The Spirit of Teesdale
To celebrate their 20th anniversary at the Morritt Country House Hotel in July 2014, owners Barbara Johnson and Peter Phillips held art and photography contests to find artworks that captured the essence of one of the most picturesque parts of County Durham – The Spirit of Teesdale.
Barbara and Peter sought to do something special to celebrate being at the hotel since 1994 and thought a permanent artwork would be perfect. As a family-run hotel set in beautiful Teesdale countryside they wanted something that encapsulates what the area is all about, and celebrates local people and artists.
The Spirit of Teesdale Art Commission
Artists and sculptors living within 20 miles of the hotel vied for a £1,500 commission to produce a piece in celebration of the owners’ 20th anniversary at the hotel.
The winning proposal by sculptor Ewan Allinson was chosen by a panel of specialist judges including David Harper, TV antique expert and local celebrity, Emma House, Keeper of Fine Art at The Bowes Museum, Paul Denham, local artist from Raby and Richard Hindle, owner of the Gallerina art gallery in Darlington.
Ewan’s winning sculpture is now built in the hotel gardens and guests are welcome to come and view it and enjoy interacting with the piece.
For a full explanation of the inspiration behind the sculpture and more photographs, download and read this highly informative article by Ewan.
The Spirit of Teesdale Photography Contest
Following the success of the Spirit of Teesdale art commission, a great contest for photographers located within 20 miles of The Morritt Country House Hotel was held in September. The challenge remained the same – find the perfect image that captures The Spirit of Teesdale.
The 1st prize went to Gary Richardson for his stunning picture of High Force. Twelve of the images have been made into a 2015 desk top charity calendar. Calendars are £7.50 and are available from hotel reception, by calling 01833 627 232 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.