Something I regularly feel shamed by is how helpless and impotent I know I am when it comes to the Refugee Crisis…it’s such an important global issue with tendrils reaching into so many aspects of what feels wrong to me in the world at the moment; racism, rage and and a general feeling of hate seems just below the surface of so many global problems right now, but when it comes to doing something about it I feel under prepared, under informed and and overwhelmed, holding onto what feels like some generalised views which have probably been perpetrated through social media…
But I’m no activist…and that’s what basically makes me feel a bit ashamed…
It takes a pretty special and totally commited person to be an activist; a person who is able to do things I’m not able ( or maybe prepared ) to do, a person with such a strong sense of belief that they know they have to go out there and speak for all of us who are too scared, too comfortable, or who have too much responsibility in other areas to be able to fight in the way they do…the activist has my total respect, which is the main reason I have to come out and admit that I am not one.
( One of the most incredible activists I know though, is Jaz from The Worldwide Tribe who took me to the Calais Jungle last February )
I feel strongly about supporting the refugee crisis and make donations both financial and with food and clothing, and I try and keep abreast of what’s going on. I visited the Calais Jungle last year to try and raise awareness through my Instagram account…but I still feel an awkwardness about not doing more…
When the opportunity arose for me to be part of Makers4Refugees and auction some of my work with ALL profits going to Help Refugees I knew I wanted to be part of it and raise some actual money for this cause…if I can use my skills as an artist and maker to do something which helps people, I at least feel that I’m not doing nothing. Makers4Refugees is the initiative of ceramicist Pip Wilcox and consists of over 40 global Makers across a variety of disciplines who have come together to make a difference by selling their work.
So I have designed 5 silk scarves which all measure 100cm x 100cm, I’ve hand rolled and sewn all the edges and… now I want you to buy them!
The scarves for the Makers4Refugees auctions have developed from my love for texture, nature and the blending of the two.
Japanese aesthetics are really important to me and each of these scarves have a sense of wabi sabi about them; a sense of impermanence and a sense of becoming and dissolving at the same time.
A leaf pressed against a greenhouse window, a cracked pane of glass, wet and worn cornish granite, fading dahlias and an unfinished painting…there’s an evanescence about them all.
There will also be one auction for a bespoke scarf…an assemblage or table arrangement which I will compose for the winning bidder; maybe with an object which has some personal significance or using colours which resonate with you.
The photos below are of each scarf to be auctioned and the bespoke auction will be on the 6th day ( with a slightly higher reserve price of £65 ).
They are digitally printed in the UK by a small business in Warwickshire and are 100% silk twill; an incredibly soft silk with a lovely weight which means the silk hangs with a gentle flow.
In my online shop my silk scarves sell for £120 each, so you could even grab yourself a bargain as I’m starting these off at each auction at a reserve price of £50. Postage will be free, wherever you live in the world!
Each evening next week I will post an image of the particular scarf up for auction on my Instagram account @5ftinf and you will be able to place your bids in the comments below the image. The auction will last 24hrs.
The winning bid will be the highest bid at the close of the auction and the winning bidder will be expected to make the donation to the Makers4Refugees fundraising page immediately ( this is so that by the time the next maker has their auction week, all the previous week’s fundraising is sorted out).
So you can see the areas of aid where your money is likely to spent, here are some examples sent by Help Refugees …
• a meal for one person in Athens – 25p
• a mosquito net for a family’s tent in Greece – £10
• a pair of sturdy, comfortable shoes – £15
• baby milk for one baby, for a week – £20
• a buggy and cot – £25
• a warm sleeping bag – £30
• a refillable fire extinguisher – £35
• the cost of a bread-maker and the ingredients for one person to make their own bread – £65 for the machine, 75p for ingredients for one person for the month
• to support an unaccompanied child to live with a Greek family for a month – £400
• fresh fruit and vegetables for 1 camp on average for 1 month – £2500
• running a mobile sexual reproductive health clinic for a month – £5500
• a rescue boat on the water for 30 days – £23,000
If you feel that you could be part of bidding for these exclusive, hand finished silk scarves next week it would be so brilliant to have you on board…making a practical and significant contribution to a very human crisis.
MONDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:
GREENHOUSE LEAF- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill
TUESDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:
CRACKED GLASS- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill
WEDNESDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:
FADING DAHLIAS – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill
THURSDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:
WET CORNISH GRANITE – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill
FRIDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:
UNFINISHED PAINTING- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill
SATURDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER AUCTION:
BESPOKE ASSEMBLAGE – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill
( You can also have a look at other examples in my online shop here if you wanted ideas for this last auction ).
Please email me via the form below if you would like any more information about the scarves or the auctions.