The Royal Society of British Artists Call for Entries is now open, and we are seeking work for the Annual Exhibition 2022. If you have not submitted your work before, we hope that this will encourage you to do so!

Hannah Martin spoke to some of the prize winners from the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition 2021, to gather some words of encouragement, and to help you establish if your work would fit within the exhibition. Make sure you take a look at last year’s selected works here.

Paula Mitchell

Paula Mitchell received both the Gordon Hulson Memorial Prize and the Frinton Frames Award for her work ‘Solent Sparkle’. It is a depiction of Southsea Seafront, a special place to her filled with fond family memories.

Paula Mitchell, Solent Sparkle

Paula shared: ‘The inclusion of my work ‘Solent Sparkle’ in the RBA 2021 Annual Exhibition is something I had hoped for as it was a painting I was personally proud of and thought worthy of consideration by the RBA selectors. Even if I wasn’t successful, I took an approach of nothing ventured, nothing gained and I would put myself forward.’ 

She was overjoyed to receive both the awards which had a hugely positive impact on her own artistic self-belief, and the recognition of her work within the show acted as a catalyst for further success in her artistic profession in the following months. Paula added: ‘I was confident I was on the right track, but it showed others felt the same and were as excited as I was about my work.’

Roger Cromwell

The Ronald Morgan Memorial Award was won by Roger Cromwell for his painting ‘Storm Passing’, in which he has captured the view across South East London from his flat in Crystal Palace.

Roger Cromwell, Storm Passing

Roger poetically explained: ‘The desire to have our efforts appreciated is a natural human need, whatever activity we are involved in. A song is not a song until it is heard. For a painter, it is a necessity that our work is seen, and open exhibitions are a way of hopefully achieving that result.’ 

Roger thinks the Mall Galleries are an important institution where exciting contemporary works of art are shown, which he was privileged to be a part of, and said winning the Ronald Morgan Memorial Award was a real high and gave him great confidence. Roger adds: ‘For any artist unsure of submitting work, I would say don’t be afraid of failure, but please don’t be afraid of success.’

Mark McLaughlin

‘Flood and Ice, Belair Park, West Dulwich’ by Mark McLaughlin was awarded The Peter Kelly Commemorative Prize. Mark painted the scene from his local park during the winter, as after it was flooded, it froze over creating a magical scene he wanted to capture.

Mark McLaughlin, Flood and Ice, Belair Park, West Dulwich

Mark says: ‘It is always good to try and submit work to the RBA Exhibition. It is more diverse in its selection of works exhibited because it has a broader range of acceptable mediums, so whether you are a painter, sculptor, or printmaker, this is the ideal place to try and exhibit in. The RBA is very keen on accepting young artists too, and of course, there are the prize awards across all disciplines and the chance to sell your work in a London Gallery!’

Emily Gillbanks

Emily won the de Laszlo Foundation Prize for her painting ‘Three Things’. Emily is a painting student at the Royal College of Art, and was 22 years old when she submitted her painting. As a new figurative painter, she engages with social and technological issues within her work, and through ‘Three Things’ she wanted to portray how when we are brought together through technology, we are also inevitably apart.

Emily Gillbanks, Three Things

Emily explained she’s been visiting the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibitions for years, so to have her painting displayed in the same space where she has taken inspiration from over the years felt unreal.

She added: ‘The de Laszlo Medal for Excellence meant my painting exhibited in the exhibition was recognised as the best artwork from life in the show by an artist aged 35 and under. I have been able to put the prize money back into my studies. Winning the prize uplifted me, as I was beginning to doubt my practice, but it came at a good time and further encouraged me to keep developing my paintings of people which I plan to present at my end of year show at the Royal College of Art. Being part of the exhibition was a great experience and I would strongly encourage anyone thinking of applying to do so.’

Lesley Hilling

The Nathan David Award for Sculpture was won by Lesley Hilling for her detailed and interactive sculpture ‘The Soldier’.


Lesley Hilling, The Soldier

Lesley says that submitting your work is always worth a shot and that the more you submit pieces to shows, the more your confidence will grow. She adds that life can be full of knockbacks and that within the creative industries we have our fair share of rejections, but when she received the award it was a great justification for her work.

She adds: ‘ If you have your work chosen to be in a show in a prestigious space, it gives you so much confidence, especially when you win an award.  You meet new people, other artists, new contacts, and your work becomes known by a wider audience.  From this, over time, comes new often unexpected openings and opportunities.  I have several commissions now and I think these opportunities came from that growth in my audience.’

The Royal Society of British Artists are seeking work of any subject by painters, sculptors and printmakers working across all mediums. They will be looking for skill, draughtsmanship, originality, and creativity. The submission process is really simple, and you’ll find all the details, guidelines, and information here.

The deadline for submission is Friday 10 December, we can’t wait to see your creations!

Enter your work now!