Stolen artwork at last weekend’s Glastonbury was worth £2000

Published during this year’s Glastonbury Festival news 3rd July 2011 

Somerset’s finest art photographer Barry Cawston valued his 20ft panoramic photograph at a minimum value of £2000, the Culture Corner has just been told.

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 over the course of this year’s Glastonbury. Cawston had recently told the Culture Corner that the two detailed panoramic works were the “most difficult pictures ever taken” in his entire photographic career.

Cawston had in fact renamed the piece after some careful thought prior to transporting it to the Festival with pride in his caravan to showcase to all fans present in the Dance Village. It was originally called “Sundown in the Park” but was recently renamed to “Vale of Avalon”.  Thousands of music and art fans flocked around to see the piece after it was put on display in Glastonbury’s Dance Field and it was therefore a great shock to Cawston and his fans that the popularity of the piece was taken a little too far when the mysterious art thief in question trophied it.

But who stole it? One thing is for sure: everyone’s talking about it.

On Wednesday night of this week, Cawston 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 had in fact planned to donate the artwork to Oxfam shortly after the event. He 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.”

“Muse and the Moon” is the sibling work of “Vale of Avalon” and is a night-time-scene, shot on a large format camera; it is a compilation piece, printed on five panels 4ft x 3ft, by Latent Light, sponsoring the exhibition. The newly named “Vale of Avalon” however went missing on Saturday of last week and is a dusk-light, brighter version of the two as it was shot on a light summer evening. A stunning panoramic, light, radiant and hopeful in spirit, Barry had shared with me some background about the making of it in the run-up to its launch at Glastonbury: “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 also 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!” 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 and it is therefore imperative, not to mention moral for the artwork to be located and returned to its rightful owner.

Anyone who may have any clues as to the whereabouts of the 20ft art giant “Vale of Avalon”, pictured below, is encouraged to get in touch and return the piece to Mr Cawston at his studio in Axbridge, Somerset in order for it to be donated to the Oxfam charity as originally planned.

Barry Cawston’s full collection can be viewed on his where his contact details can also be found.

Vale of Avalon 20ft x 3ft went missing early last Saturday morning at Glastonbury Festival in the Dance Village

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