Two local artists are on the hunt for businesses to sponsor their entry in the 2017 Cotswold Hare Trail – a first for Chipping Norton.
Nic Vickery and Sarah Fortes, based in Milton-under-Wychwood, are each keen to craft one of the giant hare sculptures which are set to line the Chippy section of the Hare Trail next year.
They’ve already been accepted as artists in the Cirencester March Hare Festival. Now they need to find a local business, or group of businesses, keen to sponsor their individual hares and turn their dreams into reality.
ECN spoke to Nic and Sarah about their work, their love of the Cotswolds and their reasons for wanting to craft a unique and amazing piece of public art.
What kind of art do you create?
I use a combination of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I use lots of antique and vintage illustrations which I put together in a collage adding typography and other elements, depending on the piece.
My kind of artwork is in a traditional style. I create detailed pastel drawings, and generally animal subjects, including everything from pets to prize livestock.
When did you first get involved in art?
I have always been involved in art, my father was a keen calligrapher and passed on to me my love of typography and sign writing. I drew A LOT as a child!
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, and it helped that my Dad worked for a paper factory when I was at school, so there was always something to draw on! I started out by drawing pictures for family and friends, and then was commissioned to produce dog and horse portraits for a few people. This was very much a hobby but, over the years, through various jobs and three kids, I have always been drawing!
Summarise your artistic journey and/or career?
My career in design was slow to come about. It didn’t really evolve until I had my second child and was able to spend time on my art after leaving full time work. Now I run my own business doing freelance graphic design commissions alongside my work.
When my last son started school (he’s eight now), I really started art as a proper career. Since then I have gained a garden studio (The Ladyshed), a website, and now sell a range of cards, prints and homewares, all taken from my own original artwork. I also have my prints for sale in places such as The Burford Garden Company, SOTA Gallery, and online.
What is it about the Hare Festival that interests you?
I love hares and think it is a fantastic way to showcase local artists and businesses.
The Cirencester Hare Festival is so appealing, it will be a chance to do something completely different with a 3D form, something I’ve had a hankering to do for some time. It’s also a great way for people to see art outside of a formal setting, and in everyday settings, which I think is so important – and it’s for a good cause too.
What’s the best thing about being a an artist in Chipping Norton?
I absolutely love living here, the countryside is incredibly beautiful and there are so many beautiful places to visit on my doorstep. I find the countryside very inspiring.
Chippy based artists are in an enviable position. We live in a beautiful part of the country, where local quality and crafts are genuinely appreciated.