Artist pledges £10 from each sale to dale hospital charity
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A BARNARD Castle artist is to donate £10 from every painting he sells at an exhibition which opens next week to a charity which supports healthcare in the dale.
Simon Pell’s 2020 Vision – An exhibition of Paintings runs from Wednesday, May 19, to Saturday, June 12, at The Witham, Barnard Castle.
Mr Pell said the donations would go to the Friends of the Richardson Hospital as a thank-you for its “dedicated and tireless” hard work during the pandemic.
After a gap of several years, Mr Pell picked up his brushes again during the lockdown and the results of his efforts form the basis of his new exhibition.
“I woke up on a late March day in 2020 to find myself furloughed from my job as resident set designer and lecturer at Middlesbrough College Theatre because of Covid-19,” he said.
“What to do with all the spare time that’s suddenly available?
“As a resident of Barnard Castle, I donned my walking boots and set off to explore the beautiful Teesdale countryside in much greater detail than I had ever had the time to do in the past.
“Luckily it just happened to be springtime – my favourite time of year.
The weather was glorious, and the countryside was coming alive with equally glorious colours, shades and textures.”
Mr Pell added: “Having spent the past 15 years or more ignoring my training at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art in London and making excuse after excuse not to paint, I suddenly felt a renewed urge to paint again.
“This, for me, was the perfect antidote to the doom and gloom of the coronavirus lockdown.”
Mr Pell said his paintings are not a representation of Teesdale but a “colourful expression” of the area.
“My studio at home is full of paintings, 86 to date with more to come.”
“I look forward to seeing how my painting style develops during the uncertain future ahead,” he said.
Admission to the exhibition is free during opening hours at The Witham.