Stories of Hope and Courage

My friend Andy Copps recently invited me to take part in a storytelling event in London, called Stories of Hope and Courage. I was asked to provide some live art to accompany the stories as they unfolded, and there was some live music in the mix too. We gathered to be entertained, and to  support Donate4Refugees, a small charity which provides essential shelter, warmth, food and other critical daily needs of refugees and migrants in Europe. You can find out more about them here. I sat at the back of the room, I listened, and began to draw.

Artist At Work

In the run up to the event I decided to frame my work around the enso symbol, a hand drawn circle symbolising a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. Given I had not heard the stories beforehand, this felt like a useful way to begin each art work. As the stories unfolded, I made an enso and added symbols within each enso to reflect aspects of the tales as they drifted by me on the air. Most of the ideas worked, one or two did not, and ended up in the bin 🙂 After the event I photographed the art works. Here they are in close up, and mounted and framed. 

These original A4 signed art works (unmounted and unframed) are available to purchase at a cost of £25 each plus £5P&P. £10 from each sale will go to Donate4Refugees along with the donations of £105 which were raised on the night. If you’d like to purchase one or more of these works, you can do so via my PayPal page. Thanks in advance for your support.

Minden Calling : European Adventures

A few weeks ago I wrote about the free art project extending into Europe. Since then, I’ve accepted a kind invitation to show some of my art at an exhibition in Minden, Germany.

Minden is one of the towns twinned with our borough, and next March there will be an arts festival to celebrate Minden’s 40th anniversary of town twinning. I’m choosing to show some works from my I Guardian series, which is an exploration of mental health and the human condition. Earlier today I sent off my submission to the exhibition catalogue. This is a first for me, and I can’t quite believe it’s happening. I’m excited and grateful, and a great reminder to me of the importance of some of what I learn through my free art project, namely:

Be curious. Start something. Keep going.

In case you are interested, here are the works I’ll be showing next March. I use the words ‘I’ll be showing’ quite intentionally, because I’ll be at the exhibition when it opens.

Waiting To Hold You. This piece represents forgiveness.

Halo Effect. This piece represents inner peace.

I Believe In You Believe In Me. This piece represents trust.

The Free Art Project : European Adventures

The Mayor of Sutton recently hosted a reception to bring together local artists and representatives from Sutton’s twin towns. The four towns that Sutton is twinned with are: Gagny, a suburb of Paris in France; Gladsaxe, a suburb of Copenhagen in Denmark; Minden in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany; and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in Berlin. Sutton town centre has a permanent artistic celebration of these twin town relationships, in the form of a mural.

Sutton Twin Towns Mural
Sutton Twin Towns Mural

I was fortunate to be invited to the reception, it was a lovely evening full of friendship and cooperation. As a way of strengthening the important cultural bonds between our towns, I offered to share some art prints with our guests, which they have kindly agreed to take back home and hide in their towns. Two copies of ‘Moon Over Telegraph Track’, and two copies of ‘Good Fortune’ will soon be making their way overseas. Both of the designs are connected to our local area, the first represents the river Wandle, and the second is a track which goes over some local smallholdings.

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Good Fortune

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Moon Over Telegraph Track

I’m very grateful to everyone for agreeing to take part in this European extension of the free art project, and if I receive any photographs and/or notes about the art works from their new locations, I’ll be sure to update this post.

Art is community : Community is art.