Cumbria Crack

Cumbrian artist launches new online gallery to support wildlife charity through difficult times

Flying Woodcock – Rodger McPhail

Brampton-based wildlife artist Ashley Boon has helped launch a new online art gallery to support British conservation charity, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

The GWCT Wildlife Art Gallery launched today (24 July) at with work from Ashley and fellow artists Rodger McPhail and Ian Greensitt. The premise 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.

Grey Partridge in snow – Ashley Boon

Throughout the lockdown period, artists have struggled to exhibit their work, with galleries closed and many events cancelled. The Game Fair, a key event for wildlife artists to reach a wider audience, was due to start today and will not take place this year, despite efforts to reschedule it. This prompted Ashley Boon, wildlife artist, & long-time supporter of the GWCT through several fundraising exhibitions and his best-selling Christmas cards, to turn a longstanding idea into a reality.

Ashley Boon

Within weeks Ashley had convinced two more artists to bring their own unique talents to the project. Ian Greensitt’s limited edition bronze sculptures of game birds and game fish are sought after across the world, while Rodger McPhail is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished wildlife artists working in Britain today for his use of watercolours and oils.

Andrew Gilruth, GWCT marketing, membership and communications director, was delighted with their support. Andrew said: “When Ashley called me, I thought that this was the perfect time to stand by the artists, many of whom have supported us and donated their art for our Christmas cards year after year.”

“With so many events this year in doubt, we have committed to ensuring you can still buy work from some of the most accomplished wildlife artists in Britain. From the safety of your own home you can now browse and purchase fabulous work in the knowledge that a commission from each sale will go directly to GWCT research.”

Flushing Partridge – Ian Greensitt

It isn’t just the arts sector affected by COVID-19, charities are amongst the hardest hit. The GWCT forecast a shortfall in funding of over £1 million in 2020, and Ashley saw this as an opportunity to help them. Ashley said: “As a long-term supporter of the GWCT I’m delighted that they have embraced this idea so enthusiastically, and I’m pleased to be able to support their work in this way. I’m looking forwards to working with this online gallery in the future.”

If this is a success, each spring, summer and autumn the GWCT will select three guest artists for promotion to its members and supporters.

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