Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Art Auction Will Help Refugees

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Art Auction Will Help Refugees

Article excerpt

Byline: David Whetstone Culture Editor

MOVED by the refugee crisis which has seen thousands embark on dangerous journeys to seek safety in Europe, North East artists have drawn up a plan to help some of those already in the region.

An art auction will take place at the weekend in the Ouseburn Valley, a Newcastle 'cultural quarter', to raise money for a pair of local charities, The Comfrey Project and the Angelou Centre.

Julia Roxburgh, whose colourful ceramic creations are available in leading stores including Fortnum & Mason, set the ball rolling.

"I was feeling helpless about the whole refugee thing but decided I wanted to do something," said Julia who has a studio at 36 Lime Street in the Ouseburn Valley.

"I put a little message on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in an art auction and the response was tremendous.

"At the moment we have got about 90 donations which is fantastic. Some of them are by really well-known artists."

Reflecting on her desire to act, she explained: "It was just one of those things where you think, selfishly: if this happened to me or anybody that I know, it would be nice to think there was someone out there trying to do something to help.

"At the moment this sort of thing is going on in virtually every city across the country."

The auction will take place on Saturday at Ernest, the cafe and venue at 1 Boyd Street, Ouseburn, which is run by artist Kathryn Hodgkinson.

Sharing duties with the gavel will be two well-known North East actors - Charlie Hardwick, whose Val Pollard bowed out of Emmerdale recently in spectacular fashion, and Carl Kennedy of improv troupe The Suggestibles.

Among those who have donated art for the auction are Jim Edwards, who specialises in colourful landscapes of urban Tyneside, Emma Holliday, whose landscape paintings have been popular in the North East for years, and twins Laura and Rachel Lancaster who have exhibited in Britain and overseas. Some paintings by Laura featured in Banksy's Dismaland theme park in Weston-super-Mare over the summer.

Another contributor is Dawn Felicia Knox, an American artist now based in the North East who has worked with organisations including English Heritage and the Society of Antiquaries in Newcastle. …

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