Local artist praised at high-profile art event

Paul Fearn. Picture contributed
Paul Fearn. Picture contributed

Artist Paul Fearn, from Horsham, has been highly commended in this year’s Wildlife Artist of the Year award.

The prestigious David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation annual event took place at the Mall Galleries in London on Monday June 27. Paul’s piece was a favourite of the judges.

His work - a beautiful mixed media copper patina and engraving - was called ‘Yellowtails’.

Paul said: “I can’t wait to see the rest of the entries on the night as the standard is always extremely high - it is an honour to be amongst such esteemed company!”

He was also shortlisted for last year’s Wildlife Artist of the Year winners’ list and has been showcased in many studios around the country.

The week of wildlife art in London will run until Saturday July 2, with the gallery showcasing all types of original work including oils, watercolour, bronze and ceramic. The Wildlife Artist of the Year prize was launched in 2007 to raise awareness and find funds for endangered species.

The competition brings together more than 130 original works showcasing the wonderful wildlife world, and splits them into seven judging categories.

The top prize was a £10,000 artist sponsorship deal. The winning artist is given the money in order to showcase more pieces and develop new and exciting artwork. Competition manager Nina Neve said: “The sheer diversity of media and form this year has created an extraordinary celebration of the natural world and a huge challenge for the judges.

“Deciding between a fox, skilfully crafted from tin, and a classic oil of a brooding tiger will make selecting the overall winner extremely hard.”

Commenting on the event, wildlife artist and conservationist David Shepherd CBE, 85, said: “I set up my Foundation with the sole purpose of giving something back to the animals that helped me achieve success as an artist.

“At a time when the world’s wildlife is under such devastating pressure from expanding human populations and the illegal trade it seems fitting that we take a step back and reflect on the sheer beauty and diversity of our natural world and what could be lost if we do not truly appreciate the value of the world around us.”

Everything on show at the event is for sale, with profits supporting the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

The foundation’s conservation projects in Africa and Asia need the event money in order to continue their great work. Since 2007, the event has raised over £320,000 to help protect some of the world’s most vulnerable animal species.

For more information about the event visit: http://www.davidshepherd.org/#

For more information regarding Paul Fearn’s artwork visit: http://www.paulfearnwildlifeartist.co.uk