Harpenden actress’ on-set painting up for sale in charity auction

Emma Watson with her painting, up for auction.

Emma Watson with her painting, up for auction. - Credit: Archant

A lucky bidder can give to charity by buying a sea landscape painting used as the focal point in an upcoming St Albans production.

All proceeds from the auction will go towards mental health charity Mind, because the St Albans Theatre company OVO production is about the devastating affects of suicide.

Painter and Harpenden actress Emma Watson is the leading role in Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, about the wife of an esteemed High Court judge who has an affair and tries to take her own life.

Emma got completely into Hester Collyer’s character, creating Hester’s paintings which are used on set and referenced in the script.

The play deals with the themes of loss, longing, need and long-repressed passion through Hester’s paintings.

She said: “Hester’s paintings are referenced a number of times during the play and are hung up around the living room, so when I was asked if I’d like to provide them, I jumped at the chance.

“As I get to know Hester more and more I’m starting to understand that painting has been her escape from all of these difficult feelings, and it’s interesting that when conversations with other characters become difficult, she deliberately changes the subject to one of her paintings.

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“The fact that I can provide these paintings and help to raise money for such an important charity is a wonderful opportunity.”

Emma created portraits of a clergymen, her father, a watercolour, and the piece up for auction - a landscape of a pier.

She said they are a combination of herself and Hester.

Director Kathryn Rogers said: “The synergy between Emma, Hester and the play was too good an opportunity to miss, so I was thrilled when she agreed to provide the paintings for the set.

“Furthermore, with the play tackling the devastating impact of attempted suicide, we realised we could do something to help people who have experienced this, by holding an auction for one of Emma’s original pieces from the play and donating the proceeds to Hertfordshire Mind.”

The Deep Blue Sea will run from 8 to 10 and 15 to 17 March at the Maltings Arts Theatre.

There will be a selection of Emma’s other artwork available for sale throughout the run and there will be a ballot box in the foyer where potential buyers can bid for the painting.