Recently I donated this two-metre drawing of Newnham, where I live, as a fundraiser for the repair of the St. Peters Church bells.
I have never done this sort of thing before and decided right at the beginning that 100% of the income would go to the appeal. Like most artists, I don’t find it easy to generate income from art work alone, so I don’t have much in the way of financial resources to contribute. But I do have my art.
The picture was displayed in the High Street in the Quaker Library window and Andy Vivian, who runs the library, was a fantastic support, thanks to him, and to Cameron Dickie, who managed the sealed-bid campaign.
My delight on being told that it had achieved £1516 for the appeal was evident in my whole-body-warm-feeling, and it wasn’t just because it was a hot summers night! That sensation was doubled when the private collector who bought it told me he specifically wishes it to be hung in the cultural hub/building/whatever we manage to open in the village, in the future. Big thanks to this gentleman, not only for acquiring the drawing to support the work on the church bells, but for also showing confidence that ReNewnham will achieve it’s goal.
This ambition for the village has come about since The George Café closed recently and local people, including artists, felt lost at sea (or river). Newnham was once a thriving port, boasting many pubs, hotels, hostelries and brothels. In recent years it gained a reputation for being a creative place, with lots of artists, musicians, makers and writers living or visiting.
This year there’s a drive to bring all of that back, which is exciting. Newnham Live, run by Dave Freeman (ex-Jazz FM) sold hundreds of tickets and gave us a wide range of music to enjoy. Fairport Convention sold out – 200 people packed into the church. Riverside Rock last weekend was kindly hosted in the Mansion House and offered a perfect mix of music, picnics, dancing and a moonlit river backdrop.
All this has happened in a small quiet village in the Forest of Dean. Next step is to try and get back what we are missing and add even more too. What we have is great, but mass and density will make it even better. Join the ReNewnham Facebook group if you want to be involved and support this renaissance!
PS if you want to order a half-size print of the Newnham image I can provide with a discount. Just email me with ‘Newnham print offer’ as subject line and I can send you details. firstname.lastname@example.org
PPS I have my latest drawing showing in farOpen Studios at Taurus near Lydney, opening this weekend. The following weekend I shall have work in the Dean heritage farOpen show too – of 360 degree prints…do come along to both….art, cakes and coffee, what’s not to like?
PPPS do support Hawkwood crowdfunding for providing artist in residencies…..I have donated 2 A4 works to the too, as I began them while I was artist in residence there last summer. All leading up to my book, in final stages!