Artist Richard raises fund to keep Ottery St Mary’s Flaming Tar Barrels tradition alive

Richard Kaye has created special tar barrel prints.

Richard Kaye has created special tar barrel prints. - Credit: Archant

‘I have been lucky with the experiences I have had in my life but going to the barrels each year was always one of the most memorable.’

A town artist is doing his bit to raise money for an Ottery tradition which sees fearless men, women and children run through the street carrying blazing tar barrels.

Richard Kaye is aiming to raise £500 for the annual event which attracts thousands of spectators but incurs huge insurance costs.

To raise the money he needs, for the Carnival Committee which organises the event, Richard has created an original series of limited edition hand-printed screen prints.

Each A4 piece has been signed by the artist and shows a silhouette of a roller with a barrel on his back.


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Richard, who works at Double Elephant studio, will be hand-printing the pieces himself, along with a number of other print-makers.

“I have been lucky with the experiences I have had in my life but going to the barrels each year was always one of the most memorable,” he said.

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“The insurance costs are enormous due to what’s involved and so I just want to help out as I have always loved the event, my son takes part too.

“My background has always been fairly creative in that I have never stopped drawing and painting since being a child, then fell in love with print-making. As a print-maker, I often focused on silhouettes of objects on the skyline which people may not generally look at.

“For example communications masts, cranes and even scaffolding have been subjects I have explored.

“I think the barrels are a natural draw for me as they are so stunning visually, high in contrast and movement too.”

The Georgian House, in Silver Street, will also be helping out with the packaging and some of the framing.

The prints will be sold for £10 in The Georgian House and online at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RichardKayeArt.

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