N.O.W. 17 is an exhibition by over 20 members of the RI, who are descending on the ancient market town of Horsham to display their most recent work. Watercolour, a democratic medium enjoyed by millions, but perfected by so few, is an art that has great versatility. Going back to its roots, this stunning exhibition of contemporary watercolours shows just how radical the art form is and just why as a medium it set the art world alight 200 years ago. Then it was contemporary, cutting edge, challenging and revolutionary as well as artistic – just the qualities that the RI celebrate in their show N.O.W. 17: New Original Watercolours at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery.
Artists such as Rosa Sepple PRI (the current RI President) reveal just how modern watercolours are; they show that whilst paintings, such as La Serenata can look naive, they are multi-layered with fascinating narrative, a complex colour pallet and humour. Naomi Tydeman RI, whose sense of colour, perspective, understanding of the medium and feel for the seaside draws the visitor in to the Tenby Skyline. Ian Sidaway RI‘s painting Levans Hall VI shows how the modern watercolour artist is stretching the boundaries of technique; whilst Deborah Walker RI displays a different style to reflect twilight in her painting Calm. Some of the paintings show how use of colour, line and tone can create a real sense of the object, its form and its texture; a brilliant example of this is Lillias August RI‘s Ancient vessels.
Founded in 1831, Queen Victoria awarded the title ‘Royal’ to the Institute in 1885 and today Her Majesty the Queen is Patron and HRH Prince of Wales is an Honorary Member. Following on from their successful London show the exhibition in Horsham Museum & Art Gallery is a rare excursion out of the capital. N.O.W. 17: New Original Watercolours forms the central part of Horsham’s Festival of the Watercolour with talks, workshops and demonstrations designed to engage people at all levels and ages.
NOW 17 exhibition and the Festival of the Watercolour are supported by Toovey’s Fine art and Valuers, who have continued their involvement with the development of the Museum watercolour collection – without their support, Horsham Museum and Art Gallery would not be able to host a number of upcoming events.
N.O.W. 17 opens on Saturday 13 May until 15 July at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery. With free entry and the chance to see over 80 paintings by members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, it is an opportunity that art lovers should not miss.