One of the current paintings on show in ‘Awakening‘ has been chosen by the Bridport Refugee Support Campaign to become a fundraiser for them. Pamela Allsop (one of the three painters involved in the exhibition) was keen to dedicate their show to those in a more serious lockdown, like Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and invited Clive Stafford Smith of Reprieve, and Lucy Campbell and Mark Gage of the Campaign, to visit the exhibition. Lucy chose the painting ‘Seeking Refuge’ (see below). The painting will remain exhibited at Symondsbury as people are encouraged to bid for it. Bids can be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person at the gallery.
Clive Stafford Smith provided this statement on Bridport Refuge:
Support is growing for the Bridport Refugee Support Campaign, a recently-formed group of local people aiming to work with a Government scheme to resettle a refugee family here. The group is in the process of becoming a charity and looking to raise at least £15,000, as well as finding a suitable home and securing local authority consent. They hope to welcome a refugee family in the next 18 months but the work doesn’t finish there: they will then help the family settle into the local community, helping with schooling, English tuition, and jobs.
By coincidence, local artist Pamela Allsop had just put together her show ‘Awakening’, running in Symondsbury until October 12th, inspired by the trauma faced by refugees in general, and more particularly that of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British mother held in an Iranian prison. Her pictures explore the full voyage of refugees, from leaving the dangers of their homeland, to arriving in safety – perhaps on our shores. When she heard of the Refugee Project, she was immediately moved to donate one of her pictures to the cause, and she invited Campaign members Lucy Campbell and Mark Gage to come and choose which it should be.
“During the pandemic I found myself exploring the journey we are travelling together, with ideas about compassion and love as the ways through,” said Allsop. “It was obvious that what I was trying to illustrate was being vividly championed by the Campaign, so the least I could do was make a donation.”
“A number of artists are supporting our project, as we try to reach the £15,000 minimum required by the government,” said Lucy Campbell. “We had tentatively thought of holding an auction of art in the spring, COVID permitting. But Pamela’s generosity prompted us to move more quickly here, and we hope that her picture will start us well on our way – perhaps paying for the furniture a Bridport refugee would need.”