AN internationally renowned artist from Lymington is giving away a painting – with a special condition that it be passed on to a new recipient every fortnight.
Will Rochfort recently launched a social media competition for one of his works by asking for nominations of those who had gone the extra mile to boost morale and support their community during the pandemic.
Will said: “I have given away things in the past but this time I had an idea that I could give a painting away and then it could be passed on to a new owner every two weeks as a way to spread a little happiness and a feeling of togetherness.”
He specialises in realist painting with a particular interest in 1950s Americana culture, and sells his work to collectors in the Middle East, Europe and the US.
The donated painting, entitled Long Distance, is inspired by a series of four images featuring Will’s sister Beth on the phone.
It comes with a wooden box so it can be easily transported or quarantined by each recipient. The idea is that each new owner nominates the next person who will receive the painting, and passes it on after a fortnight.
Will said: “I really have no idea how well it will go – it would be wonderful if it went on a journey around the world but equally I accept that it could just disappear after a couple of months.”
In an effort to keep track of the artwork, Will is asking each new recipient sign their name on the back and email him with a photo of themselves with the image when they receive it.
After receiving more than 250 entries to the contest, Will chose Brockenhurst resident Richard Broomfield as the first recipient after he nominated his close friend Sandy Lawson as the next person to host the painting.
Richard said: “My good friend Sandy Lawson has always wanted to educate. He has been a hockey coach for many years but in recent years he has become a teacher.
“He has not stopped at all during all our Covid problems. Teaching over Zoom, volunteering to be in school and setting up many extra classes – all this whilst juggling his own small children, house building problems, and his coaching role.
“Receiving the painting will bring a huge smile and hopefully this summer their family will be able to get a break and spends some quality time together.”
Regular updates on the painting’s journey will be posted on Will’s Instagram page @willrochfortart