Awards, Commissions, and Competitions

2019 Elected as an Academician at the RWA (Royal West of England Academy)


2017 Grant awarded from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation NYC


2015 Arts Council - Commission for Shifting Subjects group show with Sarah Lucas, Miranda Whall & Co


2012 Arts Council - commission for Cultural Olympiad: Sherbourne House Arts and B- side maritime mix.  Body Extreme- portrait for Weymouth and Portland poster and bus stops display.


2012 - 2013 Arts Council - Grant for 'Histories in the Age of Confusion'


2011/2010/1982/1983 Finalist and Exhibitor at the National Portrait Gallery London BP portrait award. John Players portrait award.


2010 Exhibition Finalist - Theadneedle Prize London


2010 Lynn Painter – Stainers prize finalist London


2009 Sovereign European Art Prize Finalist and public vote winner


Wendy Elia works in series which explore the social and broader contexts of our times. In her portrait work she confronts our voyeurism and asks questions about the female gaze and painting’s relationship to authenticity and illusion. Elia moves from the personal to the political not only in the range of content and form in the various series, but also within individual paintings: using a range of pictorial symbols and signifiers to extend the meaning/narrative of the works.


Wendy Elia trained at St Martins School of Art, London and has exhibited widely being a finalist in a number of national and international competitions which include 4 times at the National Portrait Gallery, as well as The Sovereign European Art Prize, and The Threadneedle Prize. Her work is also held in a number of public permanent art collections across the country.


In 2012 she was commissioned by Sherbourne House Arts and B-side (funded by the arts council) to paint a portrait of a local sports person as part of the cultural Olympiad in Weymouth and Portland.  Also In 2012 she was given an arts council grant to develop a body of work (Histories in the Age of Confusion), which was completed in January 2013. She has also been commissioned by the Arts Council to produce work relating to women’s self portraiture. This culminated in a group show with work by Sarah Lucas, Miranda Whall and others exhibited in September/October 2015 with touring dates to be announced. In 2016 the film and interviews with the artists about the project are on show in the Usher Gallery Lincoln - Shifting Subjects: Contemporary Women Telling the Self through the Visual Arts.


In 2016 she participated in a UCS Anglo-Chinese symposium, held at University of Suffolk by loaning them the large painting ‘Made In Britain’ (and giving a lecture on the work) which was exhibited alongside works from a number of Painters and Curators from China.

In October 2016 she had a solo show of her work in London (Thames-Side Studios Gallery, Woolwich London). A full colour catalogue for Wendy Elia's London solo show is now available on Amazon 'Wendy Elia - Paintings 2004 – 2016 with an Introduction 'Myth-Making and Myth-Breaking. 'Wendy Elia and the Constitutive Other' written by Anna McNay – (Art Writer and Editor) and Essay - 'Migrant Histories and Art' written by Dr. Marie-Anne Mancio – (Art Historian and Writer).


December 2016 – March 2017 Wendy was part of a group exhibition at RWA in Bristol Strange worlds – The vision of Angela Carter. This major exhibition celebrated the life and work of the hugely influential writer Angela Carter (1940-1992), twenty five years after her death. In bringing together art and literature, this exhibition featured historic art-work which influenced Carter, as well as those of contemporary artists inspired by her work. The painting ‘Maxime’ was loaned from the East Contemporary Arts Collection for this exhibition.


In 2017 some recent work toured China with the Contemporary British Painting group in a show curated by Marco Cali, Mengmeng Wang and Robert Priseman.


In January 2017 she was awarded a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in NYC.


2019 -  Elected as an Academician at the RWA (Royal West of England Academy).





For essays and writings about Wendy's work click here

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