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Child refugee’s painting will feature alongside artists' work at Affordable Art Fair

Release Date: 02 Mar 2017

A painting by an eight-year-old child in a refugee camp will be shown alongside new work by celebrated artists in support of Barnardo’s, charity partner at this year’s Affordable Art Fair in London’s Battersea Park.

The picture, by an Iraqi Kurdish boy called Mohammad, is believed to be inspired by the Kurdish flag, reflecting the theme of ‘I am’ that runs through the work that Barnardo’s hopes to sell through the event to help vulnerable children, young people and families.

It was donated by the artist Elaine Jones, who travelled to the refugee camp in Dunkirk, northern France, one year ago to run creative workshops and was struck by the strong sense of identity and attachment that the young refugees expressed for their homelands. Mohammad and his family are now known to be happily settled in a city in the UK.

The Bristol-based artist’s partner, fellow painter Andrew Hood, has donated a painting of his own, which will be on sale at the Barnardo’s stand along with work donated by other renowned artists including prints by photographic artists David Stewart and Ellie Davies, limited edition posters by graphic artist Anthony Burrill, playful sculptural pieces by Volker Kühn and Jacob Crivello, paintings by Brendon Mogg, Rachael Read and Philip Raskin, a picture by portrait photographer Cambridge Jones and a new sketch by fashion designer Bruce Oldfield OBE, Honorary Vice President of the children’s charity.

All funds raised through the sale of the artwork – and through ticket sales to a Charity Private View evening on March 8 - will support Barnardo’s use of art as a therapeutic technique, helping children and young people deal with a wide range of issues by engaging in the creative process.

The display will also feature drawings and paintings created for a competition on the theme of ‘I am’ by children who are supported by Barnardo’s services, or whose schools have a strong connection to the charity, with the winners revealed during the Charity Private View. Barnardo’s is also planning a self-portrait workshop using mirrors to explore the theme of ‘I am’.

Representatives from the children’s charity will give an informal talk about engaging children and young people through art as part of the Sunday Sofa Sessions at the Affordable Art Fair, at 1pm on March 12.

Lynn Gradwell, Director of Barnardo’s in London, said:

Art is a powerful tool that can help deepen a child’s understanding of their own situation and circumstances. We can assume that eight-year-old Mohammad experienced a difficult and frightening journey to the refugee camp, yet his painting suggests pride in his identity and a sense of hope for the future.  

I’m so grateful to all the artists and designers who have generously donated their work, and to the Affordable Art Fair for making Barnardo’s its charity partner. The funds raised through the event will make a real difference to our work with vulnerable children and young people across the UK, including child refugees. I hope anyone with an interest in art will consider coming along to show their support.

Elaine Jones said:

We gave the children in the camp some paints and encouraged them to express themselves, and it was clear they all had a really strong sense of home and of who they were. At first they were withdrawn, but gradually they started to get involved in what we were doing, and we could see they were just looking for kindness and some sense of hope and stability.

Bruce Oldfield OBE, Honorary Vice President for Barnardo’s, said:

It’s wonderful that art lovers who visit this year’s fair will be able to find out how the creative process can be used to support vulnerable children, young people and families, and I’m delighted to contribute a new sketch to help fund more of this kind of important work.

Will Ramsay, Founder of the Affordable Art Fair, said:

Our principle has always been that art should be available to everyone and enjoyed by all, and I can think of no better way to demonstrate this than through our partnership with Barnardo’s who have an art therapy programme. I’d encourage everyone with an interest in art to buy tickets to the Private View and help more children and young people discover the joys and benefits of art from an early age.

To buy tickets for the Charity Private View please click here.

Each Private View ticket costs £25 and entitles one person to attend the Charity Private View from 5.30pm-9.30pm on Wednesday, March 8, including a complimentary drink. Tickets can also be used on any other day of the exhibition, which runs from March 9-12.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information please call Dan Hodges on 07887 737 048 or email dan.hodges@barnardos.org.uk

Mohammad and his family were supported by Dunkirk Refugee Children’s Centre during their time in the Dunkirk Refugee Camp. They are believed to have escaped ISIS and travelled through Turkey and Europe by boat and land, eventually arriving in the UK by lorry six months ago. They are known to be happily settled in a house and school in a city in the UK.

Tickets for the Charity Private View which are purchased through the Eventbrite website will result in a £25 donation to Barnardo’s:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/affordable-art-fair-batterseacharity-private-view-ticket-8th-march-2017-tickets-31962335205

Each £25 ticket is valid for one person and gives access to the Charity Private View on Wednesday March 8, including a complimentary drink from 5.30pm-9.30pm.

Anyone who can’t make the Private View evening can use the tickets for entry on any day of the exhibition. The venue address is Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11 4NW.

Pieces donated to Barnardo’s for sale at the spring fair include:

Abstract painting by Mohammad, age eight, Dunkirk refugee camp

Smoke and Mirrors 4 by Ellie Davies, courtesy of the artist

Teens in waiting room heads down by David Stewart, courtesy of the artist

Lightness of Being III by Volker Kühn, courtesy of Goodwin Gallery, Hamburg

I am by Rachael Read, courtesy of Edgar Modern, London

January Afternoon by Brendon Mogg, courtesy of Brian Sinfield Gallery, Burford

Avon Gorge by Andrew Hood, courtesy of the artist

The World Is For You by Anthony Burrill, courtesy of the artist

I am by Jacob Crivello, courtesy of the artist

Island Approach 1 by Philip Raskin, courtesy of the artist

Sketch for a dress by Bruce Oldfield OBE

Photographic print by Cambridge Jones

Barnardo’s runs 996 services around the UK and art therapy is used as a tool in many of these services, as part of the therapeutic toolkit for dealing with a wide range of issues experienced by the children and young people we support. All the money we raise from the partnership with the Affordable Art Fair will go towards supporting this work.

Last year 248,000 children, young people and families were supported by Barnardo’s through 996 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes. We work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you.


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