Andy Crowe’s vivid paintings of St Helena’s capital city provided a colourful theme for a set of postage stamps. And now one of them is to be sold at auction to raise some capital for an island charity.
Readers are invited to place sealed bids in time for the auction on 17 March 2016.
Andy went to St Helena to improve social housing on the island, but made his mark in other ways as well: not least as a costumed stand-in for Napoleon at community events.
In his spare time he indulged his talent as an artist. The colours and shapes of buildings in Jamestown were a favourite theme.
Back home in the UK at the end of his contract, he has decided to take time out of housing work to chance his arm – as he puts it – as a working artist. He’s already built up a full order book.
He was so delighted to have his paintings chosen for the island stamps that he has decided to sell off his favourite, showing Main Street, for an island cause.
He says: “The proceeds will go to a St Helena charity, yet to be decided (mainly because I have no idea what the painting will sell for).
“I have also offered to auction a painting, again for a St Helena charity, when the RMS St Helena is moored in London.”
He bought up 100 copies of the first day cover showing his stamps and gave half of them to family and friends. He is selling signed copies of the rest at £15 a time – having allowed the Post Office to reproduce the originals for no fee.
The original of his Main Street scene will be auctioned as part of a sale at the Grosvenor Auction House in The Strand, London. Details can be found on Andy’s website (see the link below).
As St Helena’s first housing officer, Andy had to address severe problems with the state of government housing, as well as coming up with designs for new rented homes. Funding for them is still awaited. The job was challenging, but life on the island was rewarding.
On his website, Andy tells how he developed his technique of using a palette knife and brushes to produce of paintings of Frigiliana in Andalucia, where he had his first solo exhibition in 2009.
On St Helena, he found it “a challenge to apply the same knife and brush angles” to the rugged volcanic cliffs and vivid colours of Jamestown.
He arrived on the island in 2012 and by December 2014 his collection was large enough to warrant an exhibition in the Museum of St Helena.
“The exhibition was a great success, resulting in 12 commissions and the honour of having four of my paintings reproduced as postage stamps,” he says.