Once again, a huge batch of photos from a very, very good show. Pictures (nearly 300! I didn’t accidentally leave the camera on overnight, and I had a spare battery just in case) first for the lazy, with words to follow. Remember that all of the thumbnails can be opened to larger pics.
I’d also like to highlight this piece, which was my favourite entry in the historial masters category (extra larger picture):
Anyway, some discussion of the show.
- It was a great competition again. Perhaps slightly smaller than last year in terms of entries, but with the size of the show generally, that’s actually not saying a lot – there were still 300+ entries in historical masters, for instance, which is larger than a lot of shows get in total.
- The venue is still lacking something. My favourite show of the year is probably Duke of Bavaria/Herzog von Bayern because it has easy access to a really nice town, so you’re not pinned down to the show. The convention centre at Eindhoven is twenty minutes from the city centre by bus, and there’s not really anywhere to eat or grab a drink nearby, which means you’re stuck with the on-site facilities. This would be fine if it didn’t mean that upwards of a thousand people are all trying to use those same facilities, which puts a huge strain on the venue and results in some pretty horrendous queues. Eindhoven itself is a brilliant city – there’s a really thriving city centre full of bars, cafes and restaurants, there’s great architecture (and I mean really great – I’m a big fan), and at least one fantastic hotel that I’ve stayed at twice now.
With the World Expo coming to Eindhoven in two years, I think it would be really valuable to look into venues in the city itself. As far as I can tell, the city is basically a former industrial centre that has remoulded itself into a cultural and art hub (quite a famous design university there now), and I imagine there has to be at least one of the factories that has retained the large open interior spaces and could be turned into a much more convenient location. The World Expo’s I’ve been to (Montreux and Stresa) were marked by access to sites outside the venue where you could hang out with other painters – you could also reasonably bring family and not worry about locking them into a nerd prison, which also made them into a combined model show and holiday.
Having said that, the organisers clearly know their stuff, and they have exactly that planned, or other plans to improve the available facilities on site.
In the end, I snagged a bronze in historical masters for my Occitan Knight, which I’m really pleased about. SMC is probably the biggest show of the year and is almost notorious for setting a high bar on the judging, so getting anything at all is quite a compliment. I got highly commended in the same category last year, so it’s also great to see some progress. We’ll see if the duckpocalypse pays dividends next year.