To view all of the works featured in the selected years exhibition click the button below, or scroll to find out more about the selectors
Ian "H" Watkins,
Welcome to the 2023 ING Discerning Eye Exhibition. We are for the 32nd year, physically in the Mall Galleries and also once again available to see and buy from online at www.ingdeexhibition.org
As always, a huge thank you to the artists who submitted work - we simply wouldn’t be here without you. This year we again had a large submission of pieces across a variety of media. The geographic trend that we have seen since moving to a virtual submission in 2020 has very much continued and we saw work from artists based across all parts of the UK.
This year’s selectors: Tony Adams, Eliza Gluckman, Chris Levine, Peju Oshin, Ian Watkins and Julian Wilde all showed great patience, 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.
As you will see when you visit this exhibition, each selector’s choice is curated as a separate exhibition within the whole. Within each selection works from, as yet lesser known artists, hang alongside pieces by those who are more established or internationally recognised.
In addition within the exhibition you will see a seventh section, 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 to our sponsors, ING. This year marks the 25th year of that support. Without their generous support we could not stage this annual exhibition. In particular Małgorzata Kołakowska, their CEO and Martha McKenzie- Minifie and her team at ING in London who have led on their engagement 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
For the last quarter of a century ING has proudly championed the Discerning Eye charity through the unique ING Discerning Eye Exhibition.
The partnership between us as global bank and an arts charity is one that has stood the test of time – 25 years ago ING and Discerning Eye formed what now stands as one of the longest-standing corporate arts sponsorships in the UK.
As a financier you’d expect me to comment on the numbers – which are remarkable. During our 25 years as partner with the Discerning Eye Exhibition, more than £1 million worth of art has been sold on behalf of the artists and some 11,000 works have been exhibited by more than 4,000 artists. It makes us proud to bring new art to new audiences and support artists in this way.
As a global bank, ING’s mission is to empower people to stay ahead in life and business. That vision also holds true for this longstanding partnership in which some of the most creative and exciting talent is brought to wider audiences. It’s an honour to see emerging artists showcase their talents on the national stage and for ING to be able to help make their art available to collectors in the UK and beyond.
Then there’s the selectors; esteemed artists, critics and collectors. And there are some perhaps surprising names from singer Beverley Knight to former England footballer Tony Adams and even His Royal Highness King Charles III – over the years we’ve been supported by so many fantastic selectors to help us showcase a wide array of British art.
ING thanks the selectors, the artists, The Discerning Eye and the Parker Harris Partnership for all their efforts in preparing for the exhibition.
I look forward to celebrating the success of a 25-year long partnership and here’s to a fantastic ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2023.
CEO UK and Middle East, ING
Selector Profile: Tony Adams
Tony Alexander Adams MBE is an English former football manager and player. Adams played for Arsenal and England, captaining both teams. He is considered as one Arsenal’s greatest ever players, and is also included in the Football League 100 Legends. Tony made his debut for England against Spain at the Bernabeu in 1987 and played in Euro 1988, 1996, and 2000 as well as the 1998 World Cup finals. Tony was awarded the MBE for Services to Football.
In September 2000, as a result of his own experiences with alcoholism, Adams founded the Sporting Chance Clinic. A charity aimed at providing treatment, counselling and education, it also gives confidential help & support for current & former professional sportspeople experiencing difficulties with addictive disorders, alcohol, gambling & substance misuse.
What a great honour and experience it has been to be a selector for ING Discerning Eye. It was a harder enterprise than I had imagined - scrolling through the 4000+ outstanding entries, although a thoroughly enjoyable one. Congratulations to all the artists and thanks to ING for sponsoring this event for more than 25 years. Please come and see my chosen exhibits at the Mall galleries and judge my discerning eye!
Selector Profile: Eliza Gluckman
Eliza Gluckman has been Director of the Government Art Collection since January 2022. She was Deputy Director and Senior Curator from 2018 overseeing a new direction in public engagement through collaborations and initiating inclusive collecting through Art X-UK. She also conceived the Representation of the People Project, a ten-year commitment to assessing and addressing representation in the Collection. Previously she was Curator of the New Hall Art Collection (now The Women's Art Collection) at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, the largest collection of works by women in Europe, and programmed a central London gallery as part of an independent curatorial partnership, Day+Gluckman, for over a decade. She is a trustee for Block 336, an artist-run space in Brixton, South London and on the curatorial steering group for Intoart, a studio that works inclusively with adults with learning difficulties.
It's been a real privilege to take time with the other selectors and look at artworks from across the UK. I am really looking forward to seeing the exhibition come together and see the breadth and diversity of talent.
