A prize-winning Royal naval photographer has helped raise thousands of pounds for war veterans.
Petty Officer Sean Clee, The Royal Navy’s Photographer Of The Year is exhibiting his award-winning images of the Royal Marines in Afghanistan at the city’s Masa Fine Art Gallery in the Royal William Yard. An auction of paintings commissioned for the occasion raised £8,000. The proceeds go towards the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity.
On Saturday 2nd August the gallery unveiled a two-week exhibition dedicated to 3 Commando Brigade during their tour of Afghanistan last year.
There are 30 images captured by Sean who lives in Plymouth and is based in HM Naval Base Devonport. The images are extremely powerful and help bring home the reality of war-fighting and the environment the troops have to contend with while on combat and reconstruction operations in Afghanistan.
In conjunction with the images captured by Sean several artists, including, Steve Slimm, Graham Fish, Tony Common, David Gray, David Wheeler and Celia Duncan have each chosen several images from Sean Clee’s portfolio, and have painted a total of 45 interpretations which are on display for the duration of the exhibition. Of these paintings, thirteen were donated by the artists to be auctioned.
The opening day involved a display by 29 Commando Royal Artillery and the VIP guest was the Lord Mayor of Plymouth . The military display included a Royal Marine Band, 29 Commando display with the tracked Viking vehicle used in Afghanistan , live music, and a climbing wall. The event was a success with several hundred people attending throughout the day.
Sean said “The opening night was memorable. It was good to see people from the South West coming together to show their support for the Royal Marines. We have raised a lot so far, but hope to raise in excess of ten thousand pounds for the Help For Heroes Charity over the next few weeks.”
The exhibition will run for two weeks but already Masa are looking to extend this to three weeks due to popular demand. Sean also said “This is a fantastic opportunity to take part in this unique collaboration that is helping those that have been unlucky enough to befall life changing injuries whilst serving Queen and Country. Whether buying a painting or printed copy or even just showing your support by attending the exhibition you can all do your piece”.