Gill Hewitt’s work ‘Dots’ at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2019

Dots by Gill Hewitt, 2019, wool, silk, cotton, polyester, 42cm x 50cm

On Varnishing Day I was delighted to find my work Dots in Gallery III at the Royal Academy.  This year it is the 251st Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. There were over 16,000 entries – a record number of applicants.

It was Varnishing Day on Friday, 31 May. This is the day, traditionally, that artists put the finishing touches to their work before the exhibition opened to the public. Now, it’s a joyous celebration, starting with the gathering of exhibitors in the courtyard, accompanied by a fabulous and very enthusiastic steel band. 

Thomas Houseago sculptures at the entrance to the Summer Exhibition 2019

The courtyard was filled with towering and imposing Thomas Houseago sculptures as a welcome party. The procession to St James’s church with a special service followed, then back to the Royal Academy to see the artwork hung for the first time.

Dots by Gill Hewitt on the wall of Gallery III

There was a buzz of excitement as artists scanned the walls to find their work. I found my work Dots in Gallery III, looking much smaller than I remembered, but sharing gallery space with Anselm Kiefer and Jock McFadyen – that doesn’t happen every day!

It was such a wonderful day. It’s hard to put in words how much it means to me to see textile art on the walls of the Royal Academy. 

Thank you Jock McFadyen and the hanging committee.

Do come and see Dots and all the wonderful work when the Summer Exhibition opens on 10 June until 12 August 2019, at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD.

Gill Hewitt