Artists rewarded in New Forest open art competition

michael parker

Published Tuesday 29 July 2014

Michael Parker’s painting ‘The Drift’ is the winner of this year’s Exxon Mobil at the Fawley Refinery Open Art competition.

Roger Voller took second place for his photograph entitled ‘Spring Forest’ and Jill Colclough’s piece ‘After the Storms: New Beach Emerging’’ was placed third.

View an online photo gallery of the exhibition at

The contest is run by the New Forest National Park Authority and the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst, and seeks to recognise outstanding photographs, paintings and sculptures that have been inspired by the New Forest.

The results were announced at a preview evening at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst, where the free public exhibition of the competition entries is open daily until Saturday 30 August. Visitors are also able to buy selected artworks.

Winner Michael Parker said: ‘I am delighted and thrilled to have won this competition, which was most unexpected, and I thank the judges for choosing my painting, against many others that I felt were also worthy of winning.’

New Forest National Park Authority Member John Pemberton said: ‘Michael’s painting ‘The Drift’ was a worthy winner of this competition and I congratulate him for triumphing over such stiff competition.’

The competition, which opened for submissions in April, was sponsored by Exxon Mobil at the Fawley Refinery which provided the prize funds - £500 for the winner, £300 for second and £100 for third, as well as £100 for the People’s Prize winner.

The People’s Prize will be awarded to the artist who created the work that gets the most votes during the public exhibition. Visitors will be encouraged to post their votes for their favourite work of art in a ballot box, with the winner announced at the end of the exhibition.

There were two runners-up – ‘Sun on the Marshes’ by Ruth Elrington-Browne and ‘Ruffled Feathers’ by Andrea Hook.

New Forest Centre Manager Hilary Marshall said: ‘This is our second joint open art competition and once again we’ve been overwhelmed by the response.

‘The entries were of an exceptionally high standard, making the judges’ task of picking the winners all the harder. There are so many local artists taking their inspiration from the New Forest and we and the National Park Authority are only too pleased to help bring their work to a wider audience.’

Alison Jones, Community Affairs Manager at ExxonMobil, Fawley Complex, said: ‘I have always lived in this area and I understand why these artworks look as good as they do – because the New Forest is such an inspiring place.

‘We are pleased to be supporting the New Forest Open Art Competition again this year, and impressed by the high standard of entries. Congratulations to all those chosen to appear in the exhibition, and especially to the winning artists.’

This exhibition coincides with National Parks Week 2014. This nationwide celebration of all that is good about the UK's National Parks family takes place this year from 28 July to 3 August.

For more information on National Parks Week visit


Notes to photo editor:

Pictured left to right at the Open Art exhibition preview evening: New Forest Centre Manager Hilary Marshall; open art competition winner Michael Parker with his painting ‘The Drift'; New Forest National Park Authority Member John Pemberton; Alison Jones, Community Affairs Manager with competition sponsor ExxonMobil at Fawley.

Further images of the competition winners and artwork are available.

Notes to editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

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.

Visit to find out more

Media Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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