It’s that time of year again! When I don trainers and a variety of clashing neon sportswear bargains and ask you to support my London Marathon fundraising efforts for Refuge, a brilliant charity which helps women living with domestic violence. Except this time, instead of just asking you to sponsor me, I have bigger and more exciting plans afoot! Mainly, this:
A glorious collaboration between lots of amazing women artists and illustrators and all round good eggs which has had me positively skipping with delight the last few weeks, as my vague idea has taken root into something bigger than I could have imagined possible.
I’ve collaged the silhouetted branches of a tree (currently 90cm wide x 115.5cm tall, and growing), cut it up into over 70 postcards and sent these out to the aforementioned wonderful, all-female crew who are going to draw anything they like on their own section. The tree will be reassembled for International Women’s Day on the 8th March (I am still on the hunt for a venue - keep your eyes peeled) and the individual postcards auctioned off on Ebay, with all proceeds going to Refuge.
This charity is so important to me. One in four women in the UK will experience an abusive relationship in their lifetime. I didn’t realise how real this statistic was until I started talking more openly about my own experience, which makes me all the more determined to continue raising awareness. You can read a bit more on my fundraising page here. Helping those who have experienced violence and abuse is at the core of everything Refuge does, and their work includes aiding women experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence, ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, FGM, human trafficking and modern slavery.
I really want to raise as much money as possible and hopefully this tree will give my marathon fundraising a fantastic start!
So I’m very excited to reveal the names of the artists taking part (so far!) -
Alice Kiteley / Alice Lickens / Anke Weckmann / Ann Sun / Bethany Christou / Bobbie Print / Caroline Pedler / Caroline Uff / Cat O’Neil / Catherine Rayner / Charlotte Cooke / Charlotte Filshie / Christiane Engel / Debbie Greenaway / Elissa Elwick / Ella Beech / Ellie Sandall / Emily Mackenzie / Emma Block / Emma Carlisle / Emma Reynolds / Emmeline Pidgen / Emily Hogarth / Fiona Purves / Flora Jamieson / Gemma O'Neill / Grace Sanford / Hannah Madden / Hannah Rollings / Harriet Sullivan / Helen Entwisle / Helen Friel / Holly Surplice / Jane Cabrera / Jane Foster / Jeff Josephine / Jenni Colquhoun / Jennie Vallis / Jenny Lovlie / Jo Empson / Joy Gosney / Kate McLelland / Kate Sutton / Katharine McEwen / Kathryn Boyt / Katie Cleminson / Katriona Chapman / Kerry Hyndman / Kirtsy Elson / Laura Ellen Anderson / Laura McKendry / Leonie Lord / Lesley Barnes / Lisa Stubbs / Livi Gosling / Lizzy Stewart / Lucy Volpin / Lorna Scobie / Lotti Rawle / Louise Pigott / Maggie Li / Marta Altes / Marta Kissi / Nicola Killen / Nikki Pontin / Nozomi Inoue Olivia Villet / One Owl Please / Paula Bowles / Rebecca Cobb / Rosalind Beardshaw / Rose Blake / Sally Thompson / Sophy Henn / Suzanna Hubbard / Tabitha Macbeth / Thereza Rowe / Tor Freeman / Vicki Gausden
I’ve been so overwhelmed by the positive response. Thank you so much everyone for your support! You can follow the tree’s progress by searching #RefugeTree on Instagram and Twitter. I cannot wait to see it take shape!