Batley and District Gun Club shoot to fame

MEMBERS of a local gun club will soon be popping up at the National Portrait Gallery, thanks to painter Tony Noble.

Thursday, 28th April 2011, 11:43 am

Tony, who works from a studio at Redbrick Mill, painted individuals from Batley and District Gun Club. The artwork he produced is being shown in this year’s BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, before going on a national tour. The painting is one of 55 in the exhibition selected from 2,372 submissions from around the world.

Tony’s painting is made up of 16 panels presented together in one frame, each panel representing one member of the gun club. It was started in August last year and completed in January.

He said: “I decided I wanted to do a portrait project where I painted a group of individuals who shared a common interest. I wanted a group who were diverse and visually interesting, both physically and in terms of the clothes they wear and the equipment they use.

“On my first meeting with the gun club members I knew they were perfect for the job, a gift! I could easily have done 50 portraits if I’d had more time.

“I contacted the chairman, Peter Whaites, after Googling their website. He very kindly invited me to a committee meeting where I outlined my plans.

“I was very apprehensive at first and wondered how I would be received, but I was made to feel very welcome and really appreciate the support, encouragement and co-operation I received. I hope the people in the paintings, their friends and families will all get a chance to see the work in the great surroundings of the NPG and look forward to hearing their reactions.”

This will be Tony’s third showing in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition. In 2008 he had a portrait of his mother-in-law and her sister shown, and last year the exhibition included his Love Painting – Portrait of my wife Jackie and our cat Amy, Redbrick Mill Studio.

The exhibition is on show at the National Portrait Gallery from June 16 to September 18.