An exhibition of Hope
I recently applied to take part in an exhibition at the Menier Gallery, London.
It was organised by Leila Bibizadeh, fine artist and founder of Exhibit Here who runs regular exhibitions in prestigious galleries.
The exhibition was part of project Paintings in Hospitals, a national charity which aims to boost wellbeing in clinical settings through art, and the theme was ‘hope’.
Leila invited artists to consider what gives them hope or what they’re hopeful for – whether that’s a person, people, places – and express this through art. My niece, Anastazja (Nastka), instantly came to mind – she’s currently undergoing treatment for neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer.
I applied for the exhibition, submitting a painting I’d done of my niece and I was moved by the response I received from Leila. Not only was I invited to exhibit, I was also asked if my painting could be used for the main exhibition poster. Leila’s words were so kind I thought I’d share them with you:
“I was very moved by your painting and would like to ask if I may have your permission and your family’s permission to use your artwork for the exhibition poster. I appreciate the subject of your painting is very sensitive and understand if you would prefer for me not to do this.”
It was a real honour to be chosen as the leading artist.
On Monday 25th February I headed to London to deliver my painting, ready for the exhibition opening on Tuesday.
The Menier Gallery was a beautiful venue for the exhibition. The architecture of the building is impressive, (to say the least!) formerly a chocolate factory. It’s in the bustling location of Southwark Street (the road that links between Borough Market and the Tate Modern) – The Shard standing proudly in the background. I met Leila in person and then, with the rest of the day free, I put my ‘tourist hat’ on and explored London.
The exhibition kicked off on the Tuesday with a private viewing in the evening. There was a real variety of artwork on display – abstract, sculptures and a few portrait paintings. Each piece of artwork represented some form of hope – it was a special experience to be part of. I got to meet and talk to so many interesting artists, including Mark Welland. I was so impressed with his artwork. Afterwards, I squeezed in some more exploring – London by night. The bridges look impressive in the dark, so I happily occupied myself by taking photos.
The exhibition ran for the rest of the week and on Saturday I went back to collect the artwork. It was also my birthday, so I met my cousin at the Gallery and spent my birthday in the best way possible – with family, art and exploring!
What a brilliant week expressing hope through art.
What gives you hope?
Keep an eye on my Instagram for news of future exhibitions.Tags: commissions, London, portrait, portrait commissions