Celebrating 2012 through art

Published Tuesday 1 May 2012

Come along and visit the Red House Museum in Christchurch to celebrate this culturally significant year.

Budding artists, painters, photographers and sculptors were challenged by the National Park Authority and Forestry Commission to create innovative works of art using the colours gold, silver and bronze.

These works of art, along with a joint exhibition with New Forest District Council celebrating New Forest athletes of the future, will be on display until Saturday 19 May.

Open art competition winners:

  • First prize: Christine Hughes with her picture of a New Forest Pony.
  • Second prize: Susan Rolfe with her poem ‘My New Forest stroll’.
  • Third prize: Barry Fry with his painting of Mark Ash Wood.

Barry Whitcher, Judge and New Forest photographer, said: ‘This year’s winners and runners-up have been creative and imaginative; showing the New Forest at its very best. Art enables you to stop and take in your surroundings. You may have visited a place many times before but stopping to think about where you are often shows you something new and interesting.’

In particular the judges were impressed by the originality, creativity and imagination shown by many of the entrants.

Hilary Marshall, fellow Judge and Manager of the New Forest Centre, said about the winners:

‘New Forest ponies – This photograph really challenges our notion of Forest landscape and the ambiguity of the image causes the viewer to think again about our most loved icon. In playing with scale and form it almost hints at other worldliness and is both creative and charming. 

‘My New Forest Stroll – What I love about this poem is the way that it captures a moment in time. A casual stroll through the Forest becomes an exploration of the senses and the concise and accessible structure of the poem allows us to join in that experience.

‘Golden light – This painting is on one hand a representation of Forest landscape and on the other, an exploration of light and texture. The glorious colours and patterning of the canopy and ground cover create a remarkably strong visual statement.

Both these exhibitions will also be at the New Forest Centre from 14 July – 2 September 2012.

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Notes to Photo Editor:

Photograph of winning picture by Christine Hughes attached. Higher-res picture is available on request.

Notes to Editors:

Red House Museum opening times: Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday 10am-4pm. Temporary closures to some areas of the museum (not the art gallery) from 6 May -19 May.

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.


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