Bethnal Green’s Arch Gallery plays host to National Portrait gallery rejects in Dazed & Refused exhibition

Dazed and Refused, an exhibition of work refused from the National Portrait Competition, is entering its second year with almost 100 original works of art on show at the Arch Gallery in Bethnal Green until Saturday.

Started by Bob Sparrow and Adam Laurence, the exhibition provides the 2,445 artists rejected from the strict academic selection process of the National Portrait Competition (only 55 are selected) with an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work.

The Dazed team has doubled the size of the exhibition this year by capturing rejected and dejected artists when they collect their work from a depot in Arnold Circus, presenting them with a flyer inviting them to exhibit.

The organisers say the artists, who had each already paid �34 to enter the competition, are more than happy to invest another �10 into the Dazed and Refused exhibition where their work is definitely shown

There is around arou nd 80 square metres of portraits on display this year and among them are works that made it to the last 100 in the BP selection process.

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This year’s venue has a special significance. The idea for the Arch Gallery in Bethnal Green began when artist Anthony Xuereb was dropping off his own rejected portrait into the 2011 exhibition at the Dazed and Refused HQ Makers Yard gallery under Cambridge Heath railway station.

Anthony noticed vacant premises in the same block, took the lease over and built the Arch Gallery.

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Last week Anthony and his staff held a series of three-course banquets at the Cambridge Heath Road gallery to celebrate the exhibition.

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