The Pastel Society at the Mall Galleries

The Pastel Society at the Mall Galleries

Pastel isn't revered in the way that oil painting is, but the Pastel Society hopes to change perceptions with a very colourful and exuberant annual exhibition in London

By Abby Trow
River Sunset by Tony Allain

The Pastel Society's annual exhibition takes place at the Mall Galleries on The Mall in central London from 21 February to 4 March. Pictured above: River Sunset by Tony Allain.
Mention Deco at the reception desk for free entry for two people (ticket price normally £4)

The Pastel Society's 2017 annual exhibition (21 Feb - 4 March) should inspire anyone with artistic leanings to try their hand with a stick of pastel. The most portable art medium and one that offers an intensity of colour, pastel, perhaps curiously, remains a somewhat underrated material; but the society (est.1898) has chosen contemporary works in vibrant colours that should do its reputation nothing but good.
Works chosen for the show vary from small still lifes to impressionistic pieces, and you'll also see works in pencil, chalk and charcoal. Artists exhibiting include elected members of the society and some chosen from an open submission process.
Flowers by Ann Wilkinson
Samphire Island by Sarah Bee
Cascade by Malcolm Taylor
Allegro by Joanne Last
Winter Abstract by Bob Last
Low Sun by Cheryl Culver

The pastel works are wonderfully vibrant and colourful. And going back to that point about portability and immediacy, many of the works have been painted in the open air and celebrate nature.

From geometrical depictions of the Japanese Kyoto Garden in London's Holland Park, atmospheric Cornish coastal scenes, detailed Venetian studies and impressionistic rainy days in Rochester, we see, say the organisers 'that as with all good art, much that is familiar rendered new and exciting, as well as what is unfamiliar made understandable.'


Opening hours - 10 am to 5pm, or 3pm on the final day.

Adult tickets: £4