MasterChef Champion Opens Exhibition Of Feline Art To Celebrate Cats Protection’s 90th Anniversary

MasterChef Champion Opens Exhibition Of Feline Art To Celebrate Cats Protection’s 90th Anniversary

Former MasterChef champion Peter Bayless officially opened a prestigious exhibition of artwork which has gone on display at Cats Protection’s National Cat Centre. A collection of over 200 paintings from over 40 artists from the Society of Feline Artists will be on show at the centre, in Lewes Road, Chelwood Gate, until Sunday 7 May. The exhibition, which is free to visit and open every day from 10am until 6pm, is being held to help celebrate Cats Protection’s 90th anniversary this year.

At a preview evening attended by special guests on Thursday 27 April, Peter, who was named MasterChef champion in 2006, said he was thrilled to officially open the event. He said: “I’ve always been an enthusiastic lover of cats, and following my art training in the 1960s and a 40-year erstwhile career as an art director, I felt very much at home opening this remarkable exhibition. The artworks on display, from the verisimilitude of ‘Super-Photorealism’ to the less formal examples of watercolours, pastels and collage, the talents of the artists are truly astonishing. They demonstrate a deep understanding of the mystery, enigmatic beauty and playfulness of cats – they are all, as Italians would say, ‘fatto con amore’ – made with love.”

As well as browsing the collection, visitors to the exhibition will get the chance to purchase limited edition prints and greetings cards.

Cats Protection, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 500 cats a day – or 200,000 a year – through a network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres. The charity’s National Cat Centre in Chelwood Gate is home to the charity’s head office and the largest cat adoption centre in the UK, making it the ideal venue to celebrate its landmark birthday.

Cats Protection’s Major Gift Manager Mandy Pope said: “We were delighted that Peter was able to join us for the opening evening of the exhibition. The exhibition is a glorious celebration of everything we love about cats, and is the perfect way to mark Cats Protection’s 90 anniversary. From the humourous to the heartwarming, all the paintings encapsulate what it is that makes cats such wonderful pets. Anyone who enjoys art will enjoy the exhibition and we’re looking forward to welcoming many visitors. The show is open every day until Sunday 7 May when the collection will be returned to London.”

Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to enjoy the other facilities on offer at Cats Protection’s National Cat Centre during their visit, including a café and nature trail. Animal lovers are also welcome to come and meet the 150 cats and kittens currently in the care of the charity as they wait to find new homes, or say hello to the three donkeys from The Donkey Sanctuary which live on the site.

To find out more about the exhibition, please contact Cats Protection’s Visitor Centre on 01825 741370 or email

The National Cat Centre is situated in Chelwood Gate, on the A275 between Wych Cross and Danehill. To find it using a SatNav, please use the postcode RH17 7DE, or for a map and directions please visit