Oxfordshire artist Eleanor Johnson describes why she has joined ‘Art from the Heart’ to raise money for the NHS as her mother fights the coronavirus in the JR:

“My mum’s been in the John Radcliffe Hospital for the last three weeks battling the virus. From the very beginning, through the ups and downs and the scary moments, the doctors and nurses have been incredibly generous in providing all of the support and reassurance we have needed as a family,” she explains.

“They have gone above and beyond in every way, always sounding upbeat and warm, regardless of the immense challenges they’re facing every day. Myself and my family would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for everything they’ve done and continue to do for our Mum, as well as for all they’ve been doing for the other patients and families currently within their care.

Which is why Oxford artist Eleanor has joined ‘Art from the Heart’ which will feature Oxfordshire artists and raise money for the NHS and at the same time support artists working in the county, and is currently producing new work especially for the exhibition.

“Every artist who has entered so far has written about their personal challenges during this time of lock down and how art has helped them to cope”

Local Chilton artist Lin Kerr concurs. She has close family members, some who are ill, in South Africa and painting has given her the chance to reflect and offered her great solace. The lilies in the attached painting ‘Lilies for Alison’ are deeply symbolic.

25% of all sales will be donated to the Oxford Hospitals Charity with 75% of sales going directly to the artist. 

Organised by Zuleika Gallery, director Lizzie Collins is calling out for similar entries from artists to an enter the online charity exhibition.

Zuleika Gallery will not make any money from this project – it simply wishes to use its network to support the Oxfordshire artistic community and raise funds for the work of the NHS

Entries from painters, sculptors, ceramicists and printmakers living and working in the county are welcomed. The deadline for entries is 21st April. Entry forms and more information can be found at https://zuleikagallery.com/nhs/

The exhibition will be launched online from 25th April, and will be available to view until 9th May 2020. 

It will be guest curated by Amanda Jewell, Curator of the Sewell Centre Gallery, Radley College alongside Gallery Director and Curator for the Saïd Business School, Lizzie Collins. 

Zuleika Gallery was founded in Oxford in 2015 by Lizzie Collins. The gallery had plans to open a second gallery in Woodstock, Oxfordshire in April 2020, but like many of the best plans has been postponed because of COVID-19.

Breakfast in Arusha by Harriet Eagle

Zuleika Gallery will not make any money from this project – it simply wishes to use its network to support the Oxfordshire artistic community and raise funds for the work of the NHS at this difficult time.

Director Lizzie Collins says: “I wanted to do something positive for Oxfordshire in lockdown and realised that the gallery website is a great asset that could be put to good use for the community.

“I am one of the ‘at risk’ cases having a compromised immune system and have been careful to self-isolate at home. I am so pleased to be able to contribute in any way to help raise money and thank those doctors, nurses and carers who are risking their lives” artist Harriet Eagle

“We were due to open our gallery in Woodstock this month, but as we can’t do that, we thought we would do what we can virtually to support artists and the NHS in Oxfordshire,” Lizzie says.

“The response to the call out for artists has been unanimously positive and generous so far.

“Everyone we have approached is desperate to help in order to make some difference. What is overwhelmingly clear is everyone is now united by our current state of lock down in the midst of pandemic.

“There is universal agreement about the importance of our NHS, of community, friends and family. And there is universal shared sadness, disappointment and anxiety for the future.

“Artists responding to our call out have spoken of their own stories at this time-isolated elderly and sick relatives; ruined plans; children missing out on public exams and opportunities; friends and family caught in faraway places and fears for the future…..

“However,  these artists continue to derive great comfort from art and its therapeutic powers and this is why we have called this charity exhibition ‘Art from the Heart’. 

Or as participating Headington artist Harriet Eagle said: “It is with much appreciation to have the opportunity to exhibit with local artists to help raise funds for the NHS during these difficult times.

“I am one of the ‘at risk’ cases having a compromised immune system and have been careful to self-isolate at home. I am so pleased to be able to contribute in any way to help raise money and thank those doctors, nurses and carers who are risking their lives, and Amanda and Lizzie for initiating Art from the Heart.”

Walking the Ridgeway by Lin Kerr

Amanda Jewell is the curator of the Sewell Centre Gallery at Radley College, Abingdon, which is committed to supporting Oxfordshire artists, young and old and Oxfordshire art groups and societies.

Amanda adds: “the role of art is more important than ever before – it helps to comfort us and lift our spirits, to work through feelings and make sense of a world that is now changing beyond all recognition.”

“Every artist who has entered so far has written about their personal challenges during this time of lock down and how art has helped them to cope. Many poignant human stories are emerging.”

For more information go to https://zuleikagallery.com/nhs/

CALL OUT FOR ENTRIES!

25th April – 9th May 2020 

Oxford Hospitals Charity has always been there for the incredible NHS staff working across the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Horton General Hospital, Nuffield Orthopedic Centre and Oxford Children’s Hospital. We want to raise money to support this amazing charity – go to the Just Giving link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/zuleika-gallery

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