Wimbledon College of Art MA Painting student Denise Harrison was awarded the commission to produce the poster in the enduring Shell theme of Everywhere You Go – You Can be Sure of Shell, and her work was presented at the Beaulieu One Hundred annual dinner.
A limited edition print of the poster was also auctioned to raise funds for the Trust, a charitable organisation which is dedicated to preserving the history of motoring in Britain through its world-famous collection of vehicles and extensive archive of film footage, images, documents and books housed in the Collections Centre.
Emerging artist Denise was selected by a judging panel from Shell Brands International, the Trust and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. She now follows in the footsteps of artists Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Rex Whistler and Vanessa Bell who contributed to the 1930s – 50s Shell advertising campaign.
Denise, who is known for her vivid colour palette and sensitive but lively use of gestural paint, explored the Beaulieu Estate for inspiration and created sketches to inform her final painting, which will now become part of the Shell Heritage Art Collection.
Denise said: “I’ve really enjoyed painting this piece for the Shell Heritage Art Collection. I included the gyrfalcon because of its historical connections to Beaulieu and was inspired by the trees of the New Forest, the wooden dock of Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu Abbey and, of course, the Montagu ancestral home of Palace House.”
“Beaulieu’s landscape is so full of tranquillity and enchantment. I wanted to capture its beauty and its vibrant rich history through the use of colour and imagery.”
Rahul Malhotra, head of Brand Strategy & Stewardship for Shell said: “Shell has a long and proud history in the UK of supporting emerging artists by commissioning them for commercial work and we are very pleased to have worked with Denise. Her final image is bright and accessible, it brings vibrancy to the view of Beaulieu and reflects the modern approach of Shell as a company.”
One of the most important collections of 20th century British commercial art, the Shell Heritage Art Collection includes advertising posters, original paintings, cartoons and press advertisements plus the ever-popular Shell County Guide books. Posters and paintings from the collection have been continuously on show in the museum and also loaned regularly to museums and galleries around Britain and Europe, allowing access to the collection to around a million people a year. Its popularity is due, in part, to the high calibre of artists previously commissioned for Shell’s campaigns. The Collection was previously stored at Shell-Mex House in London and officially inaugurated at Beaulieu by Prince Michael of Kent in 1993.
As an Accredited Museum, the Trust’s collections have been designated by the Arts Council England as being of national and international importance. Stored alongside the 1.7 million items housed in the Trust’s Collections Centre, the Shell Heritage Art Collection has been well cared for and has benefitted from this strong heritage association for the past 25 years.