As thousands of Otter Spotters continue to explore locations on and around Dartmoor National Park looking for 100 life sized Otters, the team behind the Moor Otters campaign is preparing for the highly anticipated live auction of 30 Golden Otters at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.
The auction is set to take place on 30th September 2017 and will focus on thirty themed sculptures, nicknamed the Golden Otters, designed by key artists. Each Golden Otter is a rare chance to purchase art from internationally renowned artists making their mark on something truly unique.
From otters inspired by landscapes, landmarks and art movements to artists who love anything from pottery and poetry to printing, each otter has been designed to reflect incredible artists with their own interesting stories. Alan Cotton, one of Britain’s most distinctive painters, lives in Devon and has worked closely with the team on the Moor Otters project. He was asked to curate sculptures from some of the best artists in the country, such as Phil Creek, whose creation, Ottery Otter, reflects the local beauty of Ottery St. Mary, where the Cambridge-born artist is now based. Another otter, Elementary My Dear Otter by Ann L. Roe, captures the famous connection between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles and the haunting landscapes of Dartmoor.
Alan, who designed his own otter, An Otter for All Seasons, said, “I have been involved with a lot of charitable projects over the years, but Moor Otters is something quite unique. Otters can be found in their natural habitat all over Dartmoor National Park and are very popular with visitors. They are majestic creatures both in their wild environment and in their sculpted form and were a challenging but fun canvas to work with. The life-sized fibreglass otters are especially striking when placed on their plinths, standing at over 7ft tall.”
The public arts initiative aims to raise £100,000 in support of projects to conserve and enhance Dartmoor’s wildlife, landscape and improve accessibility for everyone to the Moor. It will also be used to help develop Dartmoor’s Junior Ranger programme, which supports educational access and engages young people in conservation projects, creating conservationists of the future.
Alan continued, “The Golden Otters are designed by highly skilled artists who have excelled in their field. Some have chosen to stick to their established styles which range from delicate and beautiful scenic paintings from the likes of Phil Creek to more abstract art from artists like Charlie O’Sullivan. Some artists chose to take a more comedic approach and create some really fun otters such as Potter Otter by Rachel Shilston which is inspired by his famous wizard namesake.”
He concluded, “Many of these artists have a popular fan base with collectors all over the world. Choosing to take on a project off their usual canvas materials is a rare thing and the response from all the artists involved has been truly marvellous. These are pieces of art that are unlikely to become available again and are real collectors’ items, which just adds to the excitement as we look forward to the auction.”
The public can see all 100 otter sculptures, including the 30 Golden Otters, on the Moor Otters website where an interactive trail map is also available. The otters can be bid for online. Bidding for all 100 Moor Otters opened on 1st June 2017. The Golden Otters will take bids from the results of the online auction to the live auction in September.
The trail is the first of its kind for a National Park and the support of our valued partners is very much appreciated in its success thus far. The following organisations have pledged their support for the campaign: South West Water, Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, Absolute PR and Marketing, Western Morning News, Melchior Chocolates, Jolly Roger, SW Colour Laboratories, Mail Boxes Etc and Bovey Castle.