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Artist’s grand gesture
A STRIKING work by Swindon aviation artist David Bent dramatically depicting the Red Arrows aerobatic team flying upside down has raised more than £1,000 for a specialist charity.
A print of David’s recent creation Out of This World, signed by the Arrows team and head of the RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton fetched £1,100 – more than any other item at an aviation themed charity auction.
The money will be spent by Fly2Help which takes people airborne on Air Smiles Days to help alleviate trauma, extreme stress and similar psychological conditions.
Fly2help spokesperson Felicia Willow said they were “absolutely thrilled” that David’s donation received the top bid at The Aviation Supper Club gala evening in Farnborough.
She said: “This is an amazing amount of money and is enough for us to run two to three Air Smiles Day, which is absolutely wonderful. It was such a very special print to auction.”
Ms Willow added that the money would make “a significant difference” to the efforts of the charity – based at Cotswold airport, Kemble – to help people living with trauma.
David, 63, acknowledged as one of the world’s leading aviation artists, said: “It was really pleasing to hear that a print of Out of This World reached the top price at the supper club event.
“Over the past decade we have been lucky to meet many extraordinary people from the world of aviation, so it is good to be able to help a little by giving something back through my work.”
David, whose home studio is in Old Town, hoped that similar pieces he has donated to other aviation charities would do just as well at auction over the coming months.
Recently unveiled at the 2013 Fairford airshow, Out of This World is his latest rendition of the Arrows in action.
On this occasion, however, he has portrayed them flying upside-down, as they often do.
David said the painting was inspired by the time he spent as artist-in-residence with the RAF’s famed aerobatics display team, which next year celebrate its 50th anniversary.
He said he wanted to create a painting that “reflected the skill and courage of the RAF pilots that fly as part of the Red Arrows team.”
David, whose original works sell for many thousands of pounds all over the world, added: “They are a very talented and highly trained group that regularly fly upside down and close to the ground at high speeds, thrilling the public across the world.
“I set out to consciously make a very modern piece of aviation art, to capture the essence of the Red Arrows.
“I wanted to hit a point on the boundary between abstraction and naturalism.”
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