Leading artists donate work to charity auction

Leading artists donate work to charity auction

News (UK)

Artists Antony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Tracey Emin, Sir Anthony Caro and Jonathan Yeo have donated work that is on display at Somerset House in London and will be auctioned for charity on April 22.

The proceeds will go to support Crisis, which focuses on taking action to end homelessness. Most of the artists have created new pieces specifically for the show, reflecting on themes of homelessness such as isolation, poverty, mental illness, property and safety.

Crisis chief executive Leslie Morphy says:“We are thrilled that so many leading contemporary artists are participating in the Crisis Commission. This prestigious event will raise much needed funds for our work and bring a new focus to the worrying current rise in homelessness in society.”

One example of the art work is a small bronze sculpture by Gillian Wearing. The sculpture depicts a young man named Craig, who became homeless on his return to England after serving in Afghanistan.

Tracey Emin has donated four pieces, two self portraits and two neon signs. The signs read “Trust Me” and “Trust Yourself”. She says: Sometimes such statements need to be reaffirmed. The use of neon makes it all the more positive.”

Antony Gormley has offered a cast iron sculpture of a homeless person. He says: "When I first visited Washington in the eighties I was surprised that amongst the great national monuments of the Lincoln memorial, the Obelsik and the Senate were littered bodies of those that had fallen out of society: homeless people sleeping rough around the Mall, the heart of the capital city of the (then) most powerful country in the world.

"The most challenging social sculpture of our times is made by the quiet performances of the homeless within the shelter provided by the doorways of the shops of our inner cities. This exhibition allows one to think about those bodies that have no place. I believe that sculpture can powerfully evoke the nameless, the voiceless and the placeless. I am proud to be part of and am inspired by this visionary project."

The show has been curated by Laurence Sillars, the chief curator at the Baltic gallery in Gateshead. He says: Each artist has responded to themes that emerge from homelessness. In their distinct ways they have all revealed homelessness to be an ever-relevant concern that isn’t just a possibility for other people. It’s something in which we are all implicated and could experience.” 

He added:“The Crisis Commission will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience major works from our greatest contemporary artists reacting to an issue that is sadly becoming ever more prominent in today’s society. ”

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