The Moor Otter Project
If you or your family and friends travelled around Dartmoor last summer,
you may have seen large sculptures of otters, displayed on plinths, which were painted by 100 British artists. Some of these were painted in a humorous way, such as Jailbird Otter’ and ‘Elementary my Dear Otter’ whilst other artists produced romantic paintings of Dartmoor. The idea behind the project was twofold. First to encourage children, with their families or teachers to explore the Dartmoor National Park, but also to raise money to train young rangers and continue the conservation work of the moor.
Alan Cotton, our President, was asked to select 30 ‘Golden Artists’, whose work was auctioned at Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood. The remaining 70 were sold at an online auction and as a result we were able to hand over a cheque for £100,000 to the Dartmoor National Park Trust.
The Park Authorities said that the whole event was an overwhelming success from every point of view, with a 25% increase in visitors to the moor during the summer months.
Following the success of the Moor Otters,
a similar project will be staged in
‘Tarka Country’ in North Devon.
This will be to raise money for
Children’s Hospice South West where
Alan is their Patron of ‘Art For Life’.
Plans are at an early stage so we will keep you posted about when the Otters will be exhibited throughout North Devon.
Thelma Hulbert Gallery Charity Exhibition and Auction
of which Alan Cotton is Patron, is being held in Honiton on March 2nd. They are working to raise money to employ an Admiral Nurse for East Devon and below is the text of Alan's Foreword to the catalogue, which will be out shortly and give you some background to the work that they do.
The aim of this exhibition and auction of donated paintings by well known artists is to raise funds for an Admiral Nurse for the Honiton area. Most people will have known someone amongst friends and family who has suffered from dementia, and those who have had a loved one suffering from this cruel illness will know the daily strain of caring. We ourselves remember when my wife’ Tricia’s Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers and it was heartbreaking to watch the person we knew and loved disappear, yet still be with us. However much family and friends want to help, they often simply don’t know how best to do it and some even shy away, just not able to cope..
An Admiral Nurse provides that specialist support, in so many ways to carers and those suffering from dementia .. They have skills to help you stay connected with the person you love. If someone with dementia is fearful or distressed they know how to help the carer manage this, or if a family is simply not coping, they will sort out problems and know where to go to arrange additional support. They give real practical help, in the home on a regular basis..
In raising funds to support an Admiral Nurse it has been heart-warming to see how many people have come forward to help. As Heather Penwarden mentioned in a report in the Midweek Herald, many groups and individuals have already engaged in activities to fund raise for this cause. I would like to personally give a big thank you to all the artists – almost 50 of them, who are so frequently asked to donate paintings for charity auctions, and who have once more produced this amazing exhibition to support such an important cause.
The Thelma Hulbert Gallery also deserves a huge thank you, for not only giving the town a first class exhibiting space and craft workshops, but for opening up the gallery for fundraising events and it is thanks to the staff and supporting teams that we have this exhibition, followed by the auction which will take place on 2nd March. Thanks also to East Devon District Council and other organisations, who recognise the value of the THG and give their financial support. It has been a pleasure once again to work with such an enthusiastic and organised team. My thanks to everyone on the committee who has worked so hard to make this the success I am sure it will be
Now I hope that the general public will add their support, by not only coming along to see the exhibition, but by giving us a packed auction room on 2nd March and record breaking bids to give Honiton the Admiral Nurse it so needs and richly deserves
Alan Cotton D.Litt, FRSA, Hon SWAc Patron of the Exhibition and Auction.