23 October 2020

Leading wildlife artists add their support to charity gallery

Stag in WinterTwo of Britain’s most well-regarded wildlife artists have added their pieces to an online art gallery run by conservation charity, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

The GWCT Wildlife Art Gallery, launched in July at www.gwctgallery.org.uk, has added work from Owen Williams and Alistair Makinson. The premise of the gallery is simple – original art to suit all budgets, from £50 to £11,000, with 25% of all sales supporting the vital conservation work undertaken by the GWCT.

Since its launch, eager buyers have snapped up £40,000 of original pieces from Ashley BoonIan Greensitt and Roger McPhail, raising £10,000 for the GWCT’s conservation work at a time when charities have struggled to secure vital funds.

Pieces recently added to the gallery include a study of woodcock in ochre, a watercolour landscape of grouse in autumn and a proud stag in winter. Alistair Makinson’s oil painting ‘Scent of Danger’ would make a great statement on any wall, measuring 52x120cm (20”x47”).

Woodcock in OchreJames Swyer, GWCT press and publications manager, is delighted with the success of the gallery so far. James said: “When Ashley suggested launching the site, I thought it was an excellent idea, but we’re all pleasantly surprised with how well it has gone.

“Being able to add Owen and Alistair as guest artists is a real honour. Buyers have seized the opportunity to own work from some of the most accomplished wildlife artists and support a cause that is looking out for the future of British wildlife. Some of the new pieces have already sold, so I’d advise people to take a look while they can.”

Throughout various lockdown restrictions, artists have struggled to exhibit their work, with galleries closed and many events cancelled. This gallery gives wildlife artists a platform for their work, which would usually be exhibited at The Game Fair and other such events, which have been unable to run this year.

Charities are also amongst the hardest hit from the pandemic and an ability to raise funds or recruit new supporters at events. The GWCT forecast a shortfall in funding of over £1 million in 2020, and funds raised in this gallery will support the Trust’s vital work, including a team of over 50 scientific research staff.

Works by the original resident artists will continue to be available on the site, with new pieces from Ashley Boon added this month including a watercolour of one of Britain’s most-loved birds, the curlew, and a wonderful study of a robin that would make an ideal Christmas gift.

Autumn Grouse

About the artists

Aberystwyth-based Owen Williams is part of the Redspot Artists group – a collective of some of the finest wildlife artists in the UK. His passion for painting sporting pictures comes from a childhood of fishing and shooting, which has inspired a 30-year career. A keen supporter of the GWCT, Owen’s work is collected worldwide and has been reproduced in dozens of books and periodicals. Owen’s big passion is woodcock, and in 2007 he formed the Woodcock Network, which has ringed over 1,100 birds in the UK. The Network aims to recruit and train many woodcock enthusiasts from the hunting community to ring woodcock and improve understanding of the cryptic species.

Alistair Makinson was born in Whalley, Lancashire and grew up with a passion to work in agriculture. With a career selling animal health products, Alistair started to paint while recovering from a broken elbow in 1991. His first few exhibitions were so well received by the public that he decided to turn professional after only a year of painting. His major break came in 1997 when Malcolm Innes of Tryon Gallery saw some of Alistair’s work and invited him to exhibit in a Christmas exhibition at his gallery in St. James’s, London. HRH Princess Margaret attended the preview, and the following day a private viewing was arranged for HM the Queen Mother. His clients include The Duke of Sutherland, The Duke of Roxburghe, The Duke of Westminster and The Duke of Bedford.

Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

ISDN radio broadcast line – at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
Kate Williams
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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