Fifty of The World’s Leading Artists will exhibit their portrait of a Tower Hamlets child in an exhibition at the Shoreditch Town Hall 23rd – 27th March 2015.
Artists include: Emma Sergeant, Daphne Guinness, Christian Furr, Gerald Scarfe, Robbie Wraith, James Lloyd, John Wragg, Tai Shan Schieren, Eileen Cooper and Jessica Albarn.
End Child Poverty published figures in late 2014 which ranked the borough of Tower Hamlets, London, as having the highest incidence of child poverty in the UK, with 49% of children being affected.* Families defined as living in these conditions can have as little as £12 per family member per day to live on** – and that has to cover every need from occasional items and household bills to daily necessities such as travel costs and, most vitally, food.
The Fifty Children Fifty Artists project is a perfect example of how art can be a fantastic vehicle for raising awareness of such causes. Launched in January 2014 by UK charity Miracles, the project has brought together fifty of the world’s most respected artists to “paint, sculpt, [or] photograph one child each, living within Tower Hamlets,” with the aim of “raising sponsorships, donations and awareness of child poverty within the borough in a visual, engaging and positive way.” On becoming involved in the project, London-born artist Emma Sargeant says:
“I believe every child deserves the same opportunities in life and I want to help highlight the issue of child poverty in Tower Hamlets. I have been given many opportunities in my life and its important for to me to give something back.”
The ambitious project aims to raise over £300,000 for causes it represents, including support for young carers, Miracles Rapid Relief Funding and respite care and holidays. Whilst it has undoubtedly been successful already in raising awareness of child poverty, it has also had the wonderful effect of creating a “unique, positive and long-lasting experience” for the fifty Tower Hamlets children involved.
What is particularly striking about the portraits in the exhibition is that rather than images of hardship and deprivation, they are of brilliant, wonderful young people. This is an inspired choice for the charity to make: the viewer is able to look into the eyes of the children depicted and predict bright futures, filled with potential. “The project is a celebration of Tower Hamlets and the children who live there,” says Project Director James Burton, “we believe every child should be afforded the same opportunities irrespective of the lifestyle they have been born into – the portraits are symbolic of that opportunity.”
Article by: Beck @artistscribbles
Fifty Children Fifty Artists. Shoreditch Town Hall, EC1. 23rd – 27th March 2015. 10am – 4pm.
All finished art works are for sale. Signed original postcards will be on sale at the exhibition, so everyone will have the chance to walk away with an affordable piece of art.
*for more information on the UK Child Poverty statistics see: http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/why-end-child-poverty/poverty-in-your-area
Categories: Art Charities