Christine Mills MBE, founder of Tetbury-based Hope for Tomorrow, has opened the Pole Position Gallery
THE first thing you notice when walking into the Pole Position Gallery in Tetbury is the colour.
Every one of the 38 paintings by Spanish artist Juan Carlos Ferrigno – most showcasing iconic racing cars in action – is bursting with eye-popping shades topped off with evocative splatters of vibrant red.
The new gallery at the former site of Deacons jewellers on Market Place is owned by Tetbury resident Christine Mills, who founded the charity Hope for Tomorrow – which runs mobile chemotherapy units throughout Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset – in 2003 after losing her husband David to cancer.
Christine, who was awarded an MBE last year, said she had long been an admirer of the Barcelona-based artist’s work and was delighted to be able to showcase it to the people of Tetbury.
“I’d had the idea at the back of my mind for a while and when this building became available it really felt like the right time,” she said.
“I called it the Pole Position Gallery is because it’s in a pole position in Tetbury and the art is so wonderful too.”
One of the most impressive aspects of Ferrigno’s work – which is reportedly created to a soundtrack of loud rock music – is the sense of movement, making each painting look like a single moment frozen in time.
Although the work on show is primarily motorsport-themed, some feature sports such as polo and music – with a striking portrait of Jimi Hendrix making a particular impression – with the sales of these going towards Hope for Tomorrow.
Both Christine and her husband were involved in motorsport and managed drivers including five-time Le Mans winner Derek Ball, whose victory in Buenos Aires in 1971 led a then-11-year-old Ferrigno to decide to devote his life to painting racing cars.
Christine added each of the paintings in the gallery was truly unique.
“He never does the same driver twice – if the painting of Jim Clark sold we’d never have another one of him,” she said.
“There are a lot of art galleries in Tetbury but I don’t think they’re concerned – we’re offering something quite different.”
The gallery, which also features a collection of unique motorsport memorabilia, open today and will be open every day except Monday from 11am to 4pm.