Aldeburgh artist exhibits his portraits of local RNLI lifeboat crew

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI volunteer crew member and artist, David Gillingwater, has combined his passion for creativity and Aldeburgh RNLI by capturing his fellow crew in a collection of oil painting portraits for a very special exhibition taking place from 22 – 28 November at The Garage Gallery on Aldeburgh seafront.

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David Gillingwater, RNLI volunteer and artist.
Aldeburgh lifeboat volunteers have been keeping people safe around the east coast for over 115 years. To guarantee his generation of lifesavers will always be remembered, David began the painting project.

He said: ‘I began painting the lifeboat crew in October 2017. I’ll probably finish the last one the night before the exhibition! There’s something about each painting that I really love – the one I’m working on at the time is the painting I fall in love with most.’

The collection captures the spirit of every crew members, as well as beloved station dog, George. Some of the crew are painted in their full kit aboard the station’s all-weather Mersey class lifeboat, Freddie Cooper. The volunteers were overwhelmed when they first saw the paintings.

David said: ‘A lot of the crew came to see the paintings at a preview in the summer and they were blown away – they absolutely love them. They got a real surprise when they saw them in real life. No matter how good the camera or the photographer, you can’t capture how special a painting is until you see it for yourself.’

The Garage Gallery on Aldeburgh Seafront delivers the perfect setting to view the time-capsule project.

David added: ‘The gallery makes you feel like you’re in the wheelhouse – you’ve got the natural soundtrack of the sea right in front of you. With the paintings there, you feel like you’re surrounded by the crew: like they’re protecting you. That’s what they do – and that’s what I’m trying to get across.’

ENDS

Images of the collection can be viewed here: http://www.portraitsinoilpaint.co.uk/lifeboat-portrait-project/.

RNLI media contacts
For more information regarding, contact Nicola Quinn RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07810 658 072 or nicola_quinn@rnli.org.uk, Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07786 668847 or clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk, or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press.

Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 160 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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Aldeburgh crew member, Alison Norman, is painted in full all-weather crew kit.

RNLI/Nicola Quinn

RNLI Aldeburgh volunteer shore crew, Mark Cable.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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