Town charity is quids in thanks to artist Simon
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A TOWN charity dedicated to improving health facilities for residents is £100 better off thanks to an artist who rediscovered his mojo during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Simon Pell pledged £10 from the sale of each painting during an exhibition at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, which ended last week, to the Friends of the Richardson Hospital.
Despite his training at the Slade School of Fine Art, in London, Mr Pell, who lives in the town, had not done any painting for more than 15 years.
However, when he was furloughed from his job as resident set designer and lecturer at Middlesbrough College, he picked up his brushes again.
“I suddenly had the urge to paint again,” he said.
“During lockdown, I got up every morning thinking ‘I can create some paintings’.”
In all, he produced 66 paintings during lockdown.
He describes his work as a “colourful expression” of Teesdale and admits his paintings are “Marmite” – you either love them or hate them.
However, Mr Pell said he was pleased with the response to his exhibition.
“This was the first time I have had a solo exhibition in my life. There are some very nice comments in the book from visitors and the gallery itself is a lovely space – nice and light.”
When time allows, Mr Pell is working on his post-lockdown collection, with about 12 paintings started.
He said he had chosen to support the Friends of the Richardson Hospital as a tribute to the vaccination work carried out there.
Mr Pell said he had been extremely impressed by the way the jabs had been rolled out at the hospital.
Pauline Harrison, chairwoman of the hospital friends, accepted the cheque from Mr Pell.
She said that with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the group was now able to continue its fundraising activities. Next up is a charity stall at Barnard Castle’s weekly Wednesday charter market on July 28.