ARTISTS and photographers are backing fundraising efforts to replace Basingstoke Canal Society’s Woking-based cruise boat Kitty, which is reaching the end of her working life.

A free art show, Replacing Kitty: An Exhibition of Canal Artwork, has opened at The Lightbox in Woking. The pieces are all being sold through an online auction to raise funds for the project.

The diverse selection of paintings and photographs inspired by the waterway showcase the styles and skill of 19 people including members of Woking Art Society and Cobham Art Group.

The show is open until this Sunday, 6 March. Every artwork on display is available to buy, giving art lovers the chance to buy unique artwork.

All proceeds will go to the Basingstoke Canal Society’s project to replace Kitty with a new solar-electric trip boat.

The £200,000 cost of the project will include the installation of electric charging points along the canal in Woking, the first step towards making the canal fully electric for all users. The society has already raised more than £100,000 towards the project from its own funds and a crowdfunding campaign last year.

The idea for an exhibition and auction came from Ian Mowforth, whose contribution to the show is Woking Blizzard, a snow scene of the canal in oil on canvas.

Fascinated by light and colour, Ian is particularly known for his landscapes. He was introduced to the canal when visiting friends in Woking and then mooted the idea of an exhibition to raise funds to replace Kitty.

Internationally renowned artist Mark Weighton, who teaches at Cranleigh School, hit the headlines recently when his major sculpture installation Burnt Wood featured at the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last November.

With a footprint of 20 square metres and 4 metres tall, Burnt Wood was made from 100% recycled plastic waste packaging. Mark’s contribution to the Kitty exhibition depicts Burnt Wood in carbon ink and charcoal on recycled and cardboard, mounted in a hand-painted recycled frame.

Alan Streets was the subject of a double Academy Award-winning film My Name is Alan and I Paint Pictures. His dramatic acrylic on canvas painting The Admiralty shows a pub street scene with distorted perspectives.

Woking-based professional artist Charles Duncan Twigg’s contribution is Knaphill basin on the Basingstoke Canal, in ink on paper. He explained that his enthusiasm for the canal is largely because it predominantly passes through superb woodlands.

“Trees have a particular fascination for me,” he explained. I am currently working on an expansive study of trees and their symbiotic relationship which they have with their surroundings.”

Brenda Ord is a member of Woking Art Society, Chobham Art Group and Virginia Water Art Society. She regularly exhibits at local art shows where her pet portraits and landscapes are always popular Her contribution to the Kitty exhibition is a watercolour painting called Heyford Wharf.

The people who have provided examples of their work for the show include Carla Scarano D’Antonio, Christopher Wright, Diana Uzun, Ingrid Skoglund, Stephen Kinder, Zoe Devika Navarre, Diana Philips, Tinx Newton, Liz Seward, Julia Jacs, Thinesh Thirugnanasampanthar, RG Best, Dodie Shariff and Natalie Eliasz.

Replacing Kitty: An Exhibition of Canal Artwork is open to visitors throughout The Lightbox’s opening hours – 10.30am to 5pm from Tuesday to Saturday, and 11am to 4pm on Sunday. Entry is free, with a suggested donation of £3 to the Basingstoke Canal Society.

Place a bid for a painting or photograph at For more details of the exhibition and the trip boat replacement project visit