One day in August, the Great Dixter Charitable Trust received an email from London Dixter Friend, Ian Mowforth – “would you like to auction my painting of the Long Border to raise funds?” From that suggestion blossomed a really heart-warming exercise. People who had strong associations with Great Dixter, amongst whom were professional and amateur artists, were invited to donate their work and friends were invited to bid for them.
There were obvious artists like Louis Turpin, Fred Cuming and Richard Adams in the parish of Rye – all of whom joined in. A US Friend, Vince Inconiglios, submitted a large colourful painting called Donuts; another American, a student gardener in 2009 called James McGrath, donated a ladybird poppies watercolour.
The link between art and gardening became more obvious as three UK Christopher Lloyd Scholars James Horner, Jonny Bruce and Jamie Todd all sent in stunning works. Fiona Gault, a Rye resident, came and painted a beautiful picture of the topiary lawn, which was sold to someone in America. Charlotte Molesworth gave a drawing of the exotic garden
The most expensive of the 28 lots was a Howard Hodgkin print donated by Great Dixter Trustee, Gyr King. The most unusual was a bark bag made of sweet chestnut bark, spruce roots and yucca leaves by current gardener Michael Wachter. The most recherché was a ceramic piece called Cocoon by Akiko Hirai given by Luciano Giubbilei.
A mighty total of £36,540 was raised for the lockdown fund of Great Dixter Charitable Trust which filled a bit of the gap left by the lack of visitors this season. We would like to thank all the artists and people who took part in bidding in our auction. For more detail of the pieces and artists and prices see https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/greatdixter. This was a first for us and jumblebee made it all very efficient and easy.
Image Credits: Linda Jones .