Selector Profile: Chris Levine
Chris Levine is a light artist who works across many media in pursuit of an expanded state of perception and awareness through image and form. Levine’s work considers light not just as a core aspect of art, but of human experience more widely and a spiritual, meditative and philosophical edge permeates his work. Levine is perhaps best known for producing what is already being described as one of the most iconic images of the twenty-first century, Lightness of Being. With light and stillness at its core, the sensational portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presents an utterly fresh depiction of the most famous woman in the world. The National Portrait Gallery stated it was the most evocative image of a royal by any artist.
His exhibition Hypervisual 1.2 completed a tour of 12 countries with the British Council. In 2012 his work featured in the major exhibition, Queen, Art and Image at London’s National Portrait Gallery. He has artwork in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and has staged light performances and exhibitions internationally in spaces such as Radio City in New York commissioned by MoMA, The Eden Project, The Royal Opera House, MATE museum in Lima, London’s Fine Art Society and more.
Other subjects of his 3D light portraiture work include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbel, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Giorgio Armani, Sir Paul Smith, U2, Grace Jones and Sir Elton John.
Submitting a work to be judged by a panel can be a bit daunting and charged with insecurities. Respect to all those who put their souls forward. It was an honour and responsibility to review and select some outstanding art for this year's exhibition. I think it’s going to be an exciting show with a number of surprises.
Selector Profile: Peju Oshin
Péjú Oshin is a British-Nigerian curator, writer, and lecturer born and raised in London. Sitting at the intersection of art, style, and culture, her work shows a keen interest in liminal theory and diasporic narratives. She is currently Associate Director at Gagosian where she curated the group show Rites of Passage (2023), the author of Between Words & Space (2021), a collection of poetry and prose, and was shortlisted for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list. Previously Péjú was Curator: Young People's Programmes supported by the Huo Family Foundation working across Tate Modern & Tate Britain.
Selector Profile: Ian H. Watkins
Ian H. Watkins, known by his stage name as H, is a Welsh singer, dancer and actor. He is known as a member of the British pop group Steps. In 2020, he competed in the twelfth series of Dancing on Ice.
Ian was born in 1976 in the Rhonda, South Wales When he was about to begin his training at Cardiff Art School, in 1997, his life took a sudden and successful sidestep when he joined pop group, Steps.
25 years, 4 number 1 albums and 22 million albums later, Ian is also finding time for his passion of painting. All of Ian's works are drawn from the experience of escaping into the landscape, and being consumed by it.
Following a number of sold-out exhibitions, Ian took a break from painting to start a family. With his children now in school, Ian has found the time to be creative once again and has recently been signed by multiple galleries.
It’s a huge privilege to be part of this year’s selection panel. This process has taught me a lot about myself as an artist and as a collector. When I paint, a little part of me is released into the world so I know how it feels to be ‘judged’. I’ve been blown away by the talent and diversity in this year’s competition. Congratulations to everyone who entered!
Selector Profile: Julian Wild
Julian Wild’s works allude to minimalist sculptures disrupted by interventions and gestures within their form. He uses colour as a signifier and signal maker. Recent works are based on fictitious actions or events in which metal appears to bend or be crushed by a force. Intense colour and highly polished surfaces gives the work an unreal quality, allowing it to sit in the space between finish and failure.
Julian Wild has exhibited at venues including: Modern Art Oxford, Chatsworth House (Sotheby's), Sculpture in the City, Canary Wharf, V22, William Benington Gallery and The Ann Norton Sculpture Garden in Florida.
He has completed commissions for: The University of Oxford, Cate Blanchett, Modern Forms, Fidelity lnvestments, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Crest Nicholson, Schroders Investment Management, Jerwood Sculpture Park, The Lightbox Gallery and Canary Wharf Group. He is currently working on a new permanent commission for The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail.
He was awarded The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Arts club Trust Studio Bursary from 2009-2012. He was awarded an individual Arts Council Grant in 2011, in 2005 he was a finalist in the Jerwood Sculpture Prize and won the Millfield Sculpture Prize in the same year.
Julian Wild is a fellow of The Royal Society of Sculptors and was Vice-president of the organisation from 2015-2019. He is Sculpture Leader and a Senior Lecturer at The Art Academy London.
He lives and works in Sussex, UK.
I was thrilled to be asked to be a selector for this year's exhibition. The selection process is unique in that each selector can be decisive in the artists that they pick without having to form a consensus of opinion with the other judges. I hope that my selection reflects my idiosyncratic interests and the kind of art that I truly care about. Rejection is a difficult thing for an artist to deal with: there were many more artists that I wanted to pick for my selection. I hope that my selection and the exhibition as a whole showcases some of the extraordinary creative talent working in the UK right now.