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Letter to Press - Winifred Nicholson's St Bees Paintings Through the Prism of Nuclear Dump Plans

The following letter and a press release was written to the press on Tues 26th September - local and national - not one has published. The record breaking sale of a Winifred Nicholson in a Cumbrian Auction has now finally made the press - but not what a deep nuclear dump under the Irish Sea means for her St Bees paintings.

Lily of the Valley at St Bees - a painting by Winifred Nicholson

Dear Editor A painting of 'Blue Hyacinths in a Winter Landscape' has just been sold for almost £50,000 in a Cumbrian Auction by the artist Winifred Nicholson. This is a snip for an artist whose work was much treasured by David Bowie until his death in 2016, the sale of his Nicholson at Sotheby's of 'St Ives Harbour' set a new world record for a work of art by the artist at £245,000. Nicholson (1893 -1981) herself was an aristocratic Cumberland lass.

Her love of this border area between Scotland and England, Sea and Coast shines through in her paintings. Light, space and colour glow through the flowers placed in a vase with a landscape backdrop. Some of the most beautiful paintings are those at St Bees with the ethereal looking Isle of Man in the far distance. It is hard not to speculate about what Winifred Nicholson would have thought about the plan for a deep and very hot nuclear waste "disposal facility" in the Irish Sea, directly beneath the sparkling waves of the Irish Sea she so often painted. What would she have thought?

The Truth and Beauty in a Nicholson painting take on a dark new meaning when the sparkling waves are earmarked for a sub-sea nuclear dump. There is an opportunity for artists to get involved in an exhibition called 'Rock Solid" 2' for next year exploring the dilemma of looking at Cumbria's landscape through the prism of the UK Government's nuclear dump plan for existing and yet to be generated high level nuclear wastes.

  • For further information and an application form email with 'Rock Solid?' in the subject line

yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby

Co-ordinator of Rock Solid? 2

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