The Environment Trust: Secret Art Sale, 22-23 Sept 2017

‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’ Aesop

I’m delighted to have been asked to participate for the second year running in the Environment Trust’s Secret Art Sale. This is a two day art exhibition with a twist, where acclaimed artists, jewellers, photographers, architects, scientists and art students all contribute an A5 painting anonymously. Each painting is priced at £35.00, giving you the opportunity to purchase an original work of art by a renowned artist or celebrity at an affordable price. Only once the artwork has been purchased will the name of the artist be revealed! Most importantly, all proceeds benefit the charity’s conservation work in educating and encouraging communities to protect our natural environment and green spaces for posterity, particularly in urban areas. Submissions for 2017 can be viewed here. The artist biographies are also now on the website.

I posted my A5 oil painting at the local post office in the picturesque village, Bourton-On-The-Water, whilst holidaying in the Cotswolds. This is me beside the post office in Bourton’s exquisite model village, built in 1937 and an exact miniature replica of Bourton- a masterpiece by some very talented artists and craftsmen!

Each year, the Secret Art Sale has a unique theme to support the charity’s conservation work. With 24% of Greater London made up of private gardens, the 2016 exhibition was aimed at heightening the awareness of the importance of gardens as a vital resource and habitat for wildlife. The event saw contributions from the Environment Trusts patron, Gordon Buchanan, as well as Quentin Blake, Alan Titchmarsh, Nobel Prize Laureate Sir Paul Nurse, and Axel Scheffler- the Gruffalo artist and another patron of the charity. I’m happy to share that 90% of the paintings on display last year were sold and over £7000 was made, which has been a fantastic asset to their conservation work. The funds generated enabled them to work directly with school, local communities, and others to highlight the use of gardens and other green spaces in urbanised areas as habitat that will encourage the return of once common species such as the hedgehog. You can read more about last years event on their blog. You can also view the paintings and revealed artists from 2016 here.

The theme for the 2017 Secret Art Sale is wildlife corridors, where wild creatures can easily be connected to neighbouring habitats. In terms of gardens in urban areas, these corridors could be hedges, vegetation, or native flora and fauna that link between houses and gardens or just within one garden. These corridors, aptly named ‘natures highways and byways’ by the RSPB, are integral to the maintenance of ecological processes, including allowing for the movement of animals and the continuation of wildlife populations. They are indispensable for hedgehogs, frogs, toads, newts, bees, dragonflies, creepy crawlies, butterflies, moths, bats, birds, badgers and foxes. Wild habitats are not only vital to wildlife but also to people: Nature is essential to our wellbeing. Building and enabling wildlife corridors is also a great way to connect with your neighbours and local community!

The exhibition will be held on 22-23 September at the Richmond Adult Community Centre, Parkshot. Entry is FREE.

Hope you can make it!