Friends Are Showing: Nina Dolan; Sally Sparks; Ira Wood

The Friends of the RWA includes many accomplished artists. Here are some current and upcoming Friends’ shows from around the country…


Nina Dolan – ​A Journey Through Abstraction

Chelsea Waterside ArtSpace. 5th March – 21st April 2020

Nina Dolan

Nina is an abstract artist who  she won the ‘Best in Show’ prize at the 2019 Friends’ Exhibition.

She says: “Although my work is not representational it is autobiographical, drawing from inspiration from living in Italy, Spain, the Middle East and my immediate surroundings. In this digital age I am drawn to the act of painting, enjoying the slow process, the sense of adventure, systems in place, never sure what is going to happen in a work. I hope the viewer follows the journey in my work and has time to look and reflect.”

“Nina Dolan’s paintings are like statements of belief, exuberant acts of witness to the glory of the world. Although reminiscent of things seen, they are by no means illustrative, being composed of strong colour and expressive linear forms in space. Resolutely abstract, they are pleasurable, beautiful, intriguing. They encourage the enquiring eye to make associational links with personal experience and thus their imagery can find its way to the very heart of specific memories.” Andrew Lambirth: writer, critic and curator.

(Image top: Nina Dolan: ‘Wood of Ghostly Images’]

Nina Dolan – ‘Indian Summer’



Sally Sparks and Ira Wood – Nature’s Messages

Art Gallery and Museum, Twigworth. 7-19 April 2020

Ira Wood – ‘Landscape with sheep’

Friends of the RWA Sally Sparks and Ira Wood are showing with Gordano Textile Artists in an exhibition focusing on nature and environmental concerns. The textile art in this exhibition illustrates issues ranging from plastic in our seas and the dangers of fracking to the language of flowers, camouflage in animals, and the complex underground connections between the roots of trees and the air we breathe.

The results are as individual as the eleven artists, featuring collage, paint, stitching and even photographs.

Artists: Sally Sparkes, Ira Wood, Debby Bird, Carol Clark, Sue Hatsom, Liz Hewitt, Kirsten Hill-Nixon, Jenn Hutchins, Viv Young.

Sally Sparks – ‘Animal Markings Camouflage’

Nature in Art Gallery and Museum, Twigworth, Gloucester GL2 9PG




The Friends of the RWA is an independent charity that supports the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol’s first art gallery. 
For just £35 a year Friends can make unlimited visits to RWA exhibitions and enjoy a host of other benefits, as well as making an important contribution to the arts in Bristol and the South West. Find out more and join up here.

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