I often find art galleries to be inaccessible. They’re always in the most elegant buildings in the nicest parts of town and tend to carry a hefty admission. I almost feel that in order to fit in at a fancy exhibition I’d need an art history degree and to be decked out in head to toe Balenciaga. The 250th anniversary summer exhibition at the Royal Academy was nothing like that.

Upon entering the exhibition the walls were a striking and vibrant yellow and covered floor to ceiling in the largest variety of art I’ve ever seen in one place.  There was barely any space between the paintings but somehow it managed not to look crowded. Instead it just felt like one massive celebration of people who have poured their minds, hearts and souls onto a canvas. No matter what styles or techniques peak your artistic interest there will definitely have been something on the walls of this gallery to get you talking.


I find it to be no coincidence that the artworks that have received the most attention so far are the simple and humorous pieces. “Lightswitch” by Jess Wilson stopped all passers by and put a smile on everyone’s faces. One of my personal favourites was this aubergine by Eleanor Green entitled “Does My Bum Look Big in This?” The painting immediately caught my eye and really made me chuckle but for a little while I couldn’t figure out why. I suppose I saw something very human in the fruit and it’s reflection. At the risk of sounding like I’ve lost my marbles completely, in one way or the other we are all an aubergine.

There’s no need to be an aficionado to enjoy this exhibition. This was my first visit to the RA and I’m looking forward to next summer’s as this year was certainly one to beat.

Fleur Zanna

Author Fleur Zanna

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