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American eagle opens Nature Art Show
(Press Release from the show)

Last night saw the launch of internationally renowned artist, Lorna Hamilton's first wildlife exhibition, ĎArt and Nature'. Over 70 people attended the Graffan Gallery in Castle Espie on Thursday 25th March to view the exhibition showing 22 paintings and drawings highlighting some of our most threatened or at risk species. "I believe this exhibition may be the first of its kind in N.Ireland. I have never attended an exhibition that has united art and conservation." Lorna has exhibited her paintings in some of the world's top wildlife art shows and this is where it has developed the ethos of using her art to support conservation efforts. On the first night of the show over one third of the paintings sold, Lorna said, " I am delighted to have had such a successful first night, I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next two weeks."
Although the Co.Down artist has been working as an artist for 15 years, she has only recently come to wildlife art. "I went through a period of discouragement; I left down my paint brushes and looked for something I felt passionate about. After seeing a book by a famous Canadian artist, Robert Bateman, I decided wildlife was what I wanted to paint".
Lorna began exhibiting her art in North America 3 years ago after being juried into a top specialist wildlife show. Indeed Lorna's art is not only being hung beside the best artists in the world but her paintings have been recognised by a top US art collector. "My paintings now hang in the same collection as the artist who first inspired me, Robert Bateman; I feel it is all a dream, not so long ago I was sitting in my studio feeling like a failure, now I have my paintings exhibited beside some of the most famous Bateman paintings in the world!"
The Castle Espie exhibition was also attended by a very special guest, an American Bald Eagle. The Eagle owned by Lothar Muschketat of Eagles Flying Sanctuary in Ballymote, Sligo added a unique dimension. "Without a doubt my guests tonight left with a lasting memory and came close to a little piece of nature." The American Eagle was close to extinction before a conservation plan was put into place, Lorna said, "The Eagle is a wonderful symbol of hope; although I want my exhibition to be admired, I also want to contribute towards safeguarding a better future for the creatures I paint". Twenty-five percentage of sales will go back into the conservation work of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.


The exhibition closed it's doors on the 9th April having sold 17 paintings with a number of Giclees sold also. Over 1000 people visited the show. Lorna was in attendance throughout the exhibition promoting and selling her art as well speaking about her passion for wildlife, conservation and the AFC.


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