From Syria with Love/ To Syria with Art.
How many times, on Face Book have we' liked' and 'shared' desperately sad images of refugees and children in conflict zones? We genuinely want to help, but sometimes we just don't know how to. We don't all have lots of spare cash and sometimes, we want to do something more, something different, give in a more meaningful way.
Having encountered a wonderful small charity called 'From Syria with Love' at a fund raising event for refugees in Cambridge City Hall, I decided that I would really like to put my particular art form to work by fund raising.
From Syria with Love was founded by Baraa Ehssan Kouja, a student with links to the Al Abram camp in Lebanon.
"The idea behind the charity From Syria with Love is a simple one, to be a link between Syrian refugees and the world, primarily through taking pictures drawn by children living in a refugee camp in Lebanon and exhibiting them in Britain to show the reality of their lives and to raise funds to help improve their conditions and future prospects." Molly Masters
Funds raised from the sale of the children's art work go directly back to improve the lives of the Al Abram camp children. I loved the idea that the children were doing something both constructive and creative for themselves and that the charity was the conduit enabling them to do so. I had been particulars struck by one image, a very well executed line drawing of, what seemed to me, to be a worryingly ambiguous but potentially sinister situation. It haunted me, I bought it and after gaining permission via Baraa from the young artist Douha, I used it as inspiration for my most recent work, a piece of wearable art entitled 'Arab Spring'.
I make kimono. These are my art on a moving canvas. They are not fashion items but statements. They are narratives on current affairs, told on silks and satins.
The work of Jadryk Brown will also feature on the catwalk. Jadryk is a young man whose work I first encountered in the street, on Newmarket Road to be precise, where he had been given permission to make street art on walls. His haunting portraits led me to arrange an exhibition of his work at Ruthie Collin's Salon for which Jadryk and I collaborated on a portrait piece, 'The Rights of the Child’.
It was in fact, Jadryk who came up with the idea of a catwalk of wearable art, featuring both his upcycled clothing and jewellery range and my kimono. Then everything fell into place! We could offer ticketed, fund raising catwalk events for From Syria with Love at which we could sell both the children's pictures and associated book, endorsed by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, From Syria with Love, Voices of the Syrian Refugee Children.'
I approached Simon Fraser, proprietor of Hot Numbers, and the Fulbourn Village Arts Committee and both very kindly offered me the use of their venues free of charge for the events. The catwalk at Hot Numbers on Trumpington Street will be held on the evening of Saturday 10th of June and in Fulbourn the event will be held in the Townley Memorial Hall on the afternoon of Sunday October 8th. Both events will be ticketed with all proceeds going directly to From Syria with Love. Tickets costing £15 including a glass of wine will be available from Hot Numbers.
Alongside both events will be linked art exhibitions. These will be held at The Geldart in both June and October and The Stables at Fulbourn Manor and Townley Memorial Hall in October. Work on display will be by members of the professional Cambridge Artists group STRAY together with the work of Jadryk Brown and Deanna Tyson. Commission from the sale of work will also go to the charity.
Tickets will be limited so please book early and contact:
Hosted at Hot Numbers Trumpington Street