Exhibition puts the spotlight on rejected artists

If art legends Manet and Whistler had their works turned down then there is hope for any budding artists - and an exhibition is putting the rejected into the spotlight to find another star.

Dazed and Refused, opening in Cambridge Heath Road tomorrow (June 16), is a collection of works that were not chosen for this year’s prestigious BP Portrait Award.

But organisers believe they tell a multitude of tales in their own right.

The brainchild of artists Adam Laurence and Peter Jessett, who were themselves rejected from the awards, the exhibition has works from artists living as far afield as Mexico.

Mr Laurence said: “I remember the sense of shame I felt in 2006, collecting the work from a depot in Clapham, and it was obvious that this was a common experience.


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“The streets were cluttered with self-conscious artists, tucking canvases under their arms and scuttling away as quick as possible. Something approaching 1,500 paintings alone were stored for collection at Arnold Circus this year. What a waste not to exhibit them.”

The pair distributed 500 postcards from the 2011 London collection point at Arnold Circus in Bethnal Green and got an overwhelming response.

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The idea originally started in 1830s Paris, when art galleries began mounting small-scale private shows of works turned down from the Paris Salon exhibition.

In 1863, paintings by Manet and Whistler did not make the cut and so the Salon Des Refus�s was born.

The exhibition runs until July 10.

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