Gogglebox TV star to host Snowcats charity auction

Chris Steed

Chris Steed

Chris Steed, star of Channel 4’s Gogglebox, will host an auction of nearly 50 unique Snowcat artworks at a Brighton charity fundraiser in June.

Forty-six magical Snowcats created by a wide variety of talented local artists will be visible from the street throughout the month of May, peering out of windows in the Hanover area of Brighton. The cat-size feline art will then be sold off to the highest bidders, raising funds for the popular local rescue and rehoming charity Lost Cats Brighton.

Brighton’s Snowcat Trail opened today May 1, with a bank holiday family celebration at the Hanover Community Centre featuring a Snowcat treasure hunt, face painting, games, crafts and other fun activities for the kids.

Gogglebox star Chris Steed will host the Snowcat Auction  and Cat Pub Quiz at the Dover Castle Pub, Hanover, on June 20, from 6.30pm.

Chris said: “I’m supporting Lost Cats Brighton because losing a pet is one of the most traumatic experiences an owner can go through. I was distraught when (our cat) Ginge went missing, but I was very fortunate to get him back. As a result, this is a cause that’s very close to my heart. I am really looking forward to the evening and raising urgently needed funds to help Lost Cats Brighton to find a new home.”

With almost 50 artists giving the Snowcats their distinct personalities, there is something on the Snowcat Trail for all tastes. Event organiser, Lucy Clifford, described the Trail as “an eclectic cat walk and a fresh air art gallery that will appeal to everyone from primary school children seeking out the beautiful cats, to art connoisseurs planning to bid for a unique work of art at the auction”.

The Trail features a special Gogglebox Snowcat, signed by Chris Steed. Bianca Natasha Barrett’s gem of a piece is covered in diamantes, and features a cat collar made by Brighton jeweller Victoria Sol. Celebrated Brighton crime writer Peter James has autographed a copy of one of his books to be auctioned with a Peter James themed Snowcat.

Body art enthusiasts should keep an eye out for tattooed Snowcats on the Trail, such as Sara Abbott’s work Tat. 

Sara said: “I’ve been specialising in animal portraiture for many years now, and with each commission I donate part of my fee to animals in rescue, so I jumped at the opportunity to create a Snowcat for the Lost Cats Brighton charity.  It’s wonderful to see so many artists joining this great cause.”

“My Snowcat ‘Tat’ is a tattooed cat but I wanted her to have the feel of a willow pattern china plate. My oil on canvas work is very detailed so it was really fun to create something completely different.”

Art lovers can combine seeking out Snowcats in the windows of Brighton/Hanover homes and businesses with visits to artists’ houses, as two of the Snowcats are on show in Little Papa House and The Coal Hole as part of the Artists Open Houses event, which also runs throughout May.

Artist, actor and prop maker, Charlotte Western, has made a stunning golden cat using both decoupage and fine painting. The Gustav Klimt-inspired work features wild flowers, butterflies and bees, evoking childhood memories of hot summer days.

Charlotte said: “I’ve always loved traditional Chinoiserie gold painting, and I wanted to try to get the look of that but with a more traditional English, or more specifically Sussex, feel to it. That’s why I’ve used cow parsley, daisies and cornflowers amongst the grass. My butterflies may not be native though, with those I went purely for the colours!”

Fans of Hanover artist Sophie Abbott’s vibrant abstract paintings will be planning bids for her Snowcat, called Pink Mittens.

Sophie said: “I took the same approach to painting her as I would a canvas – I just kept layering up the colours, with the idea she would become a multicoloured work of art tabby cat! I love living in Hanover and was really happy to paint a Snowcat for the  Lost Cats Brighton charity! I hope pink Mittens finds a home where she will be loved!”

Internationally renowned Brighton artist, Nettie Heron-Middleton, has created a beautifully floral Snowcat inspired by a cat in the Brighton Museum. Nettie has been selling her artwork around the world for over 30 years and for eight years she ran the Hanover Art Trail, as part of Brighton Festival Fringe Open Houses. She continues to produce eclectic and innovative designs and paintings, often inspired by her travels. Her most recent collections are hand-cut collages of interiors inspired by Lichtenstein and Blake.

Snowcat Trail maps are available from shops across Hanover including Guyatri News, Fanny’s of Hanover and The Dover Castle Pub, with 100% of all proceeds raised going to Lost Cats Brighton.

To place a pre-bid on your favourite Snowcat artwork, email: or alternatively go along to the auction on June 20 from 6.30pm and show your support.

Lost Cats Brighton rescues abandoned, unwanted and homeless cats, with the ultimate aim of rehoming them. Through its Facebook page and website, the charity plays an invaluable role in the community reuniting dozens of lost cats every month with their relieved and delighted owners. For 17 years the charity operated from founder Ron Ayres’ rented bungalow. Sadly, Ron passed away in January and now Lost Cats itself needs to find a new home.

Sue Burt, a volunteer with the charity, said: “This is such a wonderful idea and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the Snowcats. As a volunteer at Lost Cats, I’m so grateful to Lucy Clifford and her team for organising the event, and to all the amazing artists for making it possible. Their support is greatly appreciated as we move forward and continue the legacy left by Ron.”

For more information, click here:

Or search for Snowcats Brighton on Facebook.

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