THIS summer, Devon’s art scene will get a unique addition when artist Kathy Nettles brings her extraordinary collection of 30 horse and pony paintings to The Mare and Foal Sanctuary’s Coombe Park Education and Equestrian Centre near Ipplepen.
The exhibition will be the final event in the charity’s 30 year anniversary celebrations.
On the evening of 21st July, join Kathy and The Mare and Foal Sanctuary for an exclusive event filled with incredible art and inspiring insights into the charity’s vital work with rescued horses and ponies. The event promises to be more than just an art exhibition. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy fascinating presentations, indulge in refreshments, and embark on tours of the remarkable Coombe Park sanctuary.
To add to the excitement, John Nettles, OBE, Kathy’s husband and patron of The Mare and Foal Sanctuary will make a guest appearance.
Kathy explains how she was inspired to come up with this imaginative way to support the charity: ‘I’ve always loved horses and after moving to Devon with my husband, John, we finally had the space.
‘We started with a donkey and two ponies and then we had the chance to give a home to two ponies from The Mare and Foal Sanctuary – Pan and Avalon.
‘John became the sanctuary’s patron and we’ve both remained committed to supporting them ever since. Last year was the sanctuary’s 30th anniversary and the idea to
paint a ‘herd’ of 30 horses and ponies came to me in a moment of inspiration. I got in touch with the sanctuary and we went from there.’
Kathy’s work as an artist is inspired by the world around her. Her portraits are a testament to the deep connection between humans and horses: ‘Although creativity has always been part of my life, I only came to painting five years ago and I just fell in love with the process. Horses feature in a lot of my work.
‘They are such giving, generous animals. The herd I have created for The Mare and Foal Sanctuary has been painted in oils and cold wax. All the portraits are based on real horses. I have introduced a lot of colour into the paintings to evoke a range of emotions. I hope I have captured some of the elemental aspects of the horses and conveyed the sense of awe and power you experience when you are near a horse.
‘The work carried out by The Mare and Foal Sanctuary providing lifelong care to rescued horses and ponies is incredible. I’m so pleased to be able to support them.’
The exhibition will take place in various locations around the sanctuary, with the main showcase held in the barn. While visitors explore the art, the horses and ponies that would normally come into the stables for the night will be able to enjoy an extra couple of hours in the fields. Tickets are £3 and can be bought on the Mare and Foal’s website.