Phil Crow ABIPP is a photographer based in Lincoln, UK

Selected for the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

With the logistics and set up for FORTYSEVEN in full swing and preparations for the Keele University Preview and exhibition looming I read an article about this year’s Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition and its call for entries. Every year it has a theme and this year it was “Only Connect” – little did I know what else would come from all of this*. Talk about only connect!!

Well, I thought I must have something that’ll work with that, and I immediately pulled up Joiners Square on my screen and decided to put that forward. With my usual imposter syndrome thoughts, I thought no more about it, not expecting it to get anywhere. After all, this is the Royal Academy! Would they really shortlist A: a photo and B: a photo of the Potteries!? NAH!

Well, in March, it seems someone did like it and I was shortlisted! In fact I was so surprised, I had to look up which image it was that I’d entered!!

The next step it to take in a physical print, framed, for the final round of judging on the 2 May and a decision would be made by 24th. The process of taking in the work is seamless. After all, this exhibition has been running, without break, since 1769 so it’s no surprise that they know what they are doing! Dropping the picture off was a bit of an anti climax… simply hand it over, the attached barcode is scanned and that’s it! Next step, wait to see if it makes the cut!

It turns out there were 16,500 entries this year and that is pared down to a final display of 900 that make up the RA Summer Exhibition. Apparently that is the largest number of entries they have ever had and on the 24 May, the email came through…

“We are delighted to inform you that your artwork, JOINERS SQUARE has been selected for this year’s exhibition.”

I had to read it a couple of times before it sank in! Total Shock!

So there you have it. “Joiners Square” is at the RA Summer Exhibition in room VII (curated by Eileen Cooper OBE RA) and it’s picture number 866. It’s at the top of the wall with other animals. The show is on now and runs until 20 August 

*Now, in between all of this, there was an exhibition on at my local gallery, The Usher… A Moment Captured by David Remfry. This was a couple of rooms full of his large scale watercolours. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I’d had a wander about and popped an image of the exhibition onto Instagram. Next thing I know, Mr Remfry has reposted it. At that point in time I had no idea he was the exhibition co-ordinator. It’s funny how things work out. I’m a big believer in fate and the six degrees of separation, or, as David Remfry would describe it, Only Connect!

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