In The News

Foxton Art Exhibition publicity September 2018

Cambridge News April 2018

Peter's work at Foxton Art. All SOLD on Preview Night

Irene in publicity for the Foxton Art Exhibition

Peter on the cover of The Cambridge Edition

Pint of Science Collaboration - Irene Wilkes and Dr Graeme Buchanan

Submitted by Karen Jinks on Tue, 24/03/2015 - 11:00

Creative Reactions is an art-related event organised by Cambridge Creative Network and the Cambridge Pint of Science team, that is going to be the grand-closure of Pint of Science 2015 in Cambridge on 21st May. In the build up to Pint of Science, 55 local artists are creating artwork in response to the talks and often in collaboration with the scientist they have been paired with. One such collaboration is between artist Irene Wilkes and Dr Graeme Buchanan, Senior Conservation Scientist at the RSPB. Here, Irene tells us of her experience and the resulting artworks...

Derwent Art Prize 2014 - ineligible drawing wins first prize? 10/09/14

by Artist and writer Katherine Tyrrell

I have two beliefs about art competitions.

  • The first is that if you put your work into an art competition with a significant money prize, then you are putting your work up for critique. I therefore feel able to comment on artwork in major art competitions in a way which I might not for normal open exhibitions.
  • The second is that the work entered should be original and the artist should be able to assert copyright over their artwork. In other words the work should not be a derivative image.

Put simply - I have no time for people who copy other people's photographs. There are far too many brilliant artists who create excellent original images to bother with those who copy the images selected and executed by others.

This evening I am very sad that the Derwent Art Prize 2014 has been won by somebody who has copied a photograph taken by another person.

I am particularly sad because

  • the competition got off to a really great start last year with a truly original drawing in pencil winning the Derwent Art Prize 2013; and
  • there is some really outstanding work in this year's exhibition at the Mall Galleries - which I shall review tomorrow, when I will also highlight the other prizewinners.

Below is the correspondence I had with the organisers, Parker Harris, after an artist contacted me with information about one of the drawings which had been selected.

This is my email dated 30th July 2014.

Dear Derwent Art Prize

An image which appears on your gallery for all works submitted in the Derwent Art Prize competition appears to be breaching copyright and has been reported to me.

I'm somewhat well known within the online art community for highlighting breaches of copyright in relation to competitions hence people tend to tell me rather than the organisers. This very often happens because the person raising the query is also an entrant in the same competition.

I highlight images which breach competition rules merely because it's so unfair to other entrants when images are selected which are either not original and/or breach copyright. My purpose is to encourage people to read the rules and to learn what they can and cannot do - and that sometimes includes the selection panel when they appear to be ignorant of the rules of the competition they are judging.

I'm absolutely not in the business of creating any embarrassment for competition organisers. My preference is to ask the competition organisers for their comments first - with respect to use of a copyright image - before commenting on my blog. I'd also add that the nature of the response tends to influence whether and/or how I comment.

Please would you comment on the eligibility of:

the two photographs which have been copied by Brian Fay are included as part of the publicity material released by the Monument Men Foundation. Click the link to publicity material on this page and you will see the original (The images are also available on a number of other sites including the BBC and Pinterest Boards which have highlighted these publicity photos)

Does Brian Fay have permission of the US Government and/or the Board of Trustees of the Monuments Men Foundation to copy and reproduce these official photographs?

Is the Derwent Art Prize saying it's OK to

  • copy photographs which are still within copyright that are found on the internet?
  • make copies of works despite the fact that the Derwent Art Prize rules make it clear that copies of works are ineligible?

What do you propose to do about these selected images?

If the Derwent Art Prize prefers not to comment, please note I will be commenting on the similarity of images which are in plain view on the Internet and reviewing these within the context of the competition rules.

I'd also add that, in my experience, these matters are very rarely spotted by only one person.


Katherine Tyrrell

Below is the reply I received from the competition organisers, also dated 30th July 2014.

Dear Katherine

Thank you for the email. This is something we had previously spotted and looked into. The original photograph images are actually all within the public domain, therefore are not protected by copyright as are most images taken or created by the US government and they have been used on many websites as such (see screenshot below).

As the image is not protected by copyright, and is not a copy of an artwork but an image of a narrative, the work does not breach any of the rules or guidelines and we are delighted to have it in the exhibition.

Best wishes,


Rachael Chesterman

Project Manager

Parker Harris Partnership

I decided to wait and see what happened with respect to the drawing in question and would only highlight the issues raised if the work won a prize - as indeed it has done.

