Open art Competition highlights picturesque region at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst

By Ben Miller | 20 August 2012
A close-up photo of a pony with lots of white hair and large brown ears protruding
Christine Hughs' shot of New Forest ponies won an open competition in Lyndhurst© Christine Hughs
Exhibition: Open art Competition, New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, until September 3 2012

Earlier this year, artists around the New Forest area were challenged to enter a competition with the distinct Olympic-themed stipulation that entries should be in gold, silver and bronze.

From a field praised for its creativity and imagination, a familiar equine visitor provided the winner in the form of Christine Hughs’ shot of local ponies.

“The ambiguity of the image causes the viewer to think again about our most loved icon,” says Hillary Marshall, the Centre’s Manager and one of the judges, praising a work she feels “really challenges” the “notion of forest landscape”.

“In playing with scale and form it almost hints at otherworldliness. It is creative and charming.”

Barry Whitcher, one of Marshall’s fellow decision makers and a serial snapper around the New Forest, also suggests subtly different views of a fondly-regarded region swayed the final call.

“You may have visited a place many times before but stopping to think about where you are often shows you something new and interesting,” he says.

"Art enables you to stop and take in your surroundings. This year’s winners and runners-up have shown the New Forest at its very best.”

  • Open 10am-5pm. Admission £4/£3 (free for under-16s, unlimited admission for 12 months £12/£10 by standing order).
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