The ‘Grand Finale’ of CowParade Surrey is fast approaching and will see the ‘cream of the crop’ auctioned at Hampton Court Palace on Thursday 17 November. This is your opportunity to take home a truly unique piece of art and help raise money for some very worthy causes. Acclaimed artists including Stuart Semple, Alexander Creswell, Minna George and the Godfather of British Pop Art Sir Peter Blake all created some stunning bovines for CowParade Surrey – don’t miss your opportunity to get hold of an original from some of the best!
The world’s largest public art event saw over 60 full-size, fibreglass cows uniquely decorated by artists and placed around Surrey and London for people to admire and find. The idea behind CowParade is that cows were sponsored by businesses, decorated by artists and auctioned off to raise lots of money for charities.
Tim Metson CowParade Leader comments; “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own your very own piece of art. Each cow has been uniquely decorated, many by professional and up-and-coming artists. We were very fortunate to have acclaimed artists such as Sir Peter Blake, Alexander Creswell, Minna George, Stuart Semple and more take part in CowParade Surrey and we are expecting lots of interest in these pieces – we urge anyone that is keen to register their interest or bid early on these cows as we know they will be very popular”.
The super famous, Sir Peter Blake, fondly known as the ‘Godfather of British Pop Art’ and designer of the Beatles iconic Sergeant Pepper album cover designed ‘Daisy’ for the project. This bold, yet simple design is beautifully executed and literally shouts ‘Sir Peter Blake’ at the viewer. Sir Peter’s signature has also been discreetly tucked away underneath the cow on her udder! It’s a unique piece of art from an iconic artist and will raise funds for the Watts Gallery Trust which cares for the extraordinary artists’ village – the Gallery and collection, Chapel and the Studio House of the great Victorian artist GF Watts in Compton, Surrey.
Contemporary British artist Stuart Semple has got involved with CowParade Surrey, creating a cow named ‘True Colours’ in aide of mental health charity Mind. The final two lines “True colors, are beautiful, Like a rainbow,“ became his flash of inspiration. This, coupled with the memory of a description of him by a journalist saying, “if you cut Stuart he would bleed like a day glo rainbow,“ has resulted in the wonderfully, boldly painted cow named “True Colours.”
The broad horizontal stripes of green, blue, pink, red, orange and yellow, wrap around the cow enveloping it like the layered colours of a rainbow. Over the years, Stuart has created his own signature palette of colours, which he uses on True Colours. The colours have been given their own names, such as Bubble Gum Pink, and Ray Gun Red. Despite appearances, the paint was not actually left to drip of it’s own accord. The drips of paint have been constructed. In his art, Stuart likes the dichotomy of something appearing as something else. The drips give the feeling of movement as if something is still happening. It is as if truth is oozing out of the cow.
Proceeds of the auction of “True Colours,” will be donated to the mental health charity Mind. The Art Therapies provided by Mind are as diverse as the people who get involved. They include painting, creative writing, photography, dance, and spoken word, to name a few. As an ambassador with Mind, Stuart Semple encourages people to honestly open up, and express, even their tragic feelings. He explains that we all experience what it is to be alive, and with that, comes good and bad experiences. We need each other. We need to tell people the truth of our feelings and not to hide. We cannot read each other’s minds; therefore we need to create an open environment where we feel supported. Stuart has found through dealing with difficulties in his own life that exercise, art and meditation are the three key behaviours he has established to help him push through tough times. Through the practice of these he is given an assurance of knowing that he is all right with himself so there is no need for anxiety.
Minna George was working as an artist in residence in the Darren Baker Gallery, London, when she was approached by Vines Group [BMW & MINI ] to paint the cow they sponsored as part of the Surrey Cow Parade. Where does one begin to paint a cow? Minna considered carefully the three significant elements the cow would represent and her concept evolved from there. She felt she needed to represent the charity the cow would be auctioned for, the sponsor who had kindly provided the cow for her to paint, and thirdly, pay homage to her own style of work.
The benefitting charity from the auction of this cow will be Dreamflight, who bring children with a serious illness or disability, accompanied by a medical team, to Florida, for a superb adventure filled holiday. Dreamflight enables children who have come through great trials, to experience a memorable and joyful break from the daily difficulties they face. Children love to laugh and have fun, even in the worst of circumstances, and it was Minna’s desire to reflect joy and humour in the cow, and so a superhero cow was born! It has a superhero’s cape in the form of the Union Flag fluttering over it’s back, and as every superhero requires a mask to shield or impose its identity, this one is extremely fortunate to have a 24 carat gold leaf mask, no less.
Minna George is highly trained artist, her exceptional skill becomes increasingly apparent with each viewing of this embellished animal. Applying gold leaf is an exceedingly skilled technique. In her early years at school in Bulgaria, Minna studied the art of Icon painting, which uses gold to represent the brightness and glow of spirituality. Gold is precious and treasured, as are the children Minna Moo hopes to uplift. As a heartening and inspirational piece, Minna wanted the cow to be bright and cheerful. In order to achieve this in her work she uses raw pigments to make her paints. These begin as extremely vibrant colours, which she gradually subdues as required. The black horns represent the more solid and serious note of children having to endure illness.
“Frontier”, the cow painted by Alexander Creswell, displays a combination of striking complexity of detail and the beautifully executed painting of a master craftsman. Alexander is a Surrey based artist who has travelled extensively in order to paint some of the greatest buildings in the world. His interest in architectural painting has been a lifelong passion, as has his love of travelling. His philosophy is based on the premise that nothing happens if you sit around and wait for it – you have to get up, go out and look, and find things in this wonderful world to inspire you. Expressed in Alexander’s own words, “Be electrified” by what you see around you!
The Duke of Northumberland, Albury Estate, kindly gave Creswell the opportunity to paint the cow, sponsored for Shooting Star Chase Hospice. When entrusted with the task, Alexander was clear in his vision for this unusual commission. He immediately decided that he wanted to showcase one of the most outstanding views in England, on the side of his cow, and so he chose the spectacular view from Newlands Corner, Surrey.
The cow was aptly named “Frontier,” as Creswell has always been struck with the “Frontier” like concept encountered when travelling from the urbanised landscape of London and then being abruptly confronted with the surprisingly idyllic rural landscape of The North Downs, on approaching Newlands Corner. The intricate sides of the cow relate very different scenes and concepts. On one side is the stunning view from Newlands corner, incorporating the Albury Valley and Surrey Hills, and the other side invites the observer to do a 180 degree turn and reflect on what they would see if the treeline was removed. Alexander describes the view painted on the right hand flank of the cow as “the dystopian, polluted jangle of modernity, sharply contrasted with pastoral utopia.”
Alexander Creswell is an English artist of great note. His work is held in private and corporate collections around the world. At least 40 of his paintings are held in the Royal Collection and he was commissioned to paint the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The cows will be auctioned by Ewbank’s, the Premier International Antiques and Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers in Surrey and Hampshire who are able to take on-line bids prior to and during the event at www.ewbankauctions.co.uk.
If you are interested in bidding for one of the CowParade Surrey cows visit www.ewbankauctions.co.uk or telephone 01483 661150 to register your interest.