The entrance to the Mall Galleries. The wall has columns running along it and there is an orange sign saying “Mall Galleries” by the entrance.

Society of Graphic Fine Art Open 23

20 March 2023 By ian

The annual open exhibition of the Society of Graphic Fine Art is a true celebration of drawing in all its forms and is held in the Mall Galleries in London. This year the exhibition ran from 13 to 18 March.

This is the fourth year I’ve entered drawings into the exhibition and the first year I’ve entered as an associate member of the society. I had three pictures selected.

Two pencil drawings displayed on the wall. One is of a woman looking downwards. The other is of a girl resting her head on her chin

Living in Dorset, it’s quite an investment of time and money to exhibit in London. It’s involved three trips, one to take the pictures up, one to visit the exhibition while it’s open, and one to collect the pictures after it’s closed. I’ve learned to think carefully about which exhibitions to enter but the SGFA open exhibition feels like home, it’s all about drawing and printing and pencil and charcoal; everything I love, in fact.

An etching of a seated French Bulldog, viewed from behind

This year the exhibition was in two of the three Mall Galleries galleries: the North Gallery and the East Gallery. The East is a big space that was hung with larger works, while the North is a zigzag of smaller rooms that was perfect for smaller pictures. It can take a long time to draw even a small pictures so there smaller works are more common.

Some visitors to the exhibition are looking at a selection of small pictures displayed on two walls
Smaller pictures tastefully displayed in the North Gallery

This year’s exhibition was extremely well hung. The walls weren’t crammed with work and similarly themed work was grouped together. It really showed off the pictures and was a real treat to look around.

Copper plate etching of two sides of a courtyard, with a tree over handing in the top right corner.

It’s finished now (I had meant to write about it before it started but didn’t find the time) but the work is still available to see online.

A man (me!) standing next to two pencil drawings displayed on a wall in a gallery