Today, the NABS Art Auction goes live - and I have not one, but two pieces in the auction, which this year has the theme of COURAGE.
What is NABS? I hear you ask.
NABS is the National Advertising Benevolent Society, an organisation that supports people working in the advertising, media and marketing industry.
Why do they need support? I hear you cry. Well, all industries go through up and downs and NABS is on hand to help people with redundancy advice, counselling, careers guidance, coaching, financial support and training.
As you can imagine, they’ve been pretty busy in the past few months. Calls to the Advice Line have already increased by 25% from last year, and calls about redundancy have more than doubled. Applications for NABS' grants continue to rise as people lose their jobs and income.
That's where the Art Auction comes in. All proceeds will help NABS continue to help people during this difficult period as they turn to NABS for support.
NABS have helped me personally in several ways. Back in the day, they had a flat/house share listing that was emailed to all the agencies and media companies (I think it was even faxed round prior to email existing!) I found several great homes (and subsequently, some great friends too) through that. I’ve been to many of their talks and training sessions. They’ve helped me financially, with a training bursary when I’d been out of work for a while. And also with trying to get paid by an elusive client. I know many others who been helped by them too.
So I’m thrilled and excited to be able to support them by donating my artwork for auction.
Whichever piece you choose (even if it's not one of mine!), you’ll make a huge difference to the lives of people across the industry.
Bidding is NOW OPEN - you can view the gallery here.
The live online auction will take place at 7pm on Thursday 24th September. If you want to be there on the evening please register here.
The two pieces I have in the auction are below: ‘PHOENIX’ and ‘FORWARD’.
FORWARD was painted on artboard, which is a rough-textured card-like surface. After gesso, I added a Burnt Umber ground wash. The whole piece was painted using a small painting pallet knife, creating the figures gradually, and waiting for each mark to dry before applying the next colour. The figures weren’t planned - they emerged as the colours were put down.
The feedback I’ve had already suggests that people interpret the marks in many different ways - some say tribespeople, others skiers, surfers. I like that viewers draw different conclusions.
My second piece, PHOENIX, was less organic. This image was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of the theme of 'Courage'. Right now, a lot of people are struggling with mental health issues, and some are wondering how they are going to get through them.
Twelve years ago, I was going through a similar experience myself, post-credit crunch. Over time, and with lots of support and talking therapy, I got through it and came out the other side. Eventually, I learned to fly again. Rise again. This image is a representation of the hope that things will - and do - get better.
Both pieces have been immense fun to produce, and these styles may crop up again in my work in the future. Watch this space.
For now, get yourself over to the NABS Art Auction and check out all the work. Oh, I’m in good company - with the likes of creative genii Mark Denton, Sir John Hegarty and many others!