ING Discerning Eye 2015


Holly Frean, Gilbert and George

ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2015

12 – 22 November – Mall Galleries, London

An exhibition of small works curated by: Emma Bridgewater -­ Stephen Doherty -­ Nicole Farhi – Larry Lamb -­ Steve Pill -­ Stephen Snoddy

Sponsored by ING Commercial Banking, the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. A total of 457 works – including paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings and photographs – by 197 artists will be on show from 12 – 22 November 2015 at the Mall Galleries in London.

The dynamic selection panel this year comprises the founder of iconic British ceramics brand, Emma Bridgewater; respected fashion designer-turned-sculptor, Nicole Farhi, and actor, Larry Lamb, known for roles in EastEnders and Gavin & Stacey. They are joined by three respected art world professionals: Director of Visual Communications at Somerset House, Stephen Doherty; Editor of Artists & Illustrators Magazine, Steve Pill; and Gallery Director of The New Art Gallery, Walsall, Stephen Snoddy.

The selectors have each curated their own section of the exhibition, drawing their selection from artists they have personally invited to exhibit, as well as artworks submitted through an open call. The result is six smaller exhibitions within one, each with very distinct personalities.

The uniqueness of having each work chosen by an eminent individual, unlike in a group selected show, has earned the exhibition an excellent reputation among art lovers and collectors alike. The charm of the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition lies in the unpredictability and variety of the selectors’ choices. Works of lesser-known artists hang alongside those of more established artists helping to connect hundreds of new artists with new audiences.

The selectors have adopted uniquely personal approaches for curating their sections of the exhibition:

Emma Bridgewater’s section reflects the artists whose work she surrounds herself with at home: “I have never considered myself as the owner of a discerning eye. I simply buy pictures that move me. Moreover an awful lot of the pictures I hang on my walls are there for all kinds of reasons – historical, personal and sentimental. In this way my walls somewhat resemble my kitchen dresser; both are something of a collage of my life and loves. So duly, but rather nervously, I asked a collection of artists if they would like to participate, on the basis that they are all people whose work I like, and sometimes buy.”

Nicole Farhi sees the exhibition as a chance to support emerging talent, and to thank those who helped her in her development as a sculptor: “After so many years spent supervising young Fashion Designers, I was at last able to support young emerging artists. I was going to be able to use not my experience as a designer but instead my instinct and gut feeling about art. I was also asked to invite contributions from some of my artist friends. Nothing could have made me happier. I was at last able to thank all the people who helped me through the years by their friendship and advice.”

Larry Lamb has selected predominantly female artists, while Stephen Snoddy has opted to invited artists from the places he has worked within the UK: “I have always made connections between the galleries that I have worked at and artists from that city /region. It is important for me to have a dialogue between a programme and what is happening on the doorstep and to support the visual arts ecology and to build a stronger regional structure for artists to build careers nationally and internationally.”

Stephen Doherty decided to focus on the natural environment and his concern for its conservation and preservation, choosing mostly landscape works that speak to him of “a love of the land and the colours and textures that nourish the soul and make the heart sing.”

Steve Pill’s selection is more personal: “I have been increasingly drawn to images that deal with connections and detachment, or artists who I feel display a real truth and honesty in their practice. With that in mind, I was excited to accept this generous offer of curating a display as it gave me a rare chance to test myself and judge images on instinct, without recourse to context or personality. Several of the selectors have used this opportunity to address and highlight some of the ugly biases that linger in the contemporary British art world, from gender to geography. My selection is, embarrassingly, far more selfish than that. This one is for Mum.”

Exhibition Information:
All selected works will be on display at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1 from 12 – 22 November 2015. Open from 10am – 5pm daily. Admission Free. Nearest Tube: Charing Cross. All works are for sale: For enquiries contact Parker Harris on: or 01372 462190


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