Worlington’s Louvre artist paints her local

Heath Rosselli, centre in a blue dress, with some of the people in her painting
Heath Rosselli, centre in a blue dress, with some of the people in her painting
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An artist whose work has been shown in the Louvre now has a painting hanging in her local pub.

Heath Rosselli was asked by the owners of The Walnut Tree in Worlington to paint a giant picture showing village life.

Heath Rossell with  her painting

Heath Rossell with her painting

She is best known for portrature, including Evelyn, a nude of a woman who has had a mastectomy, which was shown at the Louvre and the UK’s National portrait Gallery.

Beside her Walnut Tree painting she said: “There are 20 portraits within the painting.— they’re all real villagers.”

Many depicted went to the pub to see it unveiled on Saturday by George Pooley, 78, who is shown cycling through the village. Scenes show Worlington’s Jubilee celebration, fields of pigs, a family picnicing by the river, the golf course a cricket match and the pub.

It also shows a steam engine on the railway line, which closed in the 1960s, because Heath recalled running to see the trains as a girl.

“It was a huge challenge,” she said. “But I like challenges.

“Initially, I thought I’d never do it because it’s 8ft by 5ft and I thought ‘where am I going to start?’

“I had to look at my sketches and stick them all to the board.

“The hardest thing was making each scene flow into the next scene.”

She has used flying lapwings, a common bird round the village, to help link scenes.

Heath, who also painted the pub’s sign, has lived in Worlington most of her life, so she knows all the people she depicted.

She told locals in the bar: “Not only is the village close to my heart, but so is the pub.”

Bar manager Den Walters said: “The owner wanted something that represented everything the village stands for. I think they’ve got it.”

He said the owner did not want to be named.

Heath has worked on the painting for a year, but as she pointed out people in the picture who were there for the unveiling, she noted several were wearing similar clothes in the bar and in the picture.

“Have they been home since then?” someone asked.