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What's going on @ Arthur Robinson House
Flowering buds of artistic talent
17th November 2009

Four-year-old artist Sophie Bodocs is one of the stars of a new exhibition that opened in Billingham last week.

Sophie has autism and her painting was one of several sold on the opening night to raise funds for the Stockton-based charity Daisy Chain, which helps families affected by the condition. The show, which is the first to be held at Arthur Robinson House on the Green in Billingham, features work inspired by the Tees Valley produced by young artists from the region.

Fine Arts students from Cleveland College of Art and Design joined children from Daisy Chain to launch the exhibition of their work. The opening evening last Thursday was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Stockton who chatted with the artists and discussed the inspiration for the pieces.

Nathan Money, Community Fundraiser and Youth Worker at Daisy Chain, was delighted with the link up which has enabled the exhibition to be staged. He said: “Very often children with autism do not have much imagination - their minds work in a far more literal way. But, as you can see, there are a number who have extremely well advanced visual and artistic abilities. This exhibition has given us the perfect platform to show the world that the inner life of these children can be just as rich and rewarding as anyone else’s if they are supported properly. We are grateful to everyone involved for giving our children this opportunity to shine.”

The exhibition by the Fine Arts students includes some dramatic pieces inspired by local industry and the rural and coastal environment.

Fine Arts Course Leader Judith Crompton said: “The students really appreciated the opportunity to participate in an event which allowed them to engage with professionals within the field of art and design. They thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, from working on the art and liaising with the client to the final opening of the show. It was also great that as part of the end result we were able to raise money for Daisy Chain.”

Student Lauren Duncan, 17, was overwhelmed with the response given to her on her piece inspired by local industry. She said: “I feel I have gained a sense of achievement through exhibiting within a gallery situation and meeting possible contacts for my future within art and design.”

Ananya Bevinakati, 18, said: “I enjoyed seeing unfamiliar people’s reactions towards my own and other students work and feel I got a real sense of public exhibition and business within the art world. It was a worthwhile experience seeing the vast and sometimes surprising opinions of the general public.”

Also on display is work from textile designer Sarah Ford, a recent graduate from Cleveland College of Art and Design, and young photographer Chris Webb. The exhibition of artwork produced by the children from Daisy Chain includes a special preview of two pieces to be auctioned at Daisy Chain’s Winter Ball on 27th November.

Sue O’Hagan from Arthur Robinson House said: “The new venue is a facility that is there to be used. We have a lot of different activities on offer, from business support services to yoga and complementary therapies. It was lovely to launch the opening of the building with an art exhibition that showcased such inspirational talent.”

The exhibition is on display at Arthur Robinson House until the end of December. All artwork is for sale and 10% from each sale will be donated to Daisy Chain.

Press release by Sixth Element


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Gallery launch for textile designer
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