Upper Somerton: Illustrations to go on sale at exhibition

FANS of renowned artist Graham Rust have the chance to buy original watercolour illustrations depicting scenes from two famous children’s stories at a charity exhibition.

Almost 100 watercolours by Mr Rust illustrating Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘A Little Princess’ are being exhibited in London for one day only on October 3.

The artist, from Upper Somerton, near Hartest, is hoping to raise just under �70,000 for Sightsavers, an international charity which works to eliminate avoidable blindness.

The 69-year-old was first introduced to the charity by the late Lord Hertford of Ragley Hall in Warwickshire when he was working there on the largest mural he has ever completed.

The exhibition at St Wilfrid’s Hall at The Oratory, in Brompton Road on October 3 will be his fifth in aid of the charity, having held his first back in 1980.

He visited Rajasthan in India in February this year to see Sightsavers’ work first-hand, including cataract surgery.

He said saving somebody’s sight not only changed the life of the individual, but also their familie’s lives. “Instead of having to be looked after they are able to look after themselves.”

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The 97 delicate watercolours depict scenes from the much-loved editions of ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘A Little Princess’ published in 1986 and 1989.

Prices range from �250 to �5,000.

Limited edition prints of two of the images will also be available for �75 each.

Mr Rust said: “I’m very much hoping people will come along and dig into their pockets.”

He said he liked to think his illustrations captured people’s imaginations, adding how he had received praise from the author herself.

Mr Rust, who went to art school in London followed by New York, is internationally renowned for his murals and ceiling paintings which can be found in houses in Britain, Europe, America and the Middle East.

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