The letter from Parker Harris clarifies the situation on copyright and I accept that explanation.


Work that does not fit within the Conditions of Entry will not be admissible and will not be considered for exhibition. The following are also inadmissible:

  • Copies of works

Derwent Art Prize - Conditions of Entry

However I completely disagree with the interpretation which suggests the work is not a copy and suggests it is "an image of a narrative".

I don't recall that particular argument ever having held sway in any of the courts which have dealt with issues of what constitutes a copy.

In fact I googled "an image of a narrative" and came up with precisely one result on Google - which happened to be a commentary on Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'!

So what we have here is a notion - "an image of a narrative" - which does not exist in any form on the Internet.

So what exactly is "an image of a narrative"? Your guess is as probably as good as mine!

More to the point, if asked whether it was "a copy" or an "an image of a narrative", I am also pretty sure what most people would say! You can make that decision yourself if you view the two images below - the drawing and the photograph - plus you can also add your comments below. Maybe one of you will be able to explain "an image of a narrative" and why this is not "a copy".

In this case, I am very much of the view that the winning entry copies both (1) a photograph and (2) an original work of art. Neither may be still in copyright - however this does not negate the fact that this is a copy - and, as such, in my view

  • this prizewinning entry is inadmissible,
  • should not have been selected for exhibition and
  • should not have won any prize.

I have no idea whether the judges were made aware that the artwork had copied a photograph before, during or after the judging process. I spoke with the Chair of the judges this evening before the prize giving and it was clear she was aware it was based on a photograph.

This is the artwork which won the £5,000 First Prize

Looted Salt Mine 1945 Manet in the Winter Garden (pencil on paper)

by Brian Fay

This is the photograph which was copied.

Manet in Mine - photograph from the Monuments Men Foundation

You make your mind up whether you think this is

  • fair to all the artists who entered the competition and paid their entry fees in good faith (i.e. that all the rules would be applied consistently to all the entries)
  • fair to all the artists whose work was selected for the exhibition
  • fair to the sponsors who (I'm guessing) obviously want a competition which maintains high standards and is not brought into disrepute in any way.

Finally, can I say I have no wish whatsoever to embarrass Derwent with this post.

I've always been a huge supporter of Derwent and all they do for pencil art - as they well know. I had a word this evening with representatives of Derwent and told them that I intended to write this post. They made it clear to me that while they sponsor the competition they play no part in how it is conducted.

I suggested to Derwent that they might wish to insist on a couple of changes for the rules next year to comply with the standards and wording of other major art competitions.

These are:

  • all works must be the original work of the artist i.e. the artwork must not be copied and the artist must be able to assert copyright (i.e. no copies and no derivative works allowed)
  • all works must be framed.

Derivative work in UK copyright law

On the topic of derivative works, probably the most well known in recent years is the Shepherd Fairey case re the Barrack Obama "Hope" poster.

More particularly in relation to the UK what follows is a summary of the position in relation to derivative works. The following quotations come from Copyright issues for derivative works fact sheet from the UK Copyright Service.

  1. What is a derivative work?
    1. A derivative work is a work that is based on (derived from) another work; for example a painting based on a photograph, a collage, a musical work based on an existing piece or samples, a screenplay based on a book.
  2. Making a derivative work
    1. Permission.
      1. Legally only the copyright owner has the right to authorise adaptations and reproductions of their work - this includes the making of a derivative work.
        1. The copyright owner is generally the creator of the original work, or it may be someone the creator has given copyright to (i.e. next of kin).
        2. Unless you are the copyright owner of the original work, you will probably need the permission of the copyright owner before making a derivative work.
    2. Exceptions that do not require permission
      • If copyright has expired (under UK law this typically means the author died over 70 years ago), the work will be in the public domain, and may be used as a basis for a derivative work without permission.
  3. Copyright in the derivative work
    1. Provided it is significantly different to the original work the derivative work will be subject to copyright in its own right, and you will own copyright to the new content you have created as a result of your actions. Bear in mind that to be subject to copyright the creation of the derivative work must itself be an original work of skill, labour and judgement; minor alterations that do not substantially alter the original would not qualify.

The key words are "significantly different" - and a change of media does not satisfy this requirement.

