerning Eye Exhibition. We are once again in the Mall Galleries and also available online at www.ingdeexhibition.org
Thank you to all of the artists who submitted work – we had a large submission of pieces across many media. It is particularly pleasing that since moving to a virtual submission we have seen more work from more artists based across all parts of the UK.
This year’s selectors: Gurinder Chadha, David Ferry, Alison Bevan, Ansel Krut, Kate Enters and Aindrea Emelife showed great dedication, enthusiasm and commitment in addressing the task of judging and selecting from so many pieces of art. The quality of the submissions was very high and the choices extremely hard as a result. We are very grateful to the selectors and to all of the artists.
One of the key features of this exhibition is that each selector’s choice is curated as a separate exhibition within the whole. You will see within each selection works from, as yet lesser known artists, hanging alongside pieces by those who are more established or internationally recognised.
In addition within the exhibition you will see a further small exhibition of the shortlisted pieces for the DE Drawing Bursary, the recipient of which will be decided during the course of the exhibition.
All works are for sale.
A huge thank you our sponsors, ING without whose long-standing and generous support we could not stage this annual exhibition. In particular Małgorzata Kołakowska, their CEO and her team at ING in London who have led on their involvement with this year’s exhibition.
Finally I should like to thank Parker Harris, our exhibition organisers, whose hard work, skill and enthusiasm is matchless, the team at the Mall Galleries and all of the many and various supporters of The Discerning Eye.
The Discerning Eye
ING is proud to have been supporting the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition for the last 24 years – making ours one of the longest-standing corporate arts sponsorships in the UK.
In global wholesale banking, we aim to provide a differentiating experience and partner with clients who are on board for a sustainable, long-term relationship. Our strengths lie in combining our global reach with in-depth local knowledge, sector expertise and working hand-in-hand with our clients to address some of the most pressing sustainability issues in the world today.
Our long-standing partnership with the Discerning Eye charity is an opportunity to connect with clients and support artists in a differentiated way. Art and culture have always been important to us and we believe in the power of art to inspire, make connections, and portray times we live in. Through our partnership, it’s our privilege to support emerging artists and make art accessible to collectors in the UK – and beyond.
ING thanks the selectors, artists, Discerning Eye charity and Parker Harris Partnership for all their efforts in preparing for the exhibition.
Please join me in wishing the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2022 every success.
ING UK and Middle East
Selector Profile: Aindrea Emelife
The selected works for the 2022 iteration of the ING Discerning Eye Prize act as an expansive visual showcase that speaks to the rich variety of the work of artists from across the UK. Spanning from painting to sculpture, covering abstraction to figuration, and telling an array of visual stories, the shortlisted artists give even more of a reason for celebrating the up-and-coming talent in this country.
With references to self, heritage, culture, media, nature, and monarchy, there's an emphasis on the British influence throughout the shortlist, whether artists hail from the UK or find themselves here, it's clear that their tie to Britain and its culture is present in what they're creating. We can immerse ourselves in these varying portrayals of our country, and take it upon ourselves to uncover each artist's personal connection to it.
As an audience, this collection of work should leave us with a sense of excitement in discovering what will continue to come from this next generation of artists, to see how they will continue to add to the already rich legacy of British arts.
Selector Profile: Alison Bevan
It was a real pleasure and privilege to select work for the ING Discerning Eye exhibition. The calibre of submissions was astonishingly high, and my initial shortlist was more than double the number of works I was actually allowed to choose.
Getting to the final selection was incredibly painful - it was so hard to choose between such a wealth of great art! In the end I chose work in the same way that I select artwork for my own home: does it light a personal spark, and would it reward spending time with? I also considered how each fitted with my invited artists, who are a small cross-section of RWA Academicians and Artists' Network members, all of whose work I personally love. In the end, I hope my selection will feel both coherent and diverse, and that you, like me, will find new favourite artists amongst the mix.
My heart particularly goes out to all those whose work didn't make it through the final cull. Please know that your work was looked at, appreciated and considered by us all, and don't let it dent your confidence that you didn't get selected. And for those in my selection: thank you for giving me such joy!
