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Wincanton's artist in residence scheme takes on a new shade

Press Release 6th October 2014 Wincanton

Wincanton's artist in residence scheme takes on a new shade

Monday, October 6th – Next week and for the jump season ahead, Wincanton Racecourse Winning Connections and Directors Box will become a hive of activity for six West Country artists.

Michelle McCullagh, Martin Alford, Katie Scorgie and Hannah Fowler alongside renowned sculptors Willie Newton and Amy Goodman – will throughout the 17-meeting season, rotationally exhibit their latest artwork for the joy of Wincanton winners, guests and the racing community.  All the vibrant and compelling images will be available to purchase, with the winning connections also having the chance to invest in a bespoke Hannah Fowler commission of their course victory.

A further seasonal enhancement on Wincanton’s Artists in Residence will see Hannah Fowler ensconced at the Somerset track to exclusively draw its finest and most sporting racegoers in an ‘Inside Wincanton’ initiative.  Furthermore, Hannah has been commissioned to create four bespoke paintings for winning connections of the Badger Ales Trophy, the Stan James Elite Hurdle, the Rising Stars Novices Chase and the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle.

Hannah Fowler explains: “Inside Wincanton is a dynamic yet daunting task, at which I will sketch racing’s finest from jockeys, trainers to celebrity owners and on-course staff within a 15-minute window. The images will be auctioned at the end of the season in aid of Racing Welfare.”

Wincanton’s General Manager, Steve Parlett, adds: “Our artists have provided us with an array of images that we have used in promotional material, as original trophies to decor in the Directors Box.  This season we look forward to enjoying more equine art from some of the West Country’s leading artists and very much hope that ‘Inside Wincanton’ will generate significant funds for the nominated charity.”

Launching the seasonal exhibition, Michelle McCullagh, says: “I’ve been most fortunate to have my work hung in galleries across the country but this will be a racecourse first.  Horses have been my life and I fully intend to maximise and enjoy my four race-meeting exhibition; with all Wincanton racegoers from horses to folk being part of a fresh study.”

Gates open at 12:30pm for Wincanton’s Under Starters Orders raceday (Thursday, October 16th) with a £5 discount available on Premier and Grandstand tickets - seeing entry available for £10 or from £15 on the day.  The offer is available till 23:59 on Wednesday, October 15th at wincantonracecourse.co.uk or call 0844 5793014.

ENDS

About Wincanton Racecourse:

Wincanton Racecourse is situated in the heart of Somerset – home to rural jump racing. Wincanton stages 17 meetings each season.  Please find more details at wincantonracecourse.co.uk and through Twitter (@WincantonRaces) and Facebook facebook.com/WincantonRaces 

Wincanton Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club, which has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. Today the largest commercial group in the sport, The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2012: £142.1m), courses (15) including those at Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket, attendances (2012: 1.8m), total prize money (2012: £35.3m), contribution to prize money (2012: £16.5m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket and Lambourn; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing's people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing. More information is available at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: MICHELLE McCULLAGH

Riding and drawing horses came hand in hand for Michelle from an early age and are now a living obsession in her daily life. She works from her Dorset studio where her fascination with the anatomy of animals is explored in her paintings of light. An original and compelling effect in many paintings is the juxtaposition of an animal with transparent white images appearing out of the canvas. Michelle’s work is inspired by studies that fill her sketchbook and is enhanced by her skilled draughtsmanship and thorough knowledge of anatomy. The result is an exciting and unique style. Michelle is a full member of the Society of Equestrian Artists. 

Michelle’s next large solo exhibition is in London on November 2015.  To join her mailing list and see more of her work, visit www.mccullagh.co.uk.

HANNAH FOWLER

Having spent years as a rider, Hannah was always observing and sketching the horses that were her primary passion and those she was always surrounded by; captured by their form and movement.  Other subjects are hounds on the hunting field, and other animal life encountered in the Wiltshire countryside.  The focus of her work is capturing form and movement but especially the essential spirit of the animals; their instinctive character.  She is passionate particularly about horses in sport; eventing and racing above all.

Hannah is largely self taught; preferring to explore painting in oils and drawing in charcoal, pencils and chalks unrestricted by formal training and based almost entirely on observations and feel.  This organic approach to developing her painting means she is only now becoming well known for her work.

Having two young children, recent work has mostly been private commissions of dogs and horses.  In particular, she is very excited about the opportunities that being artist in residence at Wincanton Racecourse again for the 2014/15 season offers, and immersing herself in the thrilling world of national hunt racing surrounded by the most enthralling subject; the thoroughbred.

KATIE SCORGIE

Following her passion to become an equestrian artist, Katie completed both a Foundation and a Degree in Fine Art.  She has an empathetic understanding of horses as she has been around them from a young age, including a career as a point to point jockey.  Katie captures movement, true likeness and essence of a given situation in an unsentimental way, through lively marks, brush strokes and strong drawing.  She does this by addressing all aspects of the subject to capture its energy.  Katie strives to make the viewer feel that they could be standing at that moment in time, as well as enjoying the make up of the painting, or drawing, in its own right.  

Katie has exhibited widely since 2000 - her most notable commission to date is being one of three Artists in Residence to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment from 2011-2012, resulting in an exhibition at Hyde Park Barracks in April 2012.  

MARTIN ALFORD

Martin has been working with the champion NH trainer Paul Nicholls and team Ditcheat for the past 10 years, and loves nothing more than looking over from the top of Ditcheat hill as the string of racehorses thunder past him, giving the inspiration for his work.

Sketches, drawings and photographs are made over the winter, and ideas collated for a body of work, which is then executed during the summer months to be later exhibited at the stables annual owners’ day in September.

Martin is based in Somerset and works in oil and watercolour, he specialises in equestrian, dogs and landscape with both originals and prints available. Samples of his paintings and prints can be viewed on the pictures page which is linked above.

AMY GOODMAN (Sculpture / Portrait artist):

Amy was born in Windsor in 1974 and started drawing and sculpting from a young age, whether her subject matter be of people or animals. Having ridden all her life, horses have always been a passion and feature frequently in her work. Amy loves using different media and has developed her unique style of welded steel, bronze sculpture, and distinctive ink & acrylic wash paintings. She says: “As long as I can remember I have drawn and sculpted animals, particularly horses. The character and movement of the subject matter are very important to me - a few strokes of paint or a few lines of steel can say so much.”

WILLIE NEWTON:

Inspired in 1972 by the sculptor John Robinson, Willie eventually entered Art School.  However the appeal of race riding was too great and in 1977 Willie went to work for a racehorse trainer in Wiltshire and eventually took out a professional license - riding a handful of winners each season.

In 1987 Willie retired from the saddle and threw himself into the world of art.  Two high profile commissions from fellow colleagues Steve Knight and Steve Cauthen reinforced Willie’s status as a full time portrait sculptor - to record and celebrate living form in the best way.

For further information please contact:

Hannah Walker, Wincanton Racecourse on 07971 598287 or hannahwalker@localdial.com

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