DAN Art Auction

Public art works from the Dartford Assembly project, previously displayed on the hoardings in Lowfield Street, are being auctioned for charity at the Lions Community Fayre in Dartford High Street on 1st September, from 2:15pm. More background on the project and event follow below, as well as images and details of each piece. But here’s some key information first:

HOW TO BID IN ADVANCE. If you want to be the lucky winning bidder of one of these pieces, then simply email hello@dartfordartsnetwork.com with – YOUR NAME – A CONTACT METHOD (e.g. a verifiable channel such as email address, phone number etc) – THE NUMBER AND NAME OF THE ARTWORK (from the list below) and HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO BID. Only bids with verifiable contacts, that we get a reply from you on, will be accepted. Your bid will be treated as a “sealed pre-bid”.

On the day of the auction, the highest email pre-bid will be included by the auctioneer until, and if, it is beaten by a bid from the audience.

To be certain of securing an original artwork that you really want, you will need to make a high email bid, or turn up to the Lions Fayre in Dartford High Street on the afternoon of September 1st (2:15pm) to bid in person, in case your email bid is beaten.

WHY BUY ONE OF THESE WORKS? Apart from the obvious visual appeal of these works, you will be buying an important piece of Dartford history. They are all original artworks by local people (some of them recognised commercial artists), and were created in response to a brief of saying or doing something positive for Dartford. Exhibiting the works on the Lowfield Street hoardings was an attempt to give local people more control over what was being seen, after Tesco’s long delay to developing the site. As the Copperhouse Green development takes shape, and then becomes familiar, you will have a record of the days beforehand.

The pieces are large and striking (most are 1.2m square) and, whilst they could also be a major feature in a private home, they would be a great talking point for local businesses and venues… and a way of showing your connection with the town and its history. They have survived over 2 years on display in all weathers so, suitably treated and mounted, they could also be used on an external frontage.

Finally, and above all this, by making a generous bid you will be supporting the Ellenor charity [DAN will be deducting only some basic costs for services and materials from the proceeds before passing on the balance, via the Lions].

CONDITION: The pieces are painted on large boards – which are subject to a certain amount of cracking or flaking as they age. They may also have some damage to the edges. They have holes drilled in places around the edges, which were used to screw them onto the hoardings. However – they were all treated with several layers of varnish before mounting, and silicone sealant was used to prevent the ingress of rainwater behind the works, or through soaking into the edges. They have been weathered by sun, rain, frost and dust. Some have acquired a slight tendency to bend and, as they are not a heavy gauge of board, may need care when fully flattened out. But all these changes, whilst detracting from them as pristine works of art, are now part of their identity and their place in Dartford history. These pieces are survivors! Similarly we have chosen not to clean them after taking them down. Owners who want to emphasise the weathering can therefore choose to spray varnish over them as is, to ‘fix’ the current condition. Or they can simply be gently cleaned with a soap solution to bring them back to the original varnish. [The above is also a disclaimer – buyers making a successful email pre-bid are deemed to be buying their piece ‘as seen and described’ in this article.] Stephen Oliver’s pieces, Works Nos: 11 & 12, are on a thicker, stronger, gauge of board and therefore less subject to bending, flaking or edge damage.


The Dartford Assembly project was the first of its kind in the town with original art works on boards produced following a public call-out for artists, as well as collages from community workshops and local school and college contributions. The high quality of work meant that the public reaction was overwhelmingly positive and the project’s aim – to bring more public art to the town, as well as to enhance the streetscape of the area – was more than fulfilled. Dartford Borough Council were our partners throughout the project, with generous financial support, and in negotiations with the landowner. With the subsequent progression of works on the Lowfield Street site, the hoardings have now been replaced and the artworks removed with great care by Bellway’s groundworks team.

Dartford Arts Network are determined that these fabulous artworks should continue as a legacy of the history of the Lowfield Street site development, as well as a lasting testament to the creative talents of the Dartford population.

As well as the original artwork boards (1.2m x 1.2m) we will be holding a Secret Postcard Art Sale – postcards of original artwork will be up for sale, with the artists remaining anonymous until point of sale – there may even be some famous names in there up for grabs!

