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Auction of unique work by prolific British watercolourist Catherine Brennand for charity

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Catherine Brennand’s husband, Mark, with the work
that is set to be sold at auction to raise funds for
the Deanesly Centre in Wolverhampton.

A unique water colour by the late artist Catherine Brennand, who lived in Perton and later Newbridge with her family, is set to sell at auction in December with the proceeds being donated to The Deanesly Centre, where she received treatment in the months before her death. A prominent member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours since 1991, Catherine amassed some 900 paintings before her career was tragically cut short with her death from breast cancer in 2006.

Local auction house Cuttlestones, which has auction rooms in both Wolverhampton and Penkridge, will sell the painting at its forthcoming Fine Art Sale in Penkridge on Friday, 7th December. The full amount raised will go direct to The Deanesly Centre, The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust’s purpose-built Oncology Centre. The centre provides serves a full complement of high quality clinical and support services to a population of 1 million across Wolverhampton, Dudley, the Wyre Forest, Walsall and part of South Staffordshire.

The work in question is a study of the South Staffordshire village of Brewood, and represents one of the artist’s early commissions. It was painted in 1996 as a leaving gift for the vendor, Anthony Hopkins, when he left the role of MD of Building Materials Division of Tarmac, based at Wergs Hall in Wolverhampton, where Catherine was then working in marketing analysis and painting part-time. With Anthony and his wife set to downsize from their large house in Brewood and lead a more ‘lock up and leave’ lifestyle, the painting is in need of a new home. Anthony says:

Our house in Brewood is a seven bedroom three storey building, with a small annexe, so it is vast! We have been very happy there but now that I am retired and our children are long gone it is much too big for us. We plan to split our time between properties in South Africa and the Isle of Man, but it means that we have had to have a major cull of our photos and paintings. Sadly, the painting by Catherine is one of those that has to go.

Having made that decision, and recognising what happened to Catherine after I left Tarmac and she had gone onto become a full-time successful artist – albeit sadly for a tragically short time – I thought that I would like to do something useful with the painting, and raise some funds for a cancer charity. Having discussed this with Catherine’s husband, Mark, he felt this was a good idea and suggested the proceeds are donated to the Deanesly Centre where Catherine was cared for towards the end of her life, and I was pleased to agree.

The painting of Brewood represents a very rare opportunity to procure a unique work of art by a popular British artist. Once she began painting full time, Catherine created over 900 works; predominantly paintings of buildings in Britain, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Spain and the USA, some of which were also used to publish a series of fine art prints. Her instantly recognisable style gained her a loyal following and she was regularly commissioned by individuals and companies to paint both private residences and commercial properties. Catherine’s husband, Mark Brennand, who still lives locally, says:

Anthony’s gesture of selling the painting and donating its proceeds to The Deanesly Centre is very much appreciated; Catherine put her full faith in their ability to treat her. They did an excellent job and even though it was a sad ending, the treatment she received allowed her to live rather than just exist. So for that and their ongoing work it seems fitting to donate the money to them.


Cuttlestones MD and Head Auctioneer, Ben Gamble, says:

This is a very touching donation and we feel incredibly privileged to have been asked to handle the sale. In terms of how much the painting could possibly raise, Catherine was one of the top contemporary watercolourists in the country and her works regularly sold for between £300 – £1500, including gallery commissions, at various exhibitions. During her one-woman show in Malta, which took place just weeks before her death, she sold a total of 40 pieces in just one weekend.

This is something very different – a total one-off – and is likely to appeal to Catherine’s loyal followers as well as to those who live locally and will recognise the scene of Brewood. It will be very interesting to see what the lot sells for, especially as all proceeds will go directly to helping The Deanesly Centre in its exceptional work.

Alongside the painting, Mark Brennand has consigned a signed copy of his book ‘Three Blokes in a Dodge’, which he wrote in tribute to his wife and her remarkable career; recounting a trip he took with their sons around South West America two years after her death. Copies of the art books ‘Catherine Brennand’s France’ and ‘London’s West End; Jermyn Street and Bond Street’ – which includes a foreword by Daily Telegraph journalist Harry Mount – will also be included in the lot.

The painting will sell on Friday, 7th December at Cuttlestones’ Fine Art and Antiques auction in Penkridge. To For further information, call 01785 714905 or visit www.cuttlestones.co.uk.
 

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