‘ART on the Mind’ Contributing Artists Ian Davenport, Kristjana S Williams and Charming Baker talk to FAD

An impressive list of contemporary artists have generously donated to the 2nd ‘ART on the Mind’ exhibition to raise funds for Cardboard Citizens. Cardboard Citizens has used the arts to help people with experience of homelessness in London and the UK for the past 28 years. Through ‘ART on the Mind’, Cardboard Citizens hopes to raise awareness of its work, and funds raised with the auction at Paddle 8 will be invested directly into the charity’s workshops focussed on education, skill development and creative expression, as well as their service providing information, advice and guidance for people experiencing homelessness.

Actress Kate Winslet MBE, has been a Patron of Cardboard Citizens for a decade and commented:

“I have been Cardboard Citizens’ patron for more than 10 years and in that time I have witnessed the life-changing work they do with homeless people in London and across the country. The inaugural Art on the Mind was a huge success, helping the charity to carry out their vital work. Homelessness continues to grow, so I hope as many people as possible will support this year’s auction, which features a superb collection of artists, so Cardboard Citizens can continue that work.“

The exhibition is on display to the public between 11-15 June at Proud Central, and online bidding is at Paddle 8 until 5pm on 19 June: https://paddle8.com/auction/cardboard-citizens

Contributing artists; Abigail Bowen, Alan Fears, Alan Newnham, Andy Burgess, Andy Lovell, Angela Robinson, Ann Gardner, Ann-Marie James, Beatrice Brown, Carne Griffiths, Carrie Reichardt, Cathie Pilkington, Charlie Calder-Potts, Charlotte Keates, Charming Baker. Chris Levine, Chris Marshall, Christine Percy, Dan Pears, Dave Allen, Dean Hughes. Derrick Santini, Epoh Beech, George Percy, Gideon Rubin, Graeme Messer, Graham Swift, Harland Miller, Howard Tangye, Ian Davenport, Jack Milroy, Jeremy Deller, Julie Verhoeven, Kim Noble, Kristjana S Williams, Lisa Wright, Liz Harrison, Meredith Ostrom, Nick Gentry, Nick Walker, Patrick Hughes, Paul Bellingham, Pure Evil, Ray Richardson, Sir Anish Kapoor, Sir Antony Gormley, Stephen Buckley, Taina Pearson, Toni Cogdell, Trish Wylie, Victoria Topping, William Pye, Willy Russell.

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opyright Charming Baker

Lee Sharrock spoke to some of the artists who have donated to the 2019 ‘ART on the Mind’ exhibition about the charity and their artistic practice.

Lee Sharrock: How did you get involved in the ART on the Mind exhibition, and why do you think the contributions of artists to charitable causes is so vital?

Ian Davenport: I have always tried to get involved with charitable projects as much as possible and the Art on the Mind charity is incredibly important as it brings awareness and helps change the plight of homeless people. On a personal level, my brother recently co-directed the mass-collaboration ‘The Homeless Library’ (2016) the first ever history of British homelessness, launched at the Houses of Parliament and the Southbank Poetry Library. This gave me a much better understanding of how severe the problem is.”

Kristjana S Williams: I was contacted directly by Cardboard Citizens and was involved in the auction last year.I feel strongly about helping to support a charity to continue providing support for people affected by homelessness.

Charming Baker: A couple of years ago I was asked to be the guest editor for a special art edition of The Big Issue. While working on the magazine, I was invited to attend a meeting of the 240 Project, which encourages Big Issue vendors to express themselves through art. I met some amazing people there and was so impressed with the quality of some of the work that I’ve now become a collector. Homelessness is not an issue that has one simple solution, but projects such as Cardboard Citizens, which gives people living on the margins of society an outlet through drama, and a way to show their strengths and abilities is vital, not only to helping its members, but in changing people’s perceptions of homelessness.
I am lucky enough through art to have a way to help a variety of charities and it’s always a privilege to be able to do something.


Copyright Ian Davenport

LS: Could you tell me a bit about the artwork that you have donated to the auction?

ID: A few years ago I did a workshop with school children where we were experimenting with paint and trying to replicate some of my paintings. Two children unexpectedly started squirting paint at each other in their faces. So I changed tact completely and decided that we should all have a go squirting paint on paper. It was a lot of energy and fun making the pieces and when I returned to the studio I thought it would be great to take that idea and expand on it. The print that I have donated is a result of several years of developing this idea.

KW: ‘The Connaught Clearing Tree’ is one of my most popular pieces and is based on my work for the Connaught Hotel in London 2014. It was created using the highest quality archival paper and giclée inks.

CB: I’VE SURPRISED MYSELF BY COMING TO TERMS WITH THE END OF THE WORLD is an image of six helicopters tied to each other by their tails, like a flower. It’s an artwork I made to try and alleviate some of my worries about life and the world in general. I’m a worrier by nature. I suppose I was trying to make something pretty out of something that looks catastrophic. It helps me to look at anything in a different way.


Copyright Kristjana S Williams

LS: What exhibitions/ projects do you have coming up?

ID: In September I have an exhibition opening at Luca Tommasi Gallery and it will be the first time that I have a solo exhibition devoted exclusively to works on paper. I am also making a huge wall painting for the project. Next year I have a solo show in Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York! I have also just released some new prints with Alan Cristea Gallery in London.

KW: We currently have the Paul Smith touring exhibition, the Art Carboot fair on 23rd June 2019 at Kings Cross Stable Street, and the London Design Festival in September 2019,

CB: I’m working towards an exhibition opening in Mayfair this winter. Before that I’m drawing birds for the brilliant ART CAR BOOT FAIR, including their CHOOSE LOVE charity this year for refugees. I always enjoy being there – a great day out.

‘ART on the Mind’ is at Proud Central, 32 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6BP from 11-15 June www.cardboardcitizens.org.uk/artonthemind

About Lee Sharrock

Lee Sharrock is Founder of Lee Sharrock PR, a bespoke cultural PR service working with creative agencies, artists, photographers and production companies. She is also a curator, artist and freelance writer. www.leesharrock.co.uk