The net proceeds of the sales will be donated to the Lions’ chosen charity – Ellenor Hospice (minus minimal project expenses). We are very grateful to all the local artists who have agreed for their original works to be sold for this cause.

The Lions’ Community Fayre is on 1st Sep 2019 on Dartford High Street.
The DAN auction will take place at 2.15pm on One Bell Corner.


Work No1:

“My Dartford” by Sue Holmes

As a member of Dartford Arts Network, my contribution to the ‘outdoor gallery’ in Lowfield Street was something close to my heart. I do miss the old shops in our town and became quite nostalgic when researching images of places long gone.

The collage is rather like a map, with a background including brown paper – because Mr Phillips always wrapped our toys in it! The original work, varnished on to a canvas board, took about a month to complete because it is made up of thousands of pieces of torn paper. The black & white images are places no longer remaining – the coloured areas are still here today for us to enjoy.

The photographs are in memory of my father and my husband’s grandmother, who both worked in Heddles department store. The young girl with the monkey (in almost matching clothes!) is me. This is not something that would happen here today, thankfully. However, at the time, many children had their photograph taken outside the market.


Work No2:

“Tidal Tracks” by Kate Withstandley

I was one of the founder members of DAN and have loved being a part of its growth and development. The Dartford Assembly project was fantastic to be involved in and a new experience for me, having never painted on wood or board before.

I am a keen photographer and had a number of images of the QEII bridge from across the water. However it was this shot which appealed to my abstract tendencies too, with the expanse of mudflats in the foreground juxtaposing the colours of the sky above. I used the photograph as a basis to create a painting, following roughly by eye the scene proportions and scale, whilst improvising with texture and colour.

I painted the board with a variety of media – mostly acrylic, but also some emulsion and thick printing ink. I improvised with what I had to hand, focusing more on the colour matching and need, than sticking to a single type. My method of creating art is always very fluid and unrestricted. I leave a lot of the outcome to chance, or, in my mind, to the paint and picture itself. In a way, I feel as if I let it develop how it wants to, as well as guiding it in a direction. So I can’t take all the credit!

Website/blog: https://exploringartinthecity.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @artexplorer434
Instagram: katewithstandley


Work No3:

“Dartford Skate Park” by Lulu Edmondson

Lulu Edmondson is a local painter specialising in portraiture. Her painting of a local skater at Central Park’s SkatePark will be familiar to the many people who use the facility regularly. It is a significant landmark in the area for young people and a valuable resource for encouraging physical and social activity, as well as cultivating home grown skate talents in the local area.


Work No4:

“Ostensibly Elsewhere”by Sam Penman

Local artist Sam Penman’s striking triptych could be seen to take influence from the modern street art movement, with stencil techniques creating a bold, arresting work. Open to interpretation, it prompts questions about the subjects’ relationship with contemporary society and community. [This is a very large piece measuring 3.6m x 1.2m in total, and benefits from being viewed at a distance.]


Work No5

“Homage to Sir Peter Blake” by Julie Holmes

I graduated from art school in 1992 but have been making art for most of my life. Being a member of DAN from its conception I was excited about creating a piece of work for public display that had connections with Dartford.

The work was inspired by Sir Peter Blake whom I was lucky enough to meet in 2006 at the opening of the Peter Blake Gallery at Dartford library. Peter Blake had created a dazzle design for the Mersey Ferry as part of the First World War commemorations and I used the design to produce a colourful artwork in honour of the great British pop artist. The piece is painted with acrylics and the portraits are collaged onto the board.

Although the portraits have faded due to the elements, the colours surrounding them are still as vibrant. It has made the work more poignant as it reflects the artist in the autumn of his years whose work is still vital and exciting.


Work No6

“Dartford Warbler” by Jayne Gooding

I have always had a passion for nature and wildlife and often draw inspiration for my art from the various flora and fauna that surrounds me. I enjoy combining realism with elements of fantasy or symbolism within my work. I use various mediums, particularly acrylics and coloured pencils. For this piece I have used acrylics as I am fond of the rich colours and vibrancy they have allowed me to achieve. I wanted to illustrate the Dartford Warbler, a species of bird named after Dartford, near to which it was first noted as a breeding bird in 1773. Dartford Warblers’ main habitat is heathland, and they especially like gorse. My piece portrays Dartford Warblers perched on gorse in Dartford Heath, looking at Dartford Town Centre in the distance. I have depicted various landmarks and buildings, including Dartford Bridge, Dartford Library and Holy Trinity Church. I added the whimsical hearts to suggest birdsong, and to add a sense of positivity to the piece.


