20ft Art Work Stolen at this Year’s Glastonbury Festival

Published during this year’s Glastonbury Festival news 30th June 2011 

Fine art photographer Barry Cawston’s art work, showcasing in the Dance Field about the celebration of crowds living the Glastonbury experience has been stolen at the festival’s finale weekend last Saturday.

The internationally-renowned fine art photographer from Axbridge in Somerset was excited to be exhibiting two of his favourite art works at this year’s Festival for all to see. Barry had recently told the Culture Corner that the two detailed panoramic works were the “most difficult pictures ever taken” in his entire photographic career.

It was in fact his work “Sundown in the Park” that went missing on Saturday. “Sundown in the Park” is a stunning panoramic, light, bright and hopeful in spirit. Barry had previously told me: “This one was taken [last year] at around nine o’clock on the Friday night at the top of Emily Eavis’s Park area as the sun was setting. Everyone was chilling before the big night ahead. It just shows how vast the whole event and experience is.”

Barry had said “I hope people come down to see it. The aim of it is also to help people work out where they actually were last year!”

Cawston also displayed “Muse and the Moon” at the festival, a work shot on a large format camera and was a compilation piece. It was been printed on five panels, by Latent Light, sponsoring the exhibition, on five 4ft x 3ft panels in the Dance area. Barry took this glowing shot at last year’s 40th anniversary Glastonbury Festival, ironically on the Saturday night during Muse’s first song of their gig on the Pyramid stage. When creating “Muse and the Moon”, Barry explained “I was literally hanging onto the tripod and the fence below Michael Eavis’s farm. I had to reset the camera each time, focus and move it around to take the panoramic. This one and Sundown in the Park were technically one of the most difficult pictures I have ever taken and I had of course slept only periodically since I arrived on the Wednesday. But Muse sounded amazing and the view was of a city of gold. As a finished piece I just love the detail and the chaotic nature of the tents complete with a just-married sign and because each exposure was over 20 seconds long, the movement of the lanterns and the crowds when viewed at 20×3 ft adds a surreal quality.”

Last night, Barry tweeted “My 20ft Glastonbury picture was pilfered from the Dance Village on Friday – if found please return to me in a very large envelope!” Cawston’s art works typically sell for four-figure amounts, but the artist was in fact planning on donating this particular piece to Oxfam after the event.

Barry later told me “I discovered it was missing at 3am on the Saturday morning though the other [Muse and the Moon] which was at a more viewable location was fine.”

What was quite apparent to me about both panoramic shots was their phenomenal detail, causing one to go back to them again and again and discover more each time: a lot of hard work and meticulous compositional thought has evidently gone into these fine art photographs.

Anyone who may have any clues as to the whereabouts of Sundown in the Park, pictured below, is encouraged to get in touch and return the piece.

Sundown in the Park 20ft x 3ft went missing early last Saturday morning at Glastonbury Festival in the Dance Village

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