Selector Profile: Ansel Krut
Looking at the 7,500 digital images sent in by open submission and selecting from them was two full days work, and we had to move quickly. I selected around 40 pieces. Doubtless some subtleties were lost and some works that don't reproduce well in photograph might have been overlooked. But by and large the work I chose quite literally "jumped out" at me. So why did these particular pieces hold my attention? I hope it wasn’t just my taste, though that obviously played a part. I certainly wasn't going for a "look" or following any agenda around selection, the work I chose is hugely varied. My chief criterion was that the work felt authentic, that it expressed the artist's world view, that it was not manufactured or borrowed, but personal and honest. Forty honest artworks, that's not a bad haul.
To those forty works from open submission, I have added paintings by 5 other artists whose work I know personally. They are Antonio Bellotti, Dido Hallett. Emma Lilly, James Metsoja and Gerry Smith. As artists they are all highly individual, to the point of being idiosyncratic, but they share an attitude to making; it's high stakes and unconventional, it’s challenging to make and challenging to look at. They like to mix things up. Lots of paint obviously, but sometimes also scraps of this and that, other media, cloth, cardboard, old frames, food. And wildly esoteric references too: childhood memories and life experience, some knowing cynicism and some wide-eyed wonder, some grubbiness and some elegance. It's an overload of stuff together with an overload of thoughts, impressions and feelings. From all of which, out of the crucible of making, they extract, with a flourish, to surprise and delight, the finished work.
Selector Profile: David Ferry
‘If you want to have something that’s genuinely unstructured, you have to plan it carefully’
Malcom Bradbury; The History Man.
The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition is one of those shows you just hear about floating somewhere on the cultural ether; it is one of those big showcases that highlight an open opportunity for artists of all disciplines to exhibit in central London.
Indeed it is a great privilege to be invited to be a Selector, although I had no idea at the time just what logistical details it entailed, and all those passionate individuals that are part of the ‘internal motor’ of the operation.
The artists who actually made it to the final selection will no doubt be excited and proud to be part of this important showcase but we must be mindful of the disappointment of those not selected this time around, but they will have opportunity in the future.
The cacophony of the thousands of images that passed through our selectors gaze actually made me more mindful of Malcolm Bradbury’s salient words, I indeed had become ‘genuinely unstructured’ the astute planning of the ING Discerning Eye team kept the whole structure afloat and affords us the rich and diverse show we now have.
Selector Profile: Kate Enters
I was drawn to works that had a social commentary or showed a representation, or snapshot, of today's society. From the simple pleasures, environments, or day to day notions we interact with and experience, to the larger conversations and scenarios that challenge and embody who we are as humans. Vibrancy, distinct messaging, and representation of 'life' became the focus. I wanted the works selected to offer a rich tapestry, that would in turn generate an emotive response for the viewer. A response that may reflect, or connect with, a part of their own life.
The connection of the viewer to an artist’s vision completes a creative circle and is one that can generate unique relationships and start conversations. The solidarity of a shared experience can also, I hope, be reassuring for both the artist and viewer in today’s rather turbulent and worrying world.
Selector Profile: Gurinder Chada
I was delighted to be asked to be a selector for the ING Discerning Eye exhibition this year.
To be honest I had no idea what to expect but I was overwhelmed with the quality and range from the open submission. The selection process was far harder than I could have imagined having to limit my choices from so many great pieces.
A part of my selection process was to look at the context of the work and how the artist chose and represented their subject matter. Ultimately, I hope I have curated a collection that demonstrates feeling, passion and diversity which are all so important in these times.
In portraiture I think the eyes are the window and in many of the works I have selected there are some beautiful souls on display.
I hope the selected artists will be encouraged by being on show at this prestigious event and hopefully will see it as a milestone in their careers and continue to create and exhibit such amazing works.
To the potential purchasers, I hope you will give the work you like a loving home. All the works deserve to be seen for generations to come.
I have so enjoyed the entire experience and really cannot wait to see the works hung.
Thank you to all those who submitted this year. Enjoy the show!