Report on the Friends of Holland Park Art Exhibition 2017

Gordon French stewardingWhat a great exhibition we had this year: lots of RED DOTS!

This was our most successful exhibition. The weather was wonderful and attendances were up. The standard, as usual, was very high, and pricing was spot on. The most important aspect of the exhibition was the spread of sales across so many artists, some who have never sold before, and all were delighted. This is exactly what this exhibition is about.

The Orangery is always a magnificent venue, this year with 75 artists, I thought it looked fantastic, with a little more space than in some previous years. The exhibition is a team effort with special thanks going to Alison Beckett for the overall hanging; Alison was assisted by Graham Franklin, Nigel Brockman, Alex French and Neil Gidman. Isabel Langtry, Principal of Hampstead School of Art, judged the exhibition, and we are indebted to her for her time and expertise; and to Rhoddy Wood for organising the Mini-Market, Joy Puritz for co-ordinating our catalogue, Sandra French, everyone who volunteered to steward, and the FHP trustees.

Our thanks to our sponsor Romulo Café. This is the second year Rowena and Chris have supported us, and we are extremely grateful.

Lastly I would like to thank the artists. This is your exhibition and I want to congratulate you all. See you next year!

Gordon French


The Judging Experience

It was a pleasure to judge ‘The Friends of Holland Park Art Exhibition 2017’. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful park on our doorstep; walking through the park reminds me that it should never be taken for granted. The exhibition was beautifully displayed; I appreciate the great care, attention and energy that putting together such an exhibition demands from its coordinators. Thank you.

Artex 2017A range of exciting media and materials were on display, giving me the opportunity to enjoy looking at a rich, varied, mixture of artworks including prints, photographs, painting, ceramics, glass, drawings, 3-D works and decorative jewellery.

Malgorzata Lapsa-Malawska was awarded the Prize for Artistic Excellence for her painting If a Tree Falls in a Forest, oil on linen canvas, showing great painting skill and a poetic use of narrative. I am delighted that the Sir Hugh Casson Drawing Prize was awarded to Jennifer Blackburn for her beautiful drawing with paint, an artwork called Beyond the Sky using acrylic and ink. The 3-D Prize was awarded to Angela Wilkes for Bull, modelled in stoneware and beautifully glazed to create a spirited beast reminiscent of the romantic Spanish natural style; and I was delighted to offer the Hampstead School of Art Prize in Applied Arts to Anne Musso for her delicate capture of plants in porcelain: her artwork Lamp, a vertical meadow.

Highly commended were Kye Sook Park for her work in the browser which offered a beautiful range of life drawings in the expressive minimal-line style alongside excellent prints; and Judith Gordon particularly for her painting The Dark Hedges, a lovely use of dense and atmospheric watercolour; Mary Romer Greenfield for her painting Rainbow Steps, a composition with a secret narrative of striking colours, skilfully optimistic; Ihor Ropyanyk for the masterly use of oils with palette knife in Wildflowers; Salina Thomas for A Slice of Galicia, its Atlantic waves pulsating with life; Nadhira Benaissa for the photograph of Holland Park Ice House: it is so good to see this local landmark so beautifully captured. Also commended were Russell Mack whose skilful ceramic works are so alluring; Hazel Leach, showing both paintings and ceramics; Alex Longmore showing us how flowers and ceramics work so well together; Susanne Bagner with her beautifully crafted and controlled slumped glass; and Rosamund Lyons, also sharing beautifully coloured glass with us.

A special mention at the awards evening was made for all the artists who exhibited; I congratulate you all for submitting work, it is a brave and generous to contribute to an excellent exhibition and support an event that makes such a valuable contribution to our London community. I noted with pleasure the presence of diverse drawing which delights me: the root of all our inspiration. Please continue your practice with vigour; I look forward to seeing your new work alongside new submitters in the exhibition next year.

A very special thanks to those of you who buy the artworks, your patronage makes these events possible and gives the event a special buzz, as well as making an important contribution to the excellent work of The Friends of Holland Park.

Isabel H.Langtry

Art Judge and

Principal of Hampstead School of Art

(Photos by Joy Puritz)

[Summer 2017]

Art Exhibition

Spring is nearly here which means The Friends of Holland Park Annual Art Exhibition is just around the corner.

As well as an outstanding exhibition of paintings, sculptures, cards and craft items, the work of one particular artist is also featured. This year our Feature Artist is Olivia Chalmers, a botanical artist and long-term Friend and exhibitor. Olivia studied at the Harrow School of Art, discovering botanical art after taking classes at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew under the renowned Annie Farrar. Olivia’s work is always popular with visitors to the exhibition and her work looks especially fine in the Orangery.

Could all artists please ensure that their Exhibit Details Forms are with me by Friday, 10 March, and please indicate which Private View, Friday night or Saturday morning, you would like tickets for, otherwise you will receive none.

We hope you will support The Friends of Holland Park by visiting our exhibition. We are hoping for more red dots this year. Look forward to seeing you there!

Enquiries to Gordon French, 19 Kensington Court Place, W8 5BJ, T: 020 7937 7222, E:

Art Exhibition Timetable

Friday, 10 March    All exhibit details forms must be received by this date to allow listing in the catalogue

Friday, 31 March    Artists deliver artworks to the Orangery, Holland Park, 8.30-11am

All artists will be required to sign the catalogue to certify that the details shown are correct

Friday, 31 March    Hanging and judging, 11am-6pm

Friday, 31 March    Private View, 7.30-9.30pm, entry by ticket at £3

Saturday, 1 April    Private View, 10.30am-12.30pm, entry by ticket at £3

For the two Private Views, artists are entitled to 5 complimentary tickets in toto

Saturday, 1 April    Exhibition open to the public, 1-6pm. Entry free of charge

Sunday, 2 – Sunday 9 April,    Exhibition open to the public, 10.30am-6pm. Entry free of charge

Sunday, 9 April    Artists and buyers collect works, 6-7pm

Monday, 10 April    Artists and buyers collect works, 9-11am

Artists are particularly asked NOT TO COLLECT THEIR WORKS BEFORE 6pm on SUNDAY 9 April, as this would spoil the exhibition for others.

[Spring 2017]

Art Exhibition 2017

Welcome to the introduction to The Friends of Holland Park Annual Art Exhibition 2017. This time our goal will be: more red dots.

It has now been five years that I have had the privilege of organising this exhibition. It is always a team effort with my wife and daughter plus the trustees and volunteers. Each year we try to enhance and develop the exhibition by introducing initiatives in order to sell more art. Selling more art means you the artist are happy, and the trustees are delighted that more revenue has been received for the charity.

It is interesting to note that there are very few sales made at the private views; this is unusual. I am an artist and art-gallery owner, and when I arrange exhibitions there are always sales on the private-view night and the red dots kick-start and stimulate the ongoing exhibition. The private-view sales encourage the exhibition visitors to make a purchase (‘...look at all the red dots!’). With this in mind, next year we will be introducing an incentive to the guests who attended the private views to make purchases.

It is always important for us to remember how special The Friends of Holland Park Art Exhibition is for many reasons:

•    The venue: the Orangery is one of the most beautiful locations in London for an exhibition.

•    The standard of work is very high.

•    The prices you put on your works are fair and affordable; they provide the visitors with great value.

•    The most important point: this is an exhibition put on by the Friends who are artists for the other Friends and the general public.

Let us, the artists, continue to support each other, generate more sales for each other, and revenue for our charity.

Now to the 2017 exhibition. Negotiations are ongoing for Feature Artist and sponsors; details and all other information should be confirmed by Christmas and included in your Artist letters. The conditions of entry remain unchanged from previous years: Friends who are artists and artists who become Friends are invited to exhibit up to ten works: two framed works to hang on the walls, and up to eight unframed works for display in the portfolio stands, these with a maximum size of 70 x 100cm (including mounts, but no wooden mounts please). Friends are also invited to exhibit up to ten three-dimensional objects such as ceramics, glassware and small sculptures, or enter the mini-mart of small works on offer at £40 and under, including cards and craft items. The minimum price for works in the main exhibition will be £50.

Friends interested in exhibiting in the art exhibition, the mini-mart or both need to register by filling in the order form,which can be downloaded here, and pay the £10 entry fee. Please note that artists who have registered for the main exhibition may also include small works in the mini-mart at no additional cost. Completed order forms should be sent to Rhoddy Wood as soon as possible because space is limited, and when enough artists have registered we cannot accept any more.

Further information on The Friends of Holland Park Art Exhibition may be obtained from me, Gordon French, 19 Kensington Court Place, London, W8 5BJ; tel.:  020 7937 7222;  e-mail:

Let’s have a great exhibition with lots of red dots!

Gordon French

[Winter 2016]