Works Nos 7 to 10 Available as single works.

17062016a – d by Russell Scott-Skinner

Russell is a multimedia artist from South East London & North Kent who now lives in Croyde, North Devon.

Over an 18 year professional artistic and visual career he has built and sold two successful photographic studios, he has worked commercial video and photography in Morocco, print design and production in Barcelona and also had BBC and press features. His artwork and photography has had numerous group and solo exhibitions in London and across the country.

He states…….’I love what I do! And feel very lucky just to be able to reflect my perspective back onto the world in a visual format.’

Russell has numerous collectors all around the world and is now extremely proud to have Sir David Attenborough as one of the owner’s of his work.

The heart and essence of his artwork and perspective is based around reflecting the energy within and around us. Whether that’s photographic portraiture capturing the energy of the relationships we have with ourselves, each other and / or our environment.

Or whether its the energy held and used by nature to sculpt the world around us. Which is reflected in Russell’s paintings that he describes as organic pieces that are grown rather than painted”.

Website: www.russellscottskinner.com
Instagram: russell_scott_skinner





Works Nos 11 & 12

“Sir Peter Blake” & “Malcolm Allison” by Stephen Oliver

Nature plays a large part in my work — particularly skies and stretching perspectives. I like to represent the ‘feel’ of nature, very often as an abstraction using various techniques in oil, acrylic, or watercolour. Occasionally I also portray the human body.

Being creative is something that has been with me for most of my life. In my teens I was an enthusiastic amateur photographer, and I have been involved with drawing and colour for many years. Trained locally, and supported with self-tuition, I now concentrate on painting and drawing ‘excerpts’ from the natural world.

In 2015 I was asked to contribute to DAN’s Dartford Assembly project in Lowfield Street. The brief was to produce artwork that reflected Dartford’s rich and diverse character. My pieces were portraits of three of Dartford’s celebrated residents:

– J.Edward Oliver (asleep) – famous pop cartoonist (not included in the auction).

– Peter Blake – pop artist, best known for co-creating the sleeve design for the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s.

– Malcolm Allison – football manager and player.

Website: https://www.stephen-oliver-art.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artofstephenoliver
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteveOliverArt

“Sir Peter Blake” by Stephen Oliver
86cm x 122cm


Work No12:
“Malcolm Allison” by Stephen Oliver
122cm x 84cm


Work No13

“Future #1” by Fine Artists @ North Kent College

Students from North Kent College were keen to get involved in the project, with fine artists working to create two striking boards aimed at stimulating discussion on waste and the environment. Symbols of reuse and recycling can be seen in these bold, graphic works alongside imagery of the planet and society; the intention being to start a dialogue with passers by about their thoughts on our environmental situation in the local area. A great example of young people’s artistic activism, in works which preceded, but embody the principles of, the subsequent Climate Emergency Declaration


Work No14

“Future #2” by Fine Artists @ North Kent College

Students from North Kent College were keen to get involved in the project, with fine artists working to create two striking boards aimed at stimulating discussion on waste and the environment. Symbols of reuse and recycling can be seen in these bold, graphic works alongside imagery of the planet and society; the intention being to start a dialogue with passers by about their thoughts on our environmental situation in the local area. A great example of young people’s artistic activism, in works which preceded, but embody the principles of, the subsequent Climate Emergency Declaration


Work No15

“Big Dreams” by Mihaela Lovasz

Mihaela Lovasz is a 33-year-old artist with a BA and MA in Fine Art. She particularly enjoys painting in vibrant colours, especially in oil.

“When I created the artwork I was doing some research about Dartford’s famous people and I learnt that Dartford is RICH in famous people who were born or who lived here (eg. Peter Blake). That idea gave me inspiration for this work “BIG DREAMS”.

Medium: acrylic colours, industrial painting and gold leaves, painted on panel 120cm/120cm
Follow me on Instagram @mihaela_lovasz


Arts and Culture in Dartford