News | December 1, 2021


Wedlake Bell were pleased to sponsor the Chelsea Art Society Open Exhibition. Susanna MacInnes was awarded the Wedlake Bell prize for a new artist.

I’ve been marvelling at the concept of inspiration. Where does it come from? How does it start? What are the origins? How do the seeds of ideas get planted, germinate in the darkness and come through to give us an opportunity to respond and experience for ourselves?

The gift of creativity. We have so many ideas, but what is it that makes us settle on one idea and run with it… Ideas “grow” wings, and “fly” us into unexpected territories. The gift of creativity is something so intangible. It’s something so important in our makeup. I looked up the word inspiration to find that it simply means to breathe in.

Such a simple concept, but it makes sense: when we breathe in, we breathe in oxygen, which keeps us alive. As an artist surviving on inspiration, I “breathe in” my surroundings and make space for a fresh new perspective. Notice what’s in front of you, and focus purely on that.

In early spring, I was invited to paint at Stampwell farm in Beaconsfield. I was able to “breathe in” an environment, which in turn inspired me to respond in paint on canvas and to enjoy the colours and the light in front of me.

As I set about to capture the light coming through the trees, and the mass of blossom, I could feel myself being lifted by the whole experience as my response to the environment was being recorded on canvas.

I spent the next two weeks painting a collection of works not only of the plum orchards but the pregnant ewes. It felt like a place that was so full of hope and progress. It was just what I needed at that time, which otherwise had been so full of uncertainty.

This September I was invited to exhibit my largest painting from this collection at the Chelsea Art Society exhibition on the Kings Road. It was an exclusive exhibition for non-members sponsored by the law firm Wedlake Bell. The Wedlake Bell Award would be presented to one of the artists exhibiting.

My painting was given an excellent spot in the window of the exhibition. The gallery was full of promise and colour. At the preview party I was to receive the Wedlake Bell Award by the Wedlake Bell Team themselves. It was wonderful to be given the opportunity to share with their team the essence of my inspiration and I am absolutely thrilled that my painting will hang in their London office.

I hope that my painting of these ancient plum orchards will create an atmosphere of calm and beauty, inviting the viewer to a peaceful space full of promise and light.

Camilla Wallace photographed in front of Susanna’s winning painting

Susanna MacInnes