In 2010 The National Stud started a new scheme inviting talented local artists to have a residency on the Stud to give visitors the opportunity to see how having a base at the Stud influences their work. Visitors are able to see the resident artist working in their studio (The Weatherbys Pavilion, next to the Wavertree’s Coffee and Gift Shop) and can buy and commission paintings directly from the artist.
Chris Winch is the first artist to take up the residency:
Chris Winch lives in Wood Ditton, a village just three miles from The National Stud. After a successful freelance career in the design and publishing world, working as an illustrator and Art Director, Chris returned to his first love of painting. He has always enjoyed the textures of the natural world and the sculptural qualities of horses and running dogs, Chris is also inspired by the cave paintings of early man and the friezes of ancient civilisations. The ravages of time and the elements seem to add another dimension to their work. He aims to combine these loves by portraying the spirit of the animals using impasto techniques on canvases prepared with locally sourced natural materials, such as sand, chalk, sawdust and brick dust.
He uses acrylic and emulsion paints for their fast drying qualities, which keeps the painting fresh, and Chris executes his canvases exclusively in the open air – even in winter! Rain is the only thing that forces Chris inside and then he concentrates on his lively and colourful watercolours of the same subject matter.
Chris has had work selected for exhibitions with the Society of Equestrian Artists, and at exhibitions around East Anglia. All Chris’ work is original and he never sells prints of his work as nothing captures the colour and texture of the original. He concentrates on Country and Agricultural shows where Chris enjoys talking directly to the buyers of his work and can also arrange commissions on a personal basis. For more information about Chris’ work please view his website at www.dawinchy.co.uk and his blog at www.chriswinch.blogspot.com.
Chris has worked on several projects to celebrate horseracing in Newmarket.
In July 2012, he masterminded the Flaming July project, which projected animated watercolour images of a galloping horse, lighting up Newmarket High Street, Racecourse and other public areas in the town to celebrate the July Cup Festival, the Newmarket Carnival and the Newmarket leg of the Olympic Torch Relay. The final animation is available to watch on Chris’ blog: http://chriswinch.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/flaming-july-trailer.html.
Chris also worked on the Horse About Newmarket community art event in May 2011, which saw 13 full-size colourful model horses displayed around Newmarket town centre. Each of the horses was painted to represent a 2,000 Guineas winner from history, with Cockney Rebel, Sea The Stars (x2), Garden Path, Only For Life, Atlantic, Nectar, Ten Winners In Blue, Shadeed, Wizard, Mystiko, Sunstar and Interpreter all symbolized by different artists and 16 smaller horses decorated by children from local schools. Chris’ Cockney Rebel (pictured below), whose design featured the likes of Che Guevara, Nelson Mandela, Lenin and Amy Winehouse, was displayed near the clock tower in Newmarket, sporting a pearly kings-style headcollar. All the statues were auctioned off for charity in October 2011 and Cockney Rebel was the subject of a fierce bidding contest, with Phil Cunningham, part-owner of the 2007 2,000 Guineas winning stallion, coming out on top in the end.