From Friday 23rd October 2015 until 21st November 2015, The Minster Gallery will be presenting a selection of new paintings by Members of The Wapping Group of Artists.
The Wapping Group began in 1939, when members of the Artists Society and the Langham Sketching Club met at the Prospect of Whitby Pub in Wapping, East London and decided to spend the coming summer sketching and painting by their beloved River Thames. The outbreak of World War II put an end to any more ideas and it was not until the end of the war, that the artists reconvened in 1946 to formally establish the Wapping Group.
The Wapping Group is today the longest established society of professional plein-air artists in the UK. The number of members is still limited to 25 as it was when it was first founded. Whatever the weather, this Group of dedicated artists continues to meet every week between April and September at a chosen venue between Henley and the Thames Estuary. There is a great camaraderie among them and the group has remained exactly what it first set out to be: a small group of fellow artists, appreciating each other’s company whilst painting outdoors in all weathers. For almost 70 years now, The Wapping Group has, almost incidentally, recorded the changing face of London and the River Thames.
In early years, the Group was closely associated with the Port of London Authority, and held its first three annual exhibitions at the PLA headquarters before moving to the Royal Exchange Gallery, where they were held for the next thirty years. The venue for annual exhibitions then moved to St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, in 1981 and since 2003, they have been held at the Mall Galleries, SW1.
Originally the painting area was concentrated between Westminster and Gravesend, but it has steadily widened over the years. Today, it ranges from Henley, up-river, through London and out to the Rivers Medway, Crouch and Blackwater. The Group also arranges occasional painting trips further afield, in recent years to locations which have included Bruges, the Loire Valley, Normandy, Brittany and Ile de Ré.
The Wapping Group is exhibiting for the first time in Winchester. This new exhibition is a collection of new works painted, in various media, many completed entirely on site, by the members of the Wapping Group, along the Thames and exceptionally, in Winchester.
The exhibition features familiar locations of Winchester and include up-river, through all of riverside London and out to estuary locations. The Exhibition includes over 70 works which will delight the viewer of tideway and riverbank, sunlight and showers, boats and architecture.