Artist shortlisted for international prize

Artist Francesca Simpson with her shortlisted crocodile painting.
Artist Francesca Simpson with her shortlisted crocodile painting.
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A north Northumberland artist saw one of her wildlife paintings go on show in the capital after being shortlisted for an international prize.

Francesca Simpson, from Hipsburn, but now living in Leicestershire, was in the running for the prestigious David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition.

A close-up of Crocodile, by Francesca Simpson.

A close-up of Crocodile, by Francesca Simpson.

The award, which is in its 10th year, was set up by wildlife artist and conservationist David Shepherd.

Overall, 136 pieces were shortlisted for the £10,000 sponsored top prize and they went on display at an exhibition last week at the Mall Galleries in central London.

The judges made their final selection last Monday morning ahead of the private view and prize-giving that evening before the public exhibition ran from Tuesday until Saturday.

Francesca went down to the preview and while she did not win one of the prizes, her acrylic-on-canvas painting Crocodile sold on the opening night, before many of the others, which she described as ‘very encouraging’.

Everything at the exhibition is for sale with profits supporting the Foundation’s wildlife conservation projects in Africa and Asia. Since 2007, the event has raised more than £320,000 to help protect some of the world’s most endangered species.

Mr Shepherd said: “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.”