An exhibition of unique sculptures in a range of materials along with items of pottery at Irishtown near Northam attracted a big crowd.

The exhibition on September 8 by local artist, Otto Hampel, was attended by more than 150 people, and officially opened by the managing director of C Y O'Connor Institute, John Scott.

Centre piece of the items on display was a huge dragon along with other spectacular objects including horses made from recycled horse shoes.

In his opening address, Mr Scott said it was a privilege to have been invited to open an exhibition by a former student of C Y O'Connor Institute. "I hesitate to call Otto Hampel a student when you consider his bachelor's degree  included studies in art and his wealth of experience as a school teacher, amateur dramatist and member of the Link Theatre. "Add to this his passion for horses. "He is an accomplished  horseman, horse trainer and judge.

"Otto was a student at the Institute for three years taking courses in ceramics and aluminium welding, a challenge he took up after he retired from teaching. "While at the Institute, he showed creativity and keenness to experiment,' Mr Scott said.

"Also with us today is ceramics lecturer, Ken Emberson, who was one of those at the Institute who helped Otto extend his flair for art. "It is satisfying to see students from the Institute continue to develop their abilities to the extent that they are able to mount a solo exhibition such as this," he said.

"It demonstrates Otto's talents across a range of media using a mix of skills. "You can see this in his metal and ceramic sculptures. "It is easy to see what has influenced his creations. "What better surrounding could there be to show off  these sculptures with their distinctive rural flavour, Mr Scott said.

Mr Hampel said it was a great day, the weather was good. "People were very complimentary and quite a few items sold. "The family was up and helped serve food and mulled wine which is the custom at events like this," he said.

Lindsay McNeill

ABOVE: Otto Hampel with a visitor and one of his artworks during the exhibition

BELOW: Managing director of C Y O'Connor Institute, John Scott, opening the art exhibition at Otto Hampel's property at Irishtown near Northam.