FROM animal figures sculpted from recycled copper to an artist aged just 10 picking up a brush, over 300 visitors flocked to Great Bedwyn to see 22 talented artists showcase their work at the annual St Mary’s Church art exhibition.

The church was filled with one of a kind pieces and included the winning entries to the Henniker-Gotley trophy submitted by children from Great Bedwyn and Ogbourne St. George primary schools.

The award was launched last year in memory of Will and Maria Henniker-Gotley, who were killed in an Earthquake in Italy last August. Mr Henniker-Gotley's father Anthony is a keen water colour artist and he and his wife Jenny have lived in Great Bedwyn for a number of years. The trophy is awarded to the most promising young artist.

The competition was organised by Patrick Pease who said: "This was the second year that I have organised this competition and the standard has been extremely high. It will continue next year."

Great Bedwyn school headteacher, Nicola Williams, said: "The Henniker Gotley art competition is a super project for children at the school to become involved with.

"Being able to exhibit their art work in the community and to have their work celebrated in this way fuels the children's enthusiasm and creativity."

Church Warden Sue Challen, who organised the art event for the third year, said: “It started out as a harvest idea and we have so many local artists so it became a celebration of the skills we have in the area artistically.

“Harvest is about giving food but it is also about giving and sharing our skills. We have got some really top professionals all the way down to mums who have taken up art in their spare time.”

Over £600 was raised to fund restoration work at St Mary’s Church in the village.