In previous years, we hosted three exhibition with an occasional additional pop-up exhibition in mid-summer. Our Spring Exhibition for members only, the late summer/early autumn exhibition was traditionally our Selected Exhibition and our winter exhibition was our open Festival of Watercolour.

COVID-19 has upset these plans to some extent. We have had to cancel our Spring Exhibition for the past two years, we held our Selected Exhibition online from October-December last year, and we cancelled our Awash, a Festival of Watercolour in February. Instead of going directly into a second Selected Exhibition, we have decided to flip our events around and host our Festival of Watercolour in Autumn this year and hold our Selected Exhibition in winter next year.

The Babylon Gallery in Ely will be the venue for the festival and like “Awash” which was held in Wells, we have decided that this festival deserved a name too. WATER WAYS, a Festival of Watercolour was the result.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:

What is an open exhibition?

Our open exhibition means that any artist who lives in the East Anglia region (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk) and works in water-based media is welcome to submit work to this exhibition. Works by non-members and friends of the society will be put before a selection committee and chosen based on a points-based voting system. Works by members will not be selected.

Does the title of the exhibition mean that I must submit paintings of water?

No. Any subject matter is accepted. WATER WAYS is a reference to the media our Society promotes – watercolours. It is also a reference to the location of the gallery – on the banks of the Great Ouse River.

How do I submit paintings?

If you are a non-member or Friend of the SEAW, you can go to our exhibitions page and click the button which will take you to our portal. If you are a member of the Society, you may ONLY submit through a link sent to you by email.

What if I live in a county other than those listed above?

We have strict limits to the areas we accept work from. We do, however, love to get visitors from all over the country – please visit our exhibition!

What will it cost me?

Non-members may submit up to three paintings for £10 per painting. Friends of the SEAW may submit up to three paintings for £8 per painting.

When do submissions close?

Submissions close at midnight on 6 August 2021.

How can I improve my chances of selection?

We have put together a handy guide, which also includes links to our other guides.

When will I be informed of selection?

Selection will be announced on 17 August 2021

When will the exhibition be open?

The exhibition runs from 3- 26 September from noon to 4 pm daily. Closed on Mondays.

What if I have other questions, not covered here?

You can contact us via our email address: