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Celebrated George Dannatt artwork added to University collection

George Dannatt, Dragon Hill, 1996

THE work of George Dannatt – a pre-eminent English exponent of constructivist art – has been donated to the University of Chichester.

Dragon Hill, created by the artist in 1996, was bestowed by the George Dannatt Trust to be part of the Otter Gallery's twentieth-century collection. Mr Dannatt is recognised for his abstract and geometrical compositions that identify with works of the Constructivist movement.

The inspiration for Dragon Hill, an oil on hardboard, originates from a prehistoric natural mound around ten metres high situated on the ancient Ridgeway track in Oxfordshire.

The distinguished artist often chose to focus on natural forms and the landscape around him, and the work is characteristically abstract yet firmly rooted in a tangible location and subject. There is a tension between the rugged forms of the natural world alongside his confident mathematical constructivist aesthetic.

Emily Robson of the University’s Otter Gallery said: “We are delighted to receive a work by George Dannatt. He and his wife Ann were prolific collectors of twentieth-century British art and collected works by many of the artists represented in our current collection, such as Terry Frost and Patrick Heron.

“The George Dannatt Trust has an underlying principle to further the education of visual arts so it seems fitting that this work has found its home within a university that has such a strong heritage of championing the visual arts.”

Artist George Dannatt was born in 1915 and died in 2009. He had successful careers as both a charted surveyor and music critic before his life as an artist and collector.

Between 1970 and 1983, Dannatt regularly showed work at the Penwith and the Newlyn Art Gallery and became a member of Newlyn Society of Artists. His work can also be found in major public collections including Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, Southampton City Art Gallery, and the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester.

To find out more about Dragon Hill go to www.chi.ac.uk/ottergallery or visit the Otter Gallery at the University’s Bishop Otter campus, College Lane, West Sussex, PO19 6PE. For more on the George Dannatt Trust go to www.georgedannatttrust.org.