Every year artists submit their works to the RHA gallery in the hope of being selected for their prestigious annual exhibition which guarantees exposure and promises sales. We caught up with three artists (Zsolt Basti, Kitsch Doom and Ursula Burke), who are among the 523 works in show selected from 3900 submissions.
White Face Red Nose
Oil on wood panel
“This painting was made from an old picture from when I was in secondary school. I was drawn to the positioning of the figure. This person, at the time, was a child, working something out with their hands. I painted the face but was unhappy with it, so I painted it white with sloppy paint and put on a cadmium red brushstroke for a nose. This was painted in my studio at La Catedral Studios in Dublin 8.
Since my degree show in IADT, all I wanted to do was to present my work to a wider audience and the RHA annual was the first place to give me that opportunity. Luckily now I am involved in other shows, but I must credit the RHA enormously for helping me as an emerging artist. I apply every year and I believe I will continue to do so for as long as I am still a practicing artist. Exhibiting in such a big show with so many great artists is such an honour.”
How has (if it has at all) the pandemic changed your approach and attitude to your practice and the art world in general?
To be honest the pandemic did not change my approach to art or the art world. Luckily, my studio was open throughout the lockdowns and I could still work on my practice. However, one small change was that I used my time at home within the first lockdown for drawing. It did, perhaps, help me realise how important quiet environments were to me when I paint. The studio was very quiet during covid and it helped me focus on my work.
What excites you most about the re-emergence of society, albeit under a ‘new norm’?
I am so happy the galleries and museums are open again. Meeting friends and going to see art. I love it. The slow pace of life during lockdown was nice but it was a bit boring. I like to be active and to travel. I’m happy about the re-emergence of society, and as long as we can do the things we love, I don’t mind wearing a mask. Sometimes it’s harder to recognise people though masks, so if I walked by you and didn’t say “hi”, I am sorry.
The 191st Annual RHA exhibition opens on Monday September 27 and runs until October 30.