Below is further detail about the charitable causes that have benefited from the £40,000 raised by the 2012 and 2014 sculpture exhibitions. It is made possible by generous donations of our visitors and their purchases of sculptures, teas and coffees. Thank you!
The Koestler Trust - Art in Prisons
The Koestler Trust is the UK's best-known prison arts charity. They have been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 50 years.
The Trust has no endowment or capital - its work depends entirely on donations.
The awards programme it runs receive over 8,000 entries a year - inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work for achievement and transform their lives. Their national exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors - showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings.
The system of awards takes place in age groups so young offenders can also receive encouragement. Some artists start to learn art while in prison and go on to become professional artists. Since 2007,the Koestler Trust has supported ex-offenders to continue with their artistic activities by matching them with a specially trained arts mentor. They offer support to a wide range of people who have been involved in the criminal justice system who would like to develop their interest in the arts.
Helen and Douglas House
Helen & Douglas House has the time and expertise to care for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions and support their families. The two hospice houses offer specialist symptom and pain management, medically-supported short breaks and end-of-life care, as well as counselling and practical support for the whole family. Helen House opened in 1982 as the world's first children's hospice. Douglas House opened in 2004 specifically for young adults aged 16-35.
Helen & Douglas House enables children to experience senses otherwise not much practised. All children need to paint and have time for creative play that takes their mind from other problems and can allow expression of feelings they can't articulate.
Anandvan and Take Heart
Since 1964 Take Heart, Anandwan has supported the MaharogiSewaSamiti or MSS, the foundation created by Baba Amte. Today MSS shelters a rather unusual cohort of 3,500 people spread in four districts of Central India consisting of leprosy patients; people with disabilities like the hearing and, visually impaired and orthopaedically handicapped; orphans; and, senior citizens.
UNICEH has this to say in a report about Anandwan: “At Anandwan, human beings who happen to be leprosy patients and those usually considered 'disabled' like the blind and the deaf, enter the development process as responsible "subjects" - those who know and act, in contrast to "objects" which are known and acted upon. Nothing but awakening of consciousness can explain the marvels typical of the place: structures, strong and functional, built without architects, engineers and contractors, weavers without fingers, leprosy patients successfully insisting on being licensed to drive heavy duty trucks; a man who cannot walk managing the industrial training centre moving on a tricycle fabricated with in-house talent and materials; a person without previous experience in printing, running a press with competence; a one handed cashier who makes up for a slight slowness by unusual thoroughness; a master tailor who cannot use his hands freely, training tailors from neighbouring villages…”
We have given small grants to several local schools, primary and secondary to encourage the children to have a go at making sculptures. The grants are to enable local sculptors to assist art teachers during lessons, with the costs of materials and also for visits to sculpture shows like Compton Verney.
Five schools which received grants and exhibited during the show including primary schools: Bledington, Middle Barton and Kingham, and secondary schools: Cotswold and Chipping Norton. Holy Trinity School have also had grants for their sculpture project.
In total, over seven hundred pupils from nine different schools visited the show in organised school trips.
Sculpture Park in Harare
Turbulence in Zimbabwe has made tough conditions harder for sculptors, inheritors of a proud tradition, now short of customers for their excellent work. A group of the best ones have come together at Chitungwiza, on the edge of Harare, to develop a community arts centre and to jointly market their work.
Some of the proceeds of the 2012 exhibition dug a borehole for the community so they now have on site fresh water for drinking and sanitation. For the 2014 exhibition we imported some of their work and the proceeds of the sale will go to help build an exhibition hall and schoolroom.