Wednesday, 25 January 2012

World renowned artists come together to support Shelter

More than 40 of the world’s leading artists and designers including Jake and Dinos Chapman, Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley, Julian Opie and Patrick Hughes have come together for an exclusive art exhibition in support of charity Shelter.

Shelter -- a housing and homelessness charity which runs a helpline, a network of housing aid centres and works with the Citizens Advice Bureau -- has created the exhibition which centres on the theme ‘Up My Street’.

Artists have donated pieces inspired by a street that has particular significance to them, drawing on characters and buildings as well as personal experiences and memories.

Patrick Hughes, Cloudy Heart

The exhibition aims to raise awareness of the thousands of families in Britain struggling to find and keep a safe and secure place to live. Every two minutes someone faces the nightmare of losing their home and Shelter is there to help whoever’s next, according to Shelter.

Original pieces of photography, street art, sculpture, graphic design and painting make up the diverse collection. Other artists involved include photographer Miles Aldridge, street artist Eine and DC Comics illustrator Frank Quitely.

All artwork will be auctioned in aid of Shelter. An online gallery of the exclusive artwork will be available to view at from Monday 27th February, with the opportunity for people to bid on the artwork remotely.

The collection will be on display in a free exhibition at The Conningsby Gallery in London from Monday 5th – Thursday 8th March 2012.

Anthony Gormley, Super Ego

“We’re delighted that so many talented people have come together to support Shelter," Tracy Griffin, Shelter’s director of fundraising, said. "This exhibition highlights that home is not just about bricks and mortar. The people, sense of security and wider community make it so important to each and every one of us.

“In these tough times homelessness really can happen to anyone. We hope that people will get bidding to help us raise vital funds.”

Birmingham-based painter Patrick Hughes said the charity is close to his heart. "Having a roof over your head is something we should all be able to take for granted, and most of us do," he said. "However, not everyone has a place they can call their own. I hope this exhibition will make people think about the importance of a home and raise awareness of Shelter’s work.”

Julian Opie, Roadscape

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Hidden Gem

After travelling to a few places in my gap YAH, I fell in love with the cultures of Asia and South America. But what I forgot is how lucky we are, in the UK, to be so close to some amazing places in Europe.

On booking my summer holiday last year to the Greek islands, my expectations were not particularly high. I wanted sun, sea, a tan and possibly some Ouzo thrown in for good measure. But what I got was an insight into a diverse culture, beautiful landscape and Ouzo - for good measure.

First stop admittedly was a little shabby - we flew in to Athens and got the train (it is a LONG way from the airport) to the main city where we stayed in a hotel where for some reason scantily clad girls liked to stand on street corners. Must be some kind of tradition.

Despite this, and the sheer amount of tourists around the monuments, you can't deny the spectacular sight of the Acropolis and the amazing view of the city.

After a few days we got the train and boat to Santorini. The island is basically the remnants of a huge volcano - which made the largest of all the Thira region/ cyclades islands - south east of the mainland. This was my favourite place. We went in September, so it was pretty quiet but this suited us and I recommend it if you don't like fighting for views. Staying in a little hotel near the beach we got a mo-ped most days and explored the rocky terrain, sampling meze treats and burning our shoulders. Bliss.

The 'red beach', Santorini

Next stop was Ios, a lot busier and more of a party town - but taking a boat trip led us to an untouched rocky hillside vilage.

Last, possibly least, was Mykonos. The apparent 'celeb hang-out' was over priced and over sold. But our guest house was lovely and there are some great restaurants.

I think you can tell there's a clear winner. But Europe and its delights should never be under estimated by the hardened traveller, even if India is next on my list...


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