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Now in its fourth year, our wildlife art competition attracts many hundreds of entries in a spectacular array of different styles and media, from the UK and around the world – last year, we received artworks from as far away as India, China, Brazil and Australia. So choosing the winners is a pleasurable challenge for our panel of expert judges.
Last year a superb pastel study of a pair of Amur tigers bewitched the judges with its powerful composition and strong sense of movement and light. Amur Ambush won Stella Mays the prestigious title of BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011 and an unforgettable trip to Sabah, Borneo, in search of orangutans.
This years categories:
• British Mammals (behaviour and portraits)
• British Birds (behaviour and portraits)
• All Other Wildlife (behaviour and portraits, in the UK and worldwide)
• The Wonder of Plants (British and worldwide)
• Beneath the Water (marine and fresh water)
• Animals in their Environment (British and worldwide)
• World Mammals (behaviour and portraits)
• World Birds (behaviour and portraits)
• Black and White Nature (pencil, lino cuts, etchings, wood block etc)
• Visions of Nature (innovative, creative impressions of wildlife)
• Frozen Planet (please note: entries must feature animal life)
• Endangered Species (entries must feature species listed by the IUCN as ‘Endangered’ or ‘Critically Endangered’)
• International Artists – a category judged digitally, exclusively for artists outside of the UK. This is to save our international entrants the great costs of sending artwork to the UK. International artists can enter up to eight images in this category only.
No artwork may be entered in more than one category, aside from international artists. The artwork must not have won a prize in any other competition anywhere in the world, or been published by a third party. Artwork must feature wildlife – birds, mammals, waterlife, invertebrates and plants – in a natural or captive environment. Computer-generated artworks will not be accepted.
The competition is open to all artists worldwide aged 18 or over, amateur or professional.
The BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 will win a place on a 10-day painting safari in Botswana (worth £3,450). This incredible trip will run in October 2012. The prize includes flights from the UK and accommodation is in comfortable camps – a truly unforgettable experience.
All of the category-winning pieces will be showcased at the prestigious annual exhibition of the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society in August 2012, in a special display alongside the work of 200 other artists and sculptors. The awards ceremony will take place on the opening night of the exhibition.
The overall winning artwork will also be displayed at The Natural Eye, the 48th annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists at the Mall Galleries, London, in autumn 2012.
All of the category-winning pieces will be published in the August 2012 issue of BBC Wildlife (on sale 4 July). The winning, runner-up and commended artworks will also be published in an online gallery.