LinkedIn Artists Network by William Adams 20/07/2014

Renaissance Man & Bon Vivant: semi retired independent consultant , publisher , author , producer , composer/musician.

you can sell most anything if the price is low enough

the trick is to find someone who wants to buy it at all

or to convince someone who does not want it to change their mind


from way too many artists


the best way for you to sell is to get your name known

and then considered to be among the top artists otherwise

you are just another unknown selling decor art against the billions of other images out there by other unknowns

Is ninety the new twenty? By Rachel Corbett and Julia Halperin

From Frieze New York daily edition Published online: 10 May 2014

Several dealers at the New York Art Fair are showing work by artists more than twice their own age. Sam Gilliam’s Out, 1969, at David Kordansky Gallery. The 80-year-old painter’s work is proving a draw for collectors and curators alike

At this year’s edition of Frieze New York Air Fair, numerous dealers are displaying the work of older artists, many of whom are gaining commercial and critical recognition for the first time. As prices continue to escalate in established areas of the market, from very young artists to post-war masters, a growing number of collectors are betting on overlooked talent.

During the fair’s VIP preview on Thursday, Lisson Gallery (B58) sold three paintings, priced between $20,000 and $100,000, by the 98-year-old artist Carmen Herrera, while Alison Jacques Gallery (A29) sold two drawings by Irma Blank, who turns 80 this year, for $15,000 each in the first few hours of the fair. Also on the first day, Sfeir-Semler Gallery (B4) sold an untitled painting by Etel Adnan, 89 this year, for €25,000. Just seven years ago, the Lebanese artist was selling similar works from her studio for $800. “The sexiest thing… right now is to rediscover an artist of at least 95 years old,” joked Chris Dercon, the director of London’s Tate Modern, at a talk last year.

In some cases, dealers are rediscovering bodies of work that were considered unfashionable when they were made but are now back in style. The Tel Aviv-based gallery Tempo Rubato (B30) sold half of its works by the Israeli artist Joav BarEl, who died in 1977 and has never been shown before in the US, for $20,000 to $30,000 each, during the fair’s preview day.

“He was interested in these very Western ideas of consumerism and mechanical production,” says the gallery’s owner, Guillaume Rouchon, of the artist’s neon Pop paintings, “but at the time, Israel was interested in expressive abstraction and post-Holocaust art.”

Some artists had other jobs and “didn’t compete in what they saw as the rat race of the art world”, says the curator and art dealer Peter Falk, who adds that he hopes to organise an art fair called “Rediscovered Masters” in either New York, Miami or Silicon Valley. Elaine Lustig Cohen (b. 1927), whose vibrant paintings are on show at the Nada fair (until 11 May), made her living as a graphic designer and rare book dealer, but her art developed a cult following among her friends, including the artist Mel Bochner. Etel Adnan, meanwhile, has painted almost daily since the 1960s but was known primarily as a writer until her work was shown at Documenta in 2012. A solo exhibition devoted to the artist, which has been organised by Hans Ulrich Obrist, the co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery, is now on show in Doha (until 6 July). “She’s flattered by all the attention, but she would paint even if nobody was watching,” says Sfeir-Semler’s Sven Christian Schuch.

Other artists have been overlooked by the mainstream market because of “race, gender or geography”, says the art dealer Alexander Gray (D26). The painter Sam Gilliam, who is 80 and is based in Washington, DC, showed largely at galleries specialising in African-American artists until an exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery (C3) last year exposed a broader group of contemporary art collectors to his work. Since then, Gilliam’s prices have doubled and museums are taking a second look. Walking past Kordansky’s solo presentation of paintings by the artist from the 1960s, Dan Byers, a curator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, said: “We have one in our collection from the same period, but we’ve never shown it. Now’s the time.”

For collectors priced out of the blue-chip market, these artists offer an alternative opportunity to buy a piece of history. “Much of this interest has been accelerated by dramatically rising prices and dramatically decreasing supply for the artists who have formed the central canon,” says the art adviser Allan Schwartzman. Billboard-sized works by Gilliam can be bought at Frieze for $250,000 to $350,000; paintings by his better-known peers, such as Morris Louis, are more than $1m.

Working with older artists can also be a windfall for emerging dealers at a time when “the more established galleries are going younger and younger”, says the dealer James Fuentes (C2). The blue-chip Upper East Side gallery Skarstedt, for instance, is opening an exhibition of work by the 25-year-old painter Lucien Smith (15 May-27 June), while global powerhouse David Zwirner now represents 28-year-old Oscar Murillo.

At Frieze, Fuentes nearly sold out his stand of works by the Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, aged 81, during the VIP preview, at prices ranging from $6,000 to $120,000. “We’re still seeking talent, and it often makes sense to go where others aren’t looking,” he says.