A Badgers Tale

The artistic flair of a group of classmates has won high praise from a wildlife expert who selected their “moving collection” to illustrate a new book. Artwork from pupils at St Colman’s High and Sixth Form College in Ballynahinch features in a wildlife crime novel aimed at helping end badger baiting. A Badger’s Tale by Geoff Francis celebrates the value of the badger to the countryside and also raises questions about what happens to it at the hands of humans. Its publication was sponsored by the Naturewatch Foundation, which ran an illustration competition for schools. TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham selected his favourite 21 illustrations to appear in the book – eight from St Colman’s pupils. The wildlife crime mystery novel is a challenging story about […]

Helping a blind woman “see” the art she loves

  An art-loving woman with restricted sight was overjoyed to use touch to finally ‘see’ a painting by a Saatchi-shortlisted Dorset artist at a conservation charity’s auction at the Cutty Sark in London. Sandi Johnson, who had begun to lose her sight aged 12, no longer has central vision and her peripheral vision has also deteriorated. She told Artist Geoff Francis, who donated four pieces to the Sea Shepherd charity’s auction at their 40th Anniversary Gala event, that she loved art but could not see it without an extremely strong magnifying device and then only rarely, since most art was behind glass. Geoff invited Sandi to run her hands across the canvas of his sculptural painting Hidden Deep. The painting was created as an environmental statement about […]