Community fundraising event supported by donated tech services
A vital community fundraising event is due to run as smooth as silk thanks to the generous support of a London tech firm.
WM Reply, expertsin enhancing collaborative tools and business systems platforms for large organisations, will be supporting Notting Hill Genesis’ (made up of Notting Hill Housing and Genesis Housing Association) ‘A5 Show’. The firm will do this by providing their technical services free of charge to ensure the exhibition’s website, which will enable people to purchase the different artworks, runs smoothly.
The community exhibition gives creative residents and staff the chance to have their work displayed alongside professional artists, with all items displayed anonymously until it is purchased for the set price of £50. All proceeds from the sale of artworks will go towards The Tenant Hardship fund, which supports the most vulnerable tenants living in Notting Hill Genesis communities.
With the majority of artworks expected to be purchased through the dedicated website, it was vital for Notting Hill Genesis to be sure the system would not fail. So when the opportunity came, they gladly accepted the specialist services of WM Reply to stress test the online portal free of charge – a service that would normally have cost thousands.
Richard Acreman, Partner at WM Reply, said:
“The Resident Art Show is a fantastic event showcasing the creativity of the community it also aims to help. It’s an honour for us to be part of such a worthy cause, so we were just happy to help in whatever way we could.”
Mandy Worster, volunteer programme manager for Notting Hill Genesis, said:
“Everyone involved is really looking forward to the A5 Show and giving our extremely talented residents the chance to display their work to a wider audience. Having a website we know works well and can help us raise money for such a good cause is vital, and we are extremely grateful to WM Reply for becoming one of our sponsors and providing such an important and efficient service.”
The community exhibition will take place at the Koppel Gallery in High Holborn, London and run from Thursday 29 November – Friday 21 December 2018.
Renowned artist creating artworks with orphan children for charity
A renowned artist will create a series of artworks with orphans from Lesotho to raise money for an international charity which provides food programmes for impoverished communities in the country.
Richard Scott is a British-born artist who lives and works in South Africa, known for his artwork he describes as ‘Naïve meets Pop Art’. He is now working in partnership with UK-based charity Msizi Africa to produce artwork for an upcoming charity auction.
Msizi Africa have been running food programmes since 2007, serving more than 2.8 million meals in the process to children. In addition to this, the charity has also built houses for vulnerable families, supplied more than 1,000 school uniforms and pay tuition fees for those who want to learn but cannot afford it.
Their latest venture involves a workshop where orphans and other children from some of Lesotho’s poorest communities will create artworks, which will then be sent to Cape Town to be embellished by Richard Scott, before being auctioned online to raise funds for the charity.
Lucy Herron, founding trustee of Msizi Africa, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Richard for getting involved. The children cannot wait to see their art combined with his to create something new and exciting.”
Richard Scott, whose work has been sold to collectors all around the world, said:
“How can you explain how cool it is to paint for a living? Even cooler than that is the feeling you get when you help other people – that’s the coolest feeling in the world. So, when Lucy Herron asked me to join her programme at Msizi Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, it was a no-brainer.
“Getting involved with the charity is an honour and helping the kids help themselves, while having fun painting, is really a special feeling. Thank you Msizi Africa for allowing me to be involved and been able to make a difference.”
Once completed, the art will be auctioned online in November. Anyone who is interested in receiving updates on availability should visit www.msiziafrica.org.uk.
Incredible giant robot artwork examines link between technology and mental health
Digital technology is making us all more anxious. That’s the message behind the latest perception-challenging work from Scottish artist Michael John Hunter.
The work, titled ‘In the Future I won’t be Anxious’ features a sculpture of a giant toy robot, made to symbolise and represent technology, and follows Hunter’s previous works ‘Fly’ and ‘As i grow, as i lose’, both of which also used oversized sculptures and camera manipulation to challenge the viewer’s perception.
Hunter said, “This work is about the role technology plays as a potential cause of anxiety for all of us.”
“The robot represents the promise of an amazing high-tech future. But I feel like ‘the future’ really is now, but maybe it’s not all it was promised to be and there’s a downside to all the technology that surrounds us and infiltrates almost every aspect of our lives.”
Entirely self-funded, Hunter made the 17-foot sculpture over the last year. For the artist, the physicality of his sculpture and real-life London locations is also an important aspect of the work.
He said: “As with the discarded robot in this work, I feel there is a need for us to put down our technological ‘toys’ and engage more with our environment, our surroundings and each other; to engage with the real.”
He added: “For me, spending months hand-making this sculpture has helped reduce my own anxiety, so this work has added importance for me.”
Hunter views the work as essentially a form of play. The final image and process of creation all combine to make something fun yet serious. Through hand sculpting and the use of analogue photography, traditional hands-on techniques enable him to be more present with the world. The fact the end result is something so real but appears manipulated and fake is his comment on how our modern mind operates.
Hunter said, “My work is created to challenge the viewer and to make them question what they are seeing. By focusing on the impact technology can have us and our mental wellbeing, I hope people might also start to question their own relationship with technology, so that in the future as a society we won’t be as anxious.”
To find out more about the work of Michael John Hunter please visit www.michaeljohnhunter.com.
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