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Local artists rally in support of Art Fund charity auction

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Stone Artist Rita Banks with two
paintings she has donated


Kim Bramley


Lisa Henderson


Simon and Lee


Artists from across Staffordshire – and Shropshire – have generously donated their own works as lots in a special auction set to raise money for the Art Fund. Organised by the Staffordshire branch of this national arts charity, the auction will take place during an evening event in the elegant environs of Chillington Hall, near Brewood, which will be compered by the BBC Antiques Roadshow expert Lars Tharp.

Among the local artists lending their support is Rita Banks from Stone, who is selling two landscapes, ‘View From My Window (Anglesey)’ and ‘Warm Harvest 2’, evocative of the artist’s love of nature and colour. Glass artist Kim Bramley, who is based at Sandon Hall near Stafford, is donating a handmade, kiln-formed square glass dish in her trademark bold colours. Representing the Moorlands, Simon Manby and Lee Mackay are each donating a work to support the fund – Simon a 43cm high fire clay sculpture, ‘Dancers’, in his trademark tactile form; and Lee a substantial still life oil painting in a subtle palate of blues and greys entitled ‘Three Jugs’.

Oswestry-based contemporary landscape artist Alistair Tucker has played homage to Staffordshire in his donation, which takes the form of an atmospheric print of ‘Lichfield Cathedral in the mist’ the original work created using a 2 plate etching and aquatint process. Stafford artist Lisa Henderson is also putting forward a painting entitled ‘Rockpool’ which, in contrast to Alistair’s monochrome piece, is a celebration of colour, pattern and texture.

The result, as Sue Taylor of the Staffordshire branch of the Art Fund explains, is a diverse range of styles from which bidders can choose:

We’re delighted with the response from our local artists in support of this event – there is so much raw talent on display and, whatever your taste, there will be something to catch your eye amongst these lots. That said, we’d be more than happy to accept additional donations of works from other local artists, or from businesses keen to support the Art Fund in its work.”

Local auction house Cuttlestones is set to sell off the lots which, alongside the aforementioned artworks, include ceramics donated by iconic Staffordshire firms Portmeirion, Moorcroft, Penkridge Ceramics and Burslem Pottery, an antique-style Dutch flower jug from Burgess Dorling & Leigh Ltd, several prints donated by Shropshire-based members of the Art Fund, an overnight stay for two at Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort and a box of wine specially selected by the experts at Tittensor’s Old School Wines. Wolverhampton-based FBC Manby Bowdler Solicitors is also lending its support, kindly sponsoring the drinks reception, while 2nd Brewood Scout Group will be helping out at the event.

All proceeds will go toward helping the Art Fund support museums and galleries in buying great works of art of all ages and types. In the past decade it has made grants to Staffordshire organisations including the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the Staffordshire Record Office and the Wedgwood Museum totalling £548,777 to help toward the purchase and display of items that include the Staffordshire Hoard, paintings and medieval jewellery.

The Art Fund charity auction will take place at Chillington Hall on Wednesday, 18th July at 6.30pm. Tickets are £30 each and include drinks reception, two course meal and Art Fund gift bag. To secure yours send an SAE and cheque (payable to Art Fund (Staffs Branch)) to The Art Fund, 133A Cannock Road, Stafford ST17 0QL. If you are interested in donating a lot to the auction, or in supporting the event through sponsorship, please email Sue Taylor on [email protected].  

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