Live it: RA Summer Exhibition 2012

Photo courtesy of http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/summer-exhibition-2012/
For me, Summer in London is all about the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy and so as I will soon be moving away from the city, I thought it only fair that I went to the show again. This is my 5th year going and every year brings something different and this time I went with my mum, which was fun as I usually go on my own.

This year however disappointed me a little and impressed me at the same time - so that's probably what they were going for. Unfortunately you are not able to take photos and so I cannot show you some of my favourite parts, but I can talk about them and link you to my No. 1 item to look at in the show.

My favourite parts of the show are usually the architecture models and the photography gallery - which this year they have split the photos up into the gallery spaces along with the paintings.  I prefer my photography all together and the most impressive photography part was on the back wall, you know the one, just where you exit for the shop, there is a wall dividing the gallery from the shop doors, some of the best photographs were on the back of that!  Well placed for people to ignore them, and I must say 3 Quentin Blake sketches were here too!  One of the best illustrators we have to offer and that's where they put him!  I seem to remember he got that place last year too, so maybe he likes it there!  

The architecture models did not did not disappoint, the detail and precision from carving a building from the pages of a book through to etched metal fully scaled detail!  Amazing.  I think this is usually one of the places that most of the purist RA visitors find the least interesting as I am usually one of the only ones in the room.  The sketches on the wall would have put my lecturers at Design college and University to shame and I can only say that if I had given my tutors sketches like them, they would have failed me.  Just goes to show how subjective design is and what really counts as talent in the real world.

I also liked the fact that they had moved the artwork that usually resides in one of the the tiny rooms to room III (the largest room) which means you can actually see all the artwork on the walls, instead of trying to look at work which is 8ft high on the wall and which is so small that you can just about see the colour it is, let alone what it is and the number, to at least help you discover what it is.

For the amount of years I have been going, I think this has to be one of my least favourite shows and maybe that's just because it does not indulge in my particular passions!  But I did, as always like David Mach's work and they had plenty of John Hoyland work for me to look at - which after a trip to the Tate St Ives in 2006, he has been a particular favourite of mine.

My top thing to check out when you go though is no.1132, the Hawkins/Brown model called 'Ferias Diversorio' in room VI, just look at the picture!  Its amazing, made out of sewing bits and pieces, from bobbins and spools, with little people added on for that extra cute factor!

Picture courtesy of: http://www.hawkinsbrown.com/studio/the-royal-academy-summer-exhibition-2012
So all in all, something for everything and despite my outlook its definitely worth a look, as it will show you what people think of art and for all your artists out there, show you that you really should apply next year as you really could be the next artist in the Summer Exhibition.

Live